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26 December, 2003

Review: Unfold The Future (The Flower Kings, 2002)

This was actually a late 2002 release, but I bought it at the start of 2003, so think of it as a 2003 album.  I've liked virtually all earlier TFK albums; not every track on every album, but each has had 2-3 outstanding songs I've played repeatedly.  'Unfold The Future' has nothing like that.  There's far too much 'freeform jazz' for my taste, and insufficient accessible, riff-led rock; the combination of the two had been excellent on previous albums, but I don't think the balance is quite right this time.

A common criticism is that TFK albums are poorly edited, and at least half of all fan reviews I've read suggest that each of their double albums would be vastly improved by tight editing to a single disc. Ordinarily, I'm unconvinced, since some of their best tracks develop slowly and the very length of the songs amplifies the eventual climax; room to develop and digress is worthwhile. Unfortunately, I wouldn't say that applies to the somewhat rambling 'Unfold The Future', and I do feel tighter editing would have been preferable, also to impose a more accessible overall structure.

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