I've probably said this many times before on previous reviews of Flower Kings CD's, but this band releases product so quickly that I'm barely done digesting their previous opus when a new one arrives! The Rainmaker is the latest in a strong string of excellent prog statements from this fine Swedish band led by guitarist/singer/songwriter Roine Stolt.
The fact that the band has decided to once again stick to the single CD format is definitely a good thing. A few years back the band released Stardust We Are and Flower Power back to back, two double CD sets of mammoth proportions, that left many fans extremely happy yet gasping for air. Last years Space Revolver CD was a return to more song based format, as is this new release. It seems obvious that Stolt's collaborations with Neal Morse on the Transatlantic projects has influenced him to write catchier hooks and melodies amidst the ever present symphonic and complex style that is the Flower Kings. While there is a share of epic songs here, like the rocking opener "Last Minute on Earth", "Road to Sanctuary", and the fantastic "City of Angels", the emphasis is on shorter, melodic tunes. The chorus to "World Without a Heart" for example, is just plain gorgeous.
Those who love the Flower Kings for their virtuoso musical romps fret not, as there are plenty of dazzling guitar and keyboard exchanges throughout, and even a few blistering instrumental tracks to boot. In fact, The Rainmaker might just be the bands most well-rounded effort, as it has something for just about everyone.