The Flower Kings has been a difficult band for me. First of all, their music is hard to categorize. Most of their pieces can be considered classic progressive music. They remind me of Genesis and Yes, two of my all-time favorite bands, for their melodic sound and the extensive use of keyboards in their compositions. However they also show influences from many other different genres, like pop and world music. Some songs even have a slightly medieval air, which adds a lot of contrast, character and richness to their sound. Their performances, while not virtuous, are very solid and elegant.
They are also difficult to rate, because is hard to be objective with them. Their music is not particularly conventional and as such it will appeal to some people and frustrate others. In fact I sometimes have mixed feelings about them. Most of their material is very enjoyable, with some pieces being nothing short of masterpieces. But on the other hand, at times they seem to loose focus, drifting away from the original melodies and changing them into strange sounds whose meaning still eludes me. I would give this album a 5-star rating if it weren't for those less than stellar moments.
Back in the World of Adventures is a good introduction to the band if you haven't listened to them before. It contains some of their best and easiest songs, such as World of Adventures, Train to Nowhere and Cosmic Lover. It was in fact my first Flower Kings' CD and I haven't stopped buying their albums. While not quite one of my favorite bands, they are original and interesting enough to keep me coming back for more.