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VINE VOICEon 28 September 2008
Ace of Base are a fantastically cheerful pop band from Sweden, made up of Ulf Ekberg, Jonas Berggren, Jenny Berggren, and at the time that 'Flowers' was produced, Linn Berggren, though Linn has now left the band and her part in 'Flowers' is quite small compared to the band's previous 2 albums, 'Happy Nation' (1993) and 'The Bridge' (1995).

Flowers was released in June 1998 and was declared by the band to be their best album yet, and I have to agree. If you've never heard anything by Ace of Base then imagine a more modern Abba with faster beats and you will be somewhere close. 'Flowers' is their poppiest, happiest album, and it's filled with uplifting, get-up-and-dance songs that will cheer you up and energise you whenever the sky is grey and you just want to curl up in bed.

Pretty much all the songs are great, and although they all have a similar style, there is enough variety to keep you interested the whole way through. It begins with their incredibly successful and life-affirming single 'Life is a Flower' which instructs you to 'carry on smiling' through life's troubles. This is followed by my favourite song of the album, 'Always have, Always will' - it's almost impossible not to feel like bopping around and singing along to this brilliant track. The third track, 'Cruel Summer', is slightly less upbeat but still sing-along-able and did very well when they released it as a single.

These tracks are followed by 'Adventures in Paradise', 'Travel to Romantis' and 'Dr Sun', all of which are fab summer songs perfect for listening to on the beach. They remind me of school trips where me and my friend would play them over and over on our personal cassette players (!) and sway our arms over our heads. Then comes another classic to get you out of your chair, 'Cecilia', a slightly retro song which again can't fail to make your smile.

The tone becomes a bit more contemplative after that with the slower 'He Decides' and 'I pray' which are both beautiful. Then 'Tokyo Girl' kicks in, a very dancey and catchy number, followed by another slow one, 'Captain Nemo' (probably the lowlight of the album for me). The album then finishes off with the lovely 'Donnie' which sounds to me like it belongs in a film - it is lilting, sweet and tells a great story.

In summary, this album is just the thing to perk you up. I've had it for years and never tire of hearing it!

After 'Flowers', Ace of Base released 'Singles of the 90s' in 1999 (surprisingly enough, this is a compilation album!), and the not-particularly-successful Da Capo in 2002. They then spent a few years doing very little but are now set to release their fifth album later this year - hooray!
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VINE VOICEon 6 May 2010
This is an extremely catchy album and was a fabulous follow-up to their debut, which for me is even better! I remember buying the 'Happy Nation' tape at the time and being a bit p'*d off with the repeated tracks. (totally unnecessary) At least there's only one 'duplicate' here - and we could have done without that one...

However; this release shows that a group can follow up a number one album with something even better! (even if it doesn't reflect in chart placings) Another thing I notice with this group, as with most other foreign acts such as 'A-Ha', 'ABBA' and 'Ten Sharp'; their diction is extremely good - one can hear all the lyrics. Considering it's not their native tongue puts us to shame when many of our own groups are so terrible at singing clearly...

Also includes the cover of 'Bananarama's' 1983 hit 'Cruel Summer'.

Fabulous album!

TRIVIA: Both groups managed to reach the same chart placing of number eight with the same song!
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on 14 September 2002
It is too bad that bands with "hit" songs don't receive the attention they deserve after the initial frenzy, because in my opinion, Ace Of Base really hit it with this 3rd album. I was only a casual fan of the first 2, and picked up this album out of curiousity and LOVED EVERY BIT OF IT!
This is is the best, catchiest, well-performed music I think they have ever done! I bought every single and edition that featured extra tracks because I couldn't get enough!
The vocals are fantastic, the beats more than infectious. This should have been a number one album. Every song is a standout, with only "Tokyo Girl" being skipped on repeat plays. I dare you to play "Always Have, Always Will" and not feel like bounding across the room, full of joy, with a desire to tell someone how you've always loved them!
Uplifting, emotional, and fully crank-up-able!
I am very much anticipating De Capo.
With this album, I became a true Ace Of Base fan!
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on 25 December 2015
Third release from their music presses, Ace of Base's "Flowers" is a clever new accordion of songs from the Eurodance-Reggae Swedish group. With hits like Life is a Flower, with its gospel lyrics/choruses and positive message, the remix of Banarama's Cruel Summer, and Don't Go Away with its romantic lyrics, the album's end result proves how Ace of Base is a talented music group. But whose first success with the record Happy Nation, stuck them into an eternal comparison with their debut. Giving them lesser sales, but I think a much stronger and sincere fan presence than with their first work.

However if there were one difference with this album from their others, it is how they offer more place to dance beats like in Travel to Romantis,, , and more upbeat rhythms. A request from the Arista records that one could fear wouldn't work as sometimes Executives might have more capital interest than artistic ones. But fortunately, Ace of Base gave back a very good result. Upbeat and summery songs that show how their music style is evolving and gaining other musical layers in its rhythms as we have Disco joining their EuroDance-reggae-gospel musical notes.

On a final note, if I have a tip to buyers, do not buy the US release as the producers responsible behind it removed excellent singles like "Life is a Flower". Instead Keep to the International Flowers release which was released on ITunes and Amazon Instant Music. That end result is much more satisfying. And with the excellent sound quality of the MP3 transfer, that purchase will be judicious for all Ace of Base fans. And newcomers too.
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on 25 October 2010
Flowers is the 3rd album from Ace of Base and couldn't be more different from the previous two if it tried.

It has choirs, motown, proper out and out dance music, it was the perfect summer album.

Tracks

Life Is A Flower (10/10) One of the best songs by Ace of Base and the first single from the album, full of happy lyrics and a choir. A total feelgood song and a massive hit, the most played song on European radio of 1998.

Always Have, Always Will (10/10) Another massive hit and very catchy and dancey, influenced by Motown this is one of the albums highlights.

Cruel Summer (10/10) Pretty standard cover of the Bananarama song but Ace of Base put their own stamp on it. A very good pop, summer dance track it was huge in both the UK and US.

Travel To Romantis (10/10) Good lyrics, good dance beat, good vocals, this carries on from where Cruel Summer left off. Pure pop and dance, a very strong track.

Adventures In Paradise (9/10) Not as immediate as the previous tracks, this one still has a the feel good dance factor about it, though it won't get any prizes for originality.

Dr Sun (10/10) A gorgeous pop record, brings to mind the beach, blue sea and skies where nothing can ever go wrong.

Cecilia (9/10) Inspired by the Simon & Garfunkel track (later covered by Suggs), this track is pure cheesy dance/pop music with decent lyrics and a good vocal.

He Decides (8/10) The albums first ballad, but it works to break up the neverending beats a little. A strong track, but nothing new.

I Pray (9/10) A gospel-ish song that fits in with the album perfectly. It shouldn't work but does.

Tokyo Girl (10/10) Pure dance, slightly cheesy but very powerful and catchy, one of the best on the album.

Don't Go Away (10/10) Brilliant lyrics and vocals make this one of the bands best ballads, amazing track.

Captain Nemo (9/10) This has a choir feel to it, slow but peaceful and catchy at the same time, a decent track.

Donnie (7/10) The weakest track on the album is it's closing one (as far as original tracks go) and it's nothing great, sounds like filler, very irritating and repetative.

Cruel Summer (Big Bonus Mix) (10/10) This is the standard remix that Ace of Base seem to stick on each album, but this is the best of them all so far, a very good version of the song indeed.
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VINE VOICEon 6 May 2010
This is an extremely catchy album and was a fabulous follow-up to their debut, which for me is even better! I remember buying the 'Happy Nation' tape at the time and being a bit p'*d off with the repeated tracks. (totally unnecessary) At least there's only one 'duplicate' here - and we could have done without that one...

However; this release shows that a group can follow up a number one album with something even better! (even if it doesn't reflect in chart placings) Another thing I notice with this group, as with most other foreign acts such as 'A-Ha', 'ABBA' and 'Ten Sharp'; their diction is extremely good - one can hear all the lyrics. Considering it's not their native tongue puts us to shame when many of our own groups are so terrible at singing clearly...

Also includes the cover of 'Bananarama's' 1983 hit 'Cruel Summer'.

Fabulous album!

TRIVIA: Both groups managed to reach the same chart placing of number eight with the same song!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 6 May 2010
This is an extremely catchy album and was a fabulous follow-up to their debut, which for me is even better! I remember buying the 'Happy Nation' tape at the time and being a bit p'*d off with the repeated tracks. (totally unnecessary) At least there's only one 'duplicate' here - and we could have done without that one...

However; this release shows that a group can follow up a number one album with something even better! (even if it doesn't reflect in chart placings) Another thing I notice with this group, as with most other foreign acts such as 'A-Ha', 'ABBA' and 'Ten Sharp'; their diction is extremely good - one can hear all the lyrics. Considering it's not their native tongue puts us to shame when many of our own groups are so terrible at singing clearly...

Also includes the cover of 'Bananarama's' 1983 hit 'Cruel Summer'.

Fabulous album!

TRIVIA: Both groups managed to reach the same chart placing of number eight with the same song!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 6 May 2010
This is an extremely catchy album and was a fabulous follow-up to their debut, which for me is even better! I remember buying the 'Happy Nation' tape at the time and being a bit p'*d off with the repeated tracks. (totally unnecessary) At least there's only one 'duplicate' here - and we could have done without that one...

However; this release shows that a group can follow up a number one album with something even better! (even if it doesn't reflect in chart placings) Another thing I notice with this group, as with most other foreign acts such as 'A-Ha', 'ABBA' and 'Ten Sharp'; their diction is extremely good - one can hear all the lyrics. Considering it's not their native tongue puts us to shame when many of our own groups are so terrible at singing clearly...

Also includes the cover of 'Bananarama's' 1983 hit 'Cruel Summer'.

Fabulous album!

TRIVIA: Both groups managed to reach the same chart placing of number eight with the same song!
44 Comments|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 6 May 2010
This is an extremely catchy album and was a fabulous follow-up to their debut, which for me is even better! I remember buying the 'Happy Nation' tape at the time and being a bit p'*d off with the repeated tracks. (totally unnecessary) At least there's only one 'duplicate' here - and we could have done without that one...

However; this release shows that a group can follow up a number one album with something even better! (even if it doesn't reflect in chart placings) Another thing I notice with this group, as with most other foreign acts such as 'A-Ha', 'ABBA' and 'Ten Sharp'; their diction is extremely good - one can hear all the lyrics. Considering it's not their native tongue puts us to shame when many of our own groups are so terrible at singing clearly...

Also includes the cover of 'Bananarama's' 1983 hit 'Cruel Summer'.

Fabulous album!

TRIVIA: Both groups managed to reach the same chart placing of number eight with the same song!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 November 2013
Mostly I listen to rock, metal and folk music, but I think this is a very great record from a very great band.

The record itself is very strong and colourful. It was a succesful re-invention of the style, so the sound became more mature and organic, thanks to the live intruments.

You can find pop, elements of gospel, rock, folk and dance here. Despite the variety of the styles the record is very cohesiative with very positive and strong tracks.

The title song 'Life Is a Flower' is one of the best and strongest tracks from the band. The 60s-inspired ones(Cecilia, Donnie, Always Have, Always Will ) marks a totally new pathway for the the band. The best song is Everytime it rains which was originally released on Cruel Summer (US), and in Europe it can be found only on the UK version.

Buy the UK version if you want to get the rare version of Cecilia(much better than the original) and EITR!
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