The Flower Kings: THE KINGDOM OF COLOURS boxset (InsideOut, 2017).
Physical Packaging: C/C+
Thanks to the great folks at LaserCD, my copy–no. 215 out 3000–of A KINGDOM OF COLOURS by the majestic FLOWER KINGS–arrived just this afternoon in the mail.
Strangely enough, despite a 20-year love of the band, I didn’t realize this boxset had even come out until I received the advertisement for the second boxset, KINGDOM OF COLOURS 2.
The box is constructed well and quite attractive. Inside, one finds the numbered certificate, a booklet, the first seven Flower King studio albums (no, The Flower King (1994), however), and an InsideOut advertisement. Each of the studio albums, it should be noted, is packed in a very thin cardboard sleeve.
For the boxset, bandleader Roine Stolt has remastered the band’s 2002 release, UNFOLD THE FUTURE. It does sound spectacular in its new form, but, then, I’ve always loved this album. The individual instruments and vocals are much more distinctive on the 2017 remaster than on the original 2002 release.
The booklet that accompanies the boxset is only ok in terms of its content, but certainly nothing great. The few new liner notes at the beginning of it are really good–featuring an interview of Roine Stolt by Dom Lawson–but the booklet is mainly a reprint previous liner notes, photos, and lyrics from the first seven albums. Nothing has been done to make these consistent for this 2017 release, and the booklet suffers for it.
Even though my box set came wrapped in its original wrapping from InsideOut, the booklet has seen better days. Despite being “new,” it arrived bent, crumpled, and dog-eared. Too bad. Whoever packed it did a terribly sloppy job.
I will admit, this is a minor frustration, but a frustration, nonetheless. I expect better of InsideOut.
I’ve already pre-ordered KINGDOM OF COLOURS 2, but I very much hope the band and label put a bit more effort into the packaging.
As it is, this first boxset from The Flower Kings is nice, but I can’t–in good conscience–recommend anyone purchase it. It would be better to purchase each of the first seven albums individually. Sad, but true.