[Review] The Flowers Of London – The Trouble With England (Part 1)

The Flowers Of London is a new English Progressive Rock project from London, led by Neasden Nev, a real factotum. In fact, in addition to having composed, produced, mixed & mastered the album, the artist sang and played keyboards, guitars, bass guitar, drums, percussion, programming, with the support of two guests only in three songs. The debut album we’re talking about is titled “The Trouble With England (Part 1),” self-produced and released on August 18, 2020 in Digital, available on Bandcamp. It contains 9 medium length tracks, whose sound is inspired by 70s bands but revisited in a modern way and with a personal touch. The “One-Eyed Man” opener is a song that fully follows the English musical tradition with positive melodies and a mid-tempo rhythmic session that precisely marks the passage of the piece. A good opening that introduces us and positively involves us in listening to the following tracks. “Torquemada & The Familiars” begins with a dark and atmospheric background made of layers of keyboard, then slowly enter the other instruments and after two minutes open with the main theme. Alternating moments full of energy and other softer ones that recall the disturbing atmospheres of the intro, the piece develops between constant tempo changes. We pass with ease from moments with distorted guitars and more markedly Prog to others closer to the Pop of the late 60s, with the intensity that increases with the passage of the track. “Crazy Day” is one of the two shorter tracks on the album, centered on layered melodies of repeating keyboards and a warm and pleasant effected vocal. A passage that softens the tones and brings the sound to softer atmospheres; delicate and smooth. “On The Run” is a track with a strong 80s British appeal, closer to Pop than to Prog with stronger openings in the choruses in which the electric guitar is inserted. The keyboards that intertwine with the guitar in the second part only momentarily bring us back to more Progressive terrain, while always maintaining the Pop song structure, however elaborate and never banal, with retro flavors in the good sense of the term. “Roundabout” mainly focused on keyboard melodies that create a melancholy atmosphere and a warm and expressive vocal. Another soft passage where keyboards and vocals prevail, while the rhythm session comes into play only in the final bars, a track that is still pleasant. “Did You Really Have To Do It?” it is the longest track, which after an atmospheric intro with repeated and hypnotic melodies develops one of the most prog themes of the whole album. “When We Were Young” is the longest track, which after an atmospheric intro with repeated and hypnotic melodies develops one of the most Prog themes of the whole album. The intro, in my opinion too long, as it takes up half the timing of the track, then leaves room for a very short passage played, and then returns to an almost ambient terrain, made up of atmospheric effects. The central part if developed showed interesting hints and ideas but the section is too short and leaves too much space for the rest, lacking substance. “When We Were Young” is characterized by positive and cheerful melodies, the structure is again close to Pop, recalling in some respects the style of David Bowie. Linear in development, in the second part an instrumental section is developed focusing on keyboard melodies always on cheerful tones. An ambient intro with noises of people walking and chatting and “Varying Degrees of Solid” starts and then with a sudden change an electric guitar insert takes over. The tones fade again and the keyboards create an atmospheric carpet, and then in the final part the instruments and the rhythmic session finally enter, too late to develop the piece that thus closes without particular jolts. The final “In Days Yet To Come” is a ballad with a choral singing that resembles the songs from the tavern, a song that closes the disc in joy. An album from a genre that is difficult to define, as it is proposed as a Progressive Rock album, but in the development of the tracks, of Prog music there is little in my humble opinion. Except for a few inserts here and there the tracks that I know have been better developed are closer to Pop, with some interesting melodies and plots, especially in the first part of the album. With a few more tricks, starting from the most elaborate and Progressive ideas of the disc, something interesting could come out in the future. Overall, the first part is discreet with some Pop Prog songs, the second much more atmospheric and also far from the energy shown at the beginning, an album that overall lacks incisiveness.

Tracklist

1. One-Eyed Man (03:26)
2. Torquemada & The Familiars (06:40)
3. Crazy Day (02:56)
4. On The Run (04:08)
5. Roundabout (03:24)
6. Did You Really Have To Do It? (06:59)
7. When We Were Young (04:39)
8. Varying Degrees of Solid (04:43)
9. In Days Yet To Come (02:56)

Lineup

Leigh Scratch Fenlon / Electric Violin
Neasden Nev / Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars, Bass Guitar, Drums, Percussion, Programming
Rog Patterson / Electric 12-String Guitar, Acoustic Guitar

The Flowers Of London |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

1 thought on “[Review] The Flowers Of London – The Trouble With England (Part 1)

Leave a Reply