Flowers is the original version of Ace of Base's third album, which in the U.S. became Cruel Summer. Flowers contains 14 tracks as opposed to Cruel Summer's 12, some of which appear in alternate versions. For example, "Donnie," a gem of a track which should have been a hit, is somewhat under-produced and unrealized on Flowers but truly shines on Cruel Summer, and other tracks, such as "He Decides," also appear as earlier mixes on Flowers. "Life Is a Flower," from Flowers, became "Whenever You're Near Me" on Cruel Summer. Three tracks appear on Flowers that aren't on Cruel Summer, and those are "Dr. Sun," "I Pray," and the melancholy "Captain Nemo," while Cruel Summer's ballad "Everytime It Rains" doesn't appear on Flowers. Flowers also includes the song lyrics, which Cruel Summer lacks. Finally, the bonus mix of the single "Cruel Summer" is arguably superior on Flowers than on Cruel Summer. In the long run, however, the production on Cruel Summer is meatier than on Flowers.
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AllMusic Review by Jose F. Promis