The 1990s had been a very quiet decade for ex-Kaipa keyboardist Hans Lundin, but he released a solo album in 2000, his first since 1985. It triggered a desire to re-form his old band. The Flower Kings' star guitarist Roine Stolt (and former Kaipa member himself) jumped aboard and the two of them recorded Notes From the Past, the title of which says it all -- this is a trip down memory lane, even though the music is brand new. Lundin wrote all the songs, but any FK fan could be fooled. They sound like recent Flower Kings or Transatlantic -- with or without Stolt's trademark licks. Drummer Morgan Agren (of Z and Zappa's Universe), Ritual singer Patrik Lundström, and FK bassist Jonas Reingold were brought in as guests to record the album. Each instrument was laid down in a different studio. The music sounds slick, but it misses a group feel. Actually, it misses a few other things -- excitement for instance. The songs fail to grab the listener. Lundin comes up with a few good keyboard melodies, often dipped into Baroque style, and the guitarist throws in a few nice solos, but in the end it comes down to emotion and Notes From the Past lacks the positivity of classic Flower Kings albums. Lundström brings a progressive metal attitude that doesn't always fit (and Aleena's Alannah Myles-derived vocals in "A Road in My Mind" simply don't work out). "Night-Bike-Ride (On Lilac Street)" and "Leaving the Horizon" are still worthy pieces and old fans will surely enjoy the album at some levels. FK followers will probably see it as an interesting side project, but nothing more.
AllMusic Review by François Couture