For long-time fans, first impressions of Flowers by Sin Fang will likely be conflicting. That’s because Seabear frontman Sindri Már Sigfússon’s third solo album takes a decidedly different direction from his previous rock-influenced album, Summer Echoes. With the addition of stringed instruments and sweeping arrangements, Flowers sounds more like a folk-pop symphony. With the imagery of nature and expert arrangements in nearly every song, Sigfússon seems to have painted a rather breathtaking picture of some far-off land. Unlike Summer Echoes, Flowers has an extra something that makes you feel as if you’re being transported to some mystical, ethereal place. The album completely surrounds you with this new environment and that’s not a quality you find very often.
The album tends to overwhelm with its introductory track, “Young Boys.” There’s a lot going on musically and it lends to a sense of loosely organized chaos. But the more you listen to it, the more you realize how organic and naturally beautiful it all sounds. The sooner you realize that, the more you’ll enjoy the album.
One standout from the album is “Look at the Light,” a dynamic and hauntingly beautiful overture. The song is stunning, even with the chilling piano part and enigmatic lyrics like, “If I go back to that place, I know I’ll see you, but I don’t want to, even though I want to.” Watching the music video adds to this feeling.
The only song that doesn’t seem to fit quite perfectly is the more rock-heavy “See Ribs.” While impressive on its own, the aggressive lyrics (“Boy you know I hate you and all your friends”) and rushing tempo tend to take you out of the dream-like state you achieve with the other tracks.
Flowers is a beautifully written and arranged album that deserves a listening to, despite its flaws. The album has an uncanny ability to take you somewhere beautiful, mysterious, and foreign; a place anybody would be happy to explore, even if only for an hour or so.
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