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Marillion - Script For A Jester's Tear CD (album) cover





4.22 | 1873 ratings

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5 stars Really getting into Marillion at the moment, and "Script For A Jester's Tear" the undoubtedly my favourite, both from Marillion and the whole neo-prog genre. I love the 80s twist this band puts on progressive ROCK, and not pop like its number 1 descendant "Misplaced Childhood". Just when progressive rock was lost through punk and the then-current post-punk/New Romantics scenes, Marillion came along and made it popular again, shining a whole new light on the genre. The birth of neo-prog, and filling the chasm of early 80s music with colourful combinations of all sorts of progressive flavours swirling about in the air.

The title track is such an excellently crafted song. All of the sections flow so well into each other, with Fish's vocals dripping with emotion through every lyric (all of which are outstanding). Very good melodies, and all of the instruments slot together seemingly effortlessly but this can't have just been luck - these people are awesome songwriters! The advantage to such an album being made in the 80s is that the recording techniques were much better, and it really helps you get into the album here. The guitars on here are particularly favourable for me, and the story of the jester is told so well, with the intriguing artwork being the perfect visual aid for such a track. Kind of wish there was one for each song really!

The intro of "He Knows You Know" instantly brings back some Genesis classic techniques. The guitar intro sounds like an even better "Follow You Follow Me" intro, and the drums are quite Phil Collins-esque (as with the rest of the album), and the lyrics on here are seriously incredible! I love the obscure imagery (especially the line "venom in your stomach, poison in your head", and the melodies work so beautifully, and the "He's got problems" acts as a great climax. Topped off with more great synths and guitars, another outstanding track. The track segues into "The Web" after quite a comical phone call, and angry stabbing keyboards. All of the instruments already mentioned evolve to a slightly different style on here, with more superb lyrics and symphonic climaxes. Astonishingly, the bar still doesn't at all, and the odd thumping occasional rhythms and melodious guitar solos are present. As with the whole album, quite a theatrical song which has been proven to work excellently live.

"Garden Party" has a very offbeat over the place repeating hook which is just irresistible, with a rolling Tony Banks style keyboard underlying. Lovely inclusion of the tweeting birds on the peaceful sections too! The track doesn't evolve as much as the previous ones, but therefore allows time for some great solos and for you to really indulge into the song. The last couple of minutes are so sonically thrilling and really keeps up the album's consistency! "Chelsea Monday" then enters with some intriguing lyrics. Again, the band shapes their signature sound to encase the melancholy mood of the song brilliantly (i.e. the short keyboard arpeggios, slide guitars, and bass playing chords all over the fretboard instead of staying down low).

As with the whole album, I love the substitution of the 70s mellotron with the 80s synths. Great that their not regurgitating those safe prog cliches like many bands nowadays. The lyrics and melodies are of course very original once again, and key to the song, but it would be nice to hear some more expensive chord progressions throughout, but the more typical sonic drone keeps me interested I guess, so I wouldn't know what to do. "Forgotten Sons" ends the album, sort of reminding me of a Rael character from "The Lamb". I love the sort of irish jig the keyboards play to back the guitar, and the delayed vocals of Fish along with his extraordinary style. Once again, reminding me of Peter Gabriel of Genesis! (There are other influences that pop up, such as Yes, but not as substantially). The guitar clacking backs that odd duet so well, and employs great sustaining techniques on the whole song. It sort of morphs into a congregation of multi-tracked Fish praying about some very thought-provoking and needing lyrics, even relating to The Lord's Prayer! The reaching for the emotional pinnacle that comes across on all 7 tracks is insanely beautiful, and the versatility on these is literally epic and absolutely timeless.

A: One of my treasured albums amongst my collection, never getting boring and tired. Despite the lack of the key progressive elements (time signatures, chords, etc.) it still remains just as interesting as any Genesis album. Such an untouchable masterpiece; I don't think any of their other albums really come that close to it...

Script For A Jester's Tear: ***** He Knows You Know: ***** The Web: ***** Garden Party: **** Chelsea Monday: **** Forgotten Sons: ****

Xonty | 5/5 |


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