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Marillion - Clutching At Straws CD (album) cover





4.14 | 1230 ratings

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4 stars To (sadly) complete my reviews of the Fish era Marillion studio albums I relistened to this album. Another concept work by a band that I had learned to love a great deal up to this point.

The album starts off well with "Hotel Hobbies" and I'm promised another mood rush similar to the rushes that the previous three albums brought on.

"Warm Wet Circles" - I get a kind of Kayleigh vibe from this track. Very nice emotionally lighter number from the band. I find the title of the track and the lyrics here brilliant. I've had the unfortunate circumstance in my life of sitting sadly alone in a smoky pub studying the moisture circles left by the bottom of my beer mug on the wood top of the table.

"That Time of the Night" - The mood continues in a brilliant melancholy way. This kind of continues my retrospective thinking into harsher times past (most of us have had them I guess).

"Going Under" - Vocally brilliant. Stunningly magical. This is seriously good music mature music covering very mature mood sets.

"Just for the Record" - The mood is lightened by this piece at the right time on the album. A more upbeat almost quirky piece.

"White Russian" - A Vodka based cocktail. An almost angry track with a hint of the hopeless attached. This track ends in a stunningly powerful vocal delivery as only Fish can deliver.

"Incommunicado" - Upbeat radio friendly track serves to break the melancholy mood again.

"Torch Song" - "My advice is, if you maintain this lifestyle, you wont reach thirty". The fight against the clutches of alcohol.

"Slainte Mhath" - Your good health (a toast). Still fighting the clutches of alcohol. An angry track.

"Sugar Mice" - Dealing with the losses and consequences of alcoholism. This is a really sad track although the musical mood is upbeat.

"The Last Straw" - Ending a dark album on a dark note.

This concept album revolves around the clutch of alcohol on the lives of people who end up in a really hopeless, loss filled situation because of it. It is brilliant in what it sets out to achieve. Sadly this was Fish's last studio album with the band but he ended things on a high note. I never really got on with Fish's solo work but here in Marillion he was brilliant. I prefer this album to the previous one however I can't say that it resonates with me as strongly as the first two albums do. I've had my personal fight with alcohol so I do understand the power in this work - luckily alcohol was never able to grab ahold of me and today, if I feel inclined to, I can still polish off a bottle of Bourbon in a sitting with no real consequence other than a headache if I'm unlucky - however I guess that I very seldomly feel inclined to these days.

Rating wise where I gave the previous album a solid 4 stars I would vector toward 4 and a half for this brought down to 4 due to some tracks that don't really do much for me. The best part of this album to me are the three tracks "Warm Wet Circles" and the following tracks "That time of the Night" and "Going Under".

sukmytoe | 4/5 |


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