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

SCRIPT FOR A JESTER'S TEAR

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

4.22 | 1413 ratings

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Woon
2 stars I've first read about Marillion in 1994-1995. Then I bought the well known in CIS (Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, etc.) rock encyclopaedia by Progressor (Eugeny Menshikov). The guy knew a bit of a little about many of performers he mentioned there. And the author's view was a bit too specific. So, everything in the world was considered art-rock or inclining with art-rock. Back then I could not have an idea of many singers he noted upon. But at least I got an info, though not necessarily correct. Thank you, Mr. Menshikov, you did a very decent job!

One of the most intriguing articles in the book was of Marillion. The title of the band was very fairysh, and when I read the discography given after the article... Man, we got jester! I was in love with the imagery that I imagined on my own when reading of the stuff like this. I would fall in love with Tarzan's adventures in a year after that.

Now, to be frank, I first listened to their music in 2000-smth. I had an expectation of the music from the medieval fairy tale consisting of the respective imagery, respective melodies, respective bridges linking the main melodies with all surrounding parts, variety. I had already known and loved so much early Genesis (primarily, Trespass and Foxtrot). I thought of the consistency that made Looking For Someone so tremendous. I thought of the grandeur of Cressida's Munich. I thought of what I had read in rock encyclopedia when I was a child.

What I really heard in Marillion's debut, really disappointed me, thus making me a moderate hater of any neo prog. Really fine imagery, really fine art work (on their first albums), really groundbreaking melodies (on their first 3 albums), plots, spirit. I adore, I respect. The bad side is the banal plain linking of the perfect melodies in the song, arrangements looking all the same, complex expected unexpected changes in mood and rhythm that do not really work. It may be 80s, or it may be better sound producing, or clearer recording quality, but I bet I was not able to hear the lyrics. I am not a native English speaker, I am Ukrainian, I can speak Ukrainian and Russian. But when I listened to Peter Gabriel, I could pick some verses. And I heard the man singing in different voices. Here I was expecting for a musical tale, with voices sounding different. The first track sounded so promising to me in all respects.

What's then? Basically, all the same, and never as great the first track. I have heard FISH squealing, FISH singing, FISH speaking, going to the start, unexpected change, 80s melodic bridge, banal drumming, finish of the tune. Talented musicians that really created good melodies but went nowhere with them. I'd rather expect for more elaborated but however a variant of JT's Up To Me performing. You got the main melody and developing over it, making a sonata form upon it - but no, Marillion chose their own path. This problem would be perfectly seen in their later albums, notably in Incubus from Fugazi. We start from the great intro that would no longer appear in its perfection. I mean, I really felt like listening to some black metal with fine orchestration in the beginning and just ahh, oohh, rrgh afterwards. More intelligent incarnation, but however.

It is totally the same that blackens Camel's heritage in my eyes. Such perfect melodies that lead nowhere. At first, I gave it 4 stars because it is known as the first neo prog recording ever, and thanks to them for playing such intricating intricated deep music in the hard and heavy in all respects 1980s. Then I've listened to it just for rating giving purpose, and honestly I've found the bonus tracks' melodies even more engaging than the originals'. It is worth of two stars and that is what I give it now. I still listen to it sometimes (and I also listen to the next 2 albums). Decent as the start of the movement, banal in the arrangement sounding. Yezda Urfa sounding does not beat Gentle Giant, Gabriel singing & fairy-tale lyrics & perfect main melodies could not beat real Gabriel-era Genesis. Every lover of the classic 70s prog must hear this album (and, probably, its 2-3 successors) to get an idea of the substyle, though. Although, musically it is a banality raised to a power of cult.

Woon | 2/5 |

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