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Marillion - Happiness Is The Road CD (album) cover





3.35 | 641 ratings

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2 stars After seeing so many mixed reviews for this album I had to have a look see. Sure, this is not the old Marillion that I and many others loved, the old Marillion that almost single handedly rescued prog music in the 80's when much of the music that we all love here went on a very long downhill ride. I adored the Fish iteration of the band and it took me a while to accept Marillion without the fiery Scotsman at the helm. The "Season's End" album was a really good start to Marillion Mk 2 and I loved that album for its melody and emotion. Hogarth has a voice that is suited to the melancholy and the sad where Fish commanded anger, angst. disdain and sarcasm in his vocals. If I separate the two iterations of the band then I can enjoy both however I enjoy them differently. A constant throughout Marillion's music is Steve Rothery whose lead guitar is always of a high quality and those lead breaks soar a lot of the time. I don't enjoy radio friendly music and unfortunately a lot of Marillion's work after Fish vectored towards radio friendly territory however there is magic still in a great deal of it. The thing about Marillion post Fish is that I can't sit through too much of it in a single sitting as it all starts to sound the same to me and I guess that's due to Hogarth's voice which I do enjoy but it keeps everything in melancholy territory without much mood change. The first half of this offering from Marillion suffers from being too entrenched in melancholy. It's laid back music performed well but, my goodness people, break the mood sometimes with something different. The best track on "Essence" (the first half of the album) is the longest track being "Happiness is the Road" with its almost dramatic flair. The "Hard Shoulder" (second half of the album set) is more lively however I don't really like a lot of it at all. It's like the band are attempting to encompass a standard rock sound attached to the melancholy and that is not the bands strength at all. Marillion's strength are their ability to soar and be highly melodious and there is very little of that on offer here. We get a lot of Hogarth crying through the mike and we get way too little Rothery. Sorry fans of the album - I personally am not impressed at all and I have to vector in with those that don't like the album very much at all. Two stars from me.
sukmytoe | 2/5 |


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