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Marillion - Brave CD (album) cover





3.97 | 1001 ratings

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4 stars I've tried to understand why I do not give the perfect note for this album, and here is the explanation:

There is something new here compared to the FISH era: the organ-like keyboard is omnipresent and this really irritates me. MARILLION is a crystal clean modern sophisticated sound band, and definitely putting an organ in the tracks doesn't work: leave that keyboard to the 70's prog bands! The rythmic distorted electric guitar is disappointing: the distortion is very annoying because there is a flagrant lack of bottom and cleanness in the guitar sound: it's like if you cut all the low frequencies of the guitar sound. This creates tremendous losses of power and presence coming out of the guitar sound. The best example of this is on "Hard As Love" and "Paper Lies": the guitar sounds like the cheapest razor on sale at Zellers; you turn up the volume, and it becomes worse. This means that the distortion level/cleannesss were badly tuned. And on these tracks, you have this annoying organ in the background: awful! The guitar solos are not bad, but the powerful crystal clean sound like on the "Fugazi" album disappeared: we are extremely far from the quality sound of the guitar solo on "Jigsaw", for instance. There is bizarre psychedelic stuff in some parts (Hoggart influence?). Not really for me.

Let's now talk about the good points:

The bass is very good: complex, good presence; I think this is their best album for the bass. The rythmic electric distortion-free guitar notes is like the ones on "Clutching at Straws" and "Season's End": addictive, clean, pure and well played. All the other keyboards except the organ give extremely impressive parts. They are very various and never repetitive.

This record is very progressive! The musicians do not stuck for a long time on a specific pattern; I must admit that the pattern changes are made in a very subtle and refined way: never irrelevant! The drums can be very various too: from gentle cymbals arrangement to more elaborated patterns.

It is quite simple: I would easily give 5 stars to this almost masterpiece if it was not the outdated organ and the bland electric guitar mentioned above!

greenback | 4/5 |


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