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Marillion - Brave CD (album) cover





3.97 | 1001 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The band was determined not to make another commercial record like their last one "Holidays In Eden". I would say they were very successful in accomplishing that goal.This is a concept album that was built around a news clip that Hogarth heard on the radio, about a girl who was wandering around on a bridge, not able (or willing) to give her name to police.This story was spread across the news in hopes a relative or friend would recognize her and come forward. Hogarth was touched deeply by this and was moved to make up a story about what this girls life must have been like to bring her to this place. It would be a story of her being abused at home leading to her running away and becoming a homeless person. So yes, this is a dark and moody record for the most part.

"Bridge" opens with the sounds of water splashing below, along with eerie and spacey sounds.The vocals and synths standout on this tune. "Living With the Big Lie" continues in the same mood until 2 minutes in when the song blossoms to a full sound. Rothery shines as this contrast continues. "Runaway" has some sampling but Hogarth's vocals are the focus. What a beautiful solo from Rothery as Hogarth becomes quite passionate. "Goodbye To All That" is one of the better songs on this record. I like the way it builds.Tempo changes and fantastic drumming, Rothery then tears it up. It becomes very atmospheric 6 1/2 minutes in but not for long as tempo and mood changes continue. "Hard As Love" is uptempo for the most part. It doesn't do a lot for me for some reason though. "The Hollow Man" has fragile vocals and piano in the beginning and it developes from there.

"Alone Again Into the Lap Of Luxury" is a good song with some nice guitar late. "Paper Lies" for me doesn't cut it at all. Now up to this point in the record I would say it would be a 3 star rating, good but nothing to write home about. This all changes with the last three songs. Almost 20 minutes of amazing music, especially in light of the concept of this album. Lets just say it is worth the wait to get here, and you will be writing home. "Brave" opens with uillean pipes giving it a Celtic feel as vocals and synths follow. The instrumental melody that comes next sounds cool. "The Great Escape" is in my opinion the best song on the record. It's so powerful and emotional. Hogarth's vocals just before the 2 minute mark are the highlight of the album. Soaring guitar as well. "Made Again" features acoustic guitar, piano and fragile vocals for 2 minutes when it becomes quite uplifting with strummed guitar.

Well we certainly have 3 very different albums to start the Hogarth era of MARILLION off don't we. It's hard for me to say this is better than "Seasons End" only because I have such a soft place in my heart for that one. So I won't say it.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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