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Marillion - Afraid of Sunlight  CD (album) cover

AFRAID OF SUNLIGHT

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.78 | 497 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album examines different people from the sports and entertainment world who had famously self-destructed. Steve Hogarth said that after the "Brave" tour and the lack of commercial success that album had he felt himself becoming unstitched as he put it. He said he felt like a..." lost soul, racked by self doubt and emotional turmoil." So the title of the album certainly takes on significance considering the subject matter doesn't it. The music itself has a darkness permeating through it (especially the last 5 songs) like the "Brave" album, while there are some real uplifting moments as on "Seasons End".

"Gazpacho" is about a boxer and it opens with someone (him?) speaking before we get this guitar melody that really reminds me of THE CURE. The bass is really prominant throughout this track. It ends with a spacey atmosphere. "Cannibal Surf Babe" is about Brian Wilson and has some BEACH BOYS moments musically. Some crazy synths in this one. I like the line "And I watched her as she walked across the coals." "Beautiful" is just an uplifting, emotional song with meaningful lyrics. Hard to put into words how good this song is. Hogarth has such a heart-breaking voice when he sings at times and the words match the vocals on this tune. "Afraid Of Sunrise" is another truly amazing song that is reserved and melancholic in nature.

"Out Of This World" is about speed king Donald Campell who died trying to set a speed record on water. They used the actual audio from Campbell's last moments just before the Bluebird disintegrated. The song itself is another laid back, sad song. Some beautiful soaring guitar as drums pound away. I love the vocals and piano 3 1/2 minutes in. Hogarth is incredible. I like the line "But only love will turn you round". "Afraid Of Sunlight" is much like "Afraid Of Sunrise" with some of the same lyrics with different music. Each section begins in a pastoral, calm way and builds to a full and uplifting sound. Nice. "Beyond You" is about Phil Spector and is in a similar style as the previous song the way it starts out sad and quiet rising to an emotional soundscape with passionate vocals. "King" is about Elvis Presley and has those crazy synths again and samples as guitar plays on. Hogarth starts to sing as organ joins in. Rothery lays down a blistering solo 3 minutes in.The song then becomes so quiet as it starts to rise from a whisper to such an emotional high. Hogarth is incredible ! Did I already mention that ? The song ends with an organ / drum melody.

This is my favourite Hogarth era disc. I find it hard not to agree with Hogarth's statement from 1998. "I think it's the best record we've made". 4.5 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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