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Marillion - This Strange Engine CD (album) cover





3.41 | 551 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars "This Strange Engine" is a strange album indeed. I just find it very inconsistant with some really good songs like the title track , "80 Days" , "Estonia" and "An Accidental Man" while "Memory Of Water" and "Hope For The Future" are almost bad.

The record opens with the poppy "A Man Of A Thousand Faces" which isn't too bad with it's catchy chorus and the spacey soundscape 4 1/2 minutes in.There is a choir and some good piano and organ work as well. "One Fine Day" is a mellow tune with reserved vocals and piano leading the way. So after two average tunes we get a good one in "80 Days". I really like the chorus and the mood of this song, very pleasant. "Estonia" is an incredible song ! It is very atmospheric for almost 2 minutes until the song picks up a little with guest Tim Perkins playing the Balalaika at this point. This passage feels like a gentle breeze to me.The contrast continues. "Memory Of Water" is Hogarth singing solo until we hear some strings. This one doesn't work for me at all.

"An Accidental Man" does work for me a lot. I like the fact that Rothery gets to do his thing finally. The guitar is fantastic on this track and it brings to mind Alex Lifeson at times. This song has a good beat with some great sounding organ 4 minutes in. "Hope For The Future" at least makes me smile when I think of it. It's the caribbean rhythm and sounds that makes me say "What were they thinking ?" There is some trumpet on this track as well. The final track is the epic at over 15 minutes in length.This song has it all including a sax solo 9 minutes in as well as mood and tempo changes throughout. My favourite passage is the ending of the song 15 minutes in that is so intense after building up to that moment.

Well this has enough great music on it to lift it to a 3 star rating. It just could have been so much better.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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