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Marillion - Clutching At Straws CD (album) cover





4.14 | 1231 ratings

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4 stars CaS was a spring album for me (I bought Script in August, Fugazi in October, Childhood in January and Clutching – in March), but in the time of buying (and some further months) I was set to the deepest “winter” depression. My favourite band has betrayed me. God-like Fish and the company of his guys gave up writing epics and singing about jesters and broken hearts; instead of it we have almost Pop-album with only one worthy track (“White Russian”). I was shocked to know that CaS can be someone’s favourite MARILLION record. I almost cursed the day when I bought it. I utterly despised everything connected with it – lamey concept (I don’t use any alcohol, so I just can’t get the point wholly), cheesy sound, predictable melodies, tired performance…OK, three good songs after all (“White Russian”, “The Last Straw”, “Sugar Mice”). And gosh, they could have done these three opening songs as a 14-min long track…And boy, how many good songs were left aside! “Story from the Thin Wall” (later to become “Berlin”, my fave H-era song), “Beaujolais Day”, “Tux On”, “Voice from the Crowd”…Thank God, there are 6 nice songs here to enjoy (“White Russian”, “The Last Straw”, “Sugar Mice”, “The Short Straw” (14-min opener – 3 in 1), “Incommunicado” (excellent video!), “Slainte Mhath”), otherwise I’d already thrown it away…

And then I chanced to see FISH’s set on Loreley festival. He played CaS almost entirely (truly weak tracks were left aside – like “Just for the Record”, “Torch Song” and ”Going Under”), and he was telling the story of every song, he ushered us through them …and suddenly I just FELT it. I didn’t understand/like/get it, I FELT it. I felt how it is to be left alone, to be forgotten, to be misplaced…This 2 hours of live performance did what 3.5 years of home listening couldn’t managed: I liked CaS wholeheartedly. I still see the lacks and flaws of the album, but it’s no more “most hated” from Fish-era, it is already “least adored” :) And this is something. I believe I’m to explore this album further, and for now it costs 3.5 stars for me (it’s doubtful, that it will ever overtake first three, so let’s leave this rating) – not bad at all! Highly recommended!!!

Prog-jester | 4/5 |


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