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Marillion - Fugazi CD (album) cover





3.97 | 1281 ratings

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4 stars Oh, I can't begin to tell you how relieved I was when this album came out. After the undercooked, half-realised 'Script For A Jester's Tear', this album got me into MARILLION. Perhaps 'Script' was too difficult for me (though that doesn't explain my love of VDGG or GENTLE GIANT, for example). I don't know. Individual musical taste is impossible to explain rationally.

To me, the first two minutes of 'Assassing' completely blow away anything on their debut album. FISH has wound his voice back a notch, so it doesn't drag across your back like a cat-o'-nine-tales, smothering everything else. ROTHERY plays wonderfully emotional guitar solos. I think the two are linked: the band realised FISH'S voice couldn't communicate the range of emotions they wanted, so the other instruments pick up the slack. (Incidentally, that's why FISH talks a lot on subsequent albums: his limited voice has difficulty expressing anything but forced petulance.) The rhythm section now works together, and adds to the mix. 'Assassing' is, quite simply, superb.

There's not a weak song here. 'Punch and Judy' is risibly called 'poppish' by those who may know a great deal about progressive music but perhaps not quite so much about pop - just because it's short doesn't mean it's commerical. And I don't see the label as perjorative, anyway. 'Jigsaw' lifts the album a notch, and the next two songs, while not stellar, keep it there, until the finale, one of the truly great moments in progressive history. 'Fugazi', the title track, is a wonderful way to finish the album - particularly the last three minutes. Where are the prophets, indeed.

Though not having quite the polish or continuity of 'Misplaced Childhood', 'Fugazi' nevertheless has enough compelling moments to be well worth adding to your collection.

russellk | 4/5 |


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