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Marillion - Clutching At Straws CD (album) cover

CLUTCHING AT STRAWS

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

4.13 | 913 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The last studio album from Marillion with Fish was Clutching at Straws. This is a really good album even though the tensions between Fish and the rest of the band were building at this point. Fish commitment to Marillion was not as dedicated anymore according to the other members. I read an interview with Mark Kelly where he said that the other members including himself were pissed of at Fish during the recording of Clutching at Straws, as they didnīt feel Fish gave enough. The lyrics to Incommunicado were allegebly finished in a cap on his way to the studio to record the vocals for that song, which seems almost too incredible to be true considering the high level of expression. Well, after the tour for Clutching at Straws Fish left ( got the kick ?) Marillion to pursue a solo career and Marillion would never be the same again. Despite all the internal trouble in the band Marillion managed to make another masterpiece of prog rock with Clutching at Straws IMO.

The compositions have become more intricate and full than on previous albums and there are some really wonderfull songs on the album. The three first songs seque into each other and has a common theme about abuse. This is a fantastic trio of songs which I enjoy every time I listen to Clutching at Straws, what a great opening.

Going Under is not on the original LP, but I am happy that it made it unto the CD version because it is a very good and emotional song, even though it is not the best here.

Just for the Record is another classic song about abuse. Itīs about the million different excuses alcoholics use not to put the bottle down. Note the great keyboard play in this song. This is a favorite of mine.

White Russian is a great song too. Great guitar work and some nice cryptic lyrics from Fish.

Incommunicado was the hit from this album, but donīt worry itīs a really great song, and with the aforementioned story about the creation of the lyrics it also has a funny story. Note the great keyboard playing.

Torch Song And Slāinte Mhath are also great songs. Slāinte Mhath were often used on the following tour to start the shows. Great prog rock songs.

Sugar mice is another favorite of mine. Great guitar play and some clever melancholic lyrics from Fish about a lost soul. Social realism as seen by Fish. One of the best Marillion songs ever. Note the beautiful guitar work and the great solo.

The last straw is not a favorite of mine, and itīs too bad Fish era Marillion should end with one of the weakest songs written in that period. Of course as weīre speaking about Fish era Marillion a weak song is not the same as a bad song when weīre talking prog rock in general. The Last Straw is still much better than most other prog rock songs by other bands on the scene. In the context of Marillion this is a weak song though.

Clutching at Straws is a prog rock masterpiece and deserves 5 stars for that even though the last song isnīt as good as the others. Itīs a minor flaw though. This is the kind of album I never get tired of and a great studio testimony to Fish era Marillion. I have rated every one of the first four studio albums from Marillion 5 stars, as I think these four albums are some of the greatest albums ever made. Fish era Marillion have moved me in a way very few bands have been able to. Thank you for the wonderful experiences.

UMUR | 5/5 |

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