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Marillion - F E A R (F*** Everyone And Run) CD (album) cover

F E A R (F*** EVERYONE AND RUN)

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.66 | 364 ratings

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SteveG
5 stars F E A R is a natural follow up to Sounds That Can't be Made from 2012, in that Steve Hogarth's lament for Palestine titled Gaza seems to be part of the lyrical blueprint for F E A R's topically charged songs. Where STCBM started off strong and then veered into more upbeat songs like the catchy title track, before petering out at the album's conclusion. F E A R maintains it's lyrical and musical tone up to the very end. This is without a doubt Steve Hogarth's baby with ambient musical backing for his singing before the rest of the band turn loose on wonderfully complex, albeit slow burning musical bridges, that show Steve Rothery's guitar leads still conveying amazing melodic drama and angst, with Mark Kelly adding sublime keyboard counterpoints or counter melodies that complement Rothery to a T. The sound mix on F E A R is musically at a lower volume which allow Hogarth's lyrics to clearly be heard and enunciated. This puts Pete Trawavas' bass and Ian Mosely's drums more in the background, even though both play as well as ever. Hogarth's more naked sounding vocals express a myriad of emotions with some slight straining present at times. Close microphone placement, louder amplification, and age most likely being the cause, but this adds authenticity to the music. Don't worry, H still sounds commanding, powerful and wonderfully in tune on some the most demanding singing that these songs require.

As other's have noted, the songs on F E A R are very much a slow burning affair, but are composed and performed with love and care as each note, beat, and melody seems to have been meticulously picked out for maximum effect. But on to the songs.

Multi track lead off song Eldorado finds H opining on the mankind's love of money which he comes back to in the album's stellar finale suite The New Kings. Greed and corruption may seem old topics by now, but Marillion's expressions of dismay in prog music terms is both new and musically satisfying.

Title track F E A R conjures musical and lyrical invocations for us to finally putting down our arms and live a decent existence. Again, it's Hogarth's impassioned vocals that sell the song. He does the same on the New Kings with a slow falsetto singing the chorus "f**k everone and run" without sounding the least bit clichéd or pretentious.

The high point of the album for me is the second multi suite song entitled the Leavers which starts out with sublime xylophone like keys from Kelly and ends in one of those amazingly cathartic guitar solos by Rothery. Hogarth sings of his need to constantly be on the road and the surprising confession that he, the author of these confessional lyrics, wears a mask around his loved ones at home and can't communicate with them, constantly waiting for that phone call "that's takes me away." An absolutely sublime track and will probably be a new Marillion concert staple.

The only track that sounds forced to me is White Paper with it's more abstract lyrics. It is another slow burning track and frankly, IMO, is album filler for the age of double vinyl album running time.

The conclusion: F E A R is the Marillion album that I have been waiting for after the remarkable Sounds That Can't Be Made. If it's the album you have been waiting for, then you will be quite pleased with F E A R. If you're expecting another Brave or Marbles, you might be disappointed. But only a magnificent prog band that constantly changes or evolves can give us that option.

SteveG | 5/5 |

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