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Marillion - Clutching At Straws CD (album) cover





4.14 | 1171 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Almost so good as Misplaced Childhood, Clutching at Straws is a great Fish's last album with Marillion...

The mood of the album is not so epic as their previous masterpiece, and not so commercial... Of course, there are some accesible songs, like Warm Wet Circles and Sugar Mice, but this album increases the ambiental passages, reducing the number of radio oriented tracks. The style of this environmental passages we can hear in songs like Going Under, is the Marillion's trademark in later album with Steve Howarth, like the masterpiece Brave, wich has the roots in the mellancholic passages from Misplaced Chlidhood, and specially from Clutching at Straws.

In this album the Fish's voice is also not so high pitched like before... He explores new sounds with his vocals, sounding very less strident, similar than in Misplaced, but even more mature. I specially love his singing in That Time of the Night and Sugar Mice... The vocal part after the solo is just incredible, the best Fish's has ever made vocally!

But the album is not so good as Misplaced Childhood anyway... This album was perfect from beginning to end, while Clutching at Straws has a great general quality, but not so outstanding. The very neo- progressive Just for the Record is dynamic, but not really remarkable. And so is the ending The Last Straw, not the best of the album. This tracks are not bad, just a bit under the rest, but they don't allow Clutching being a masterpiece in my humble opinion.

Best Tracks: Warm Wet Circles (perfect guitar intro for a catchy song, with sexy, original and very fishy lyrics...), That Time of the Night (I love the chorus), Incommunicado (pure neo-prog rock track, and a little Marillion's classic...), Sląinte Mhath (the best slow part of the album, with a great Rothery's guitars layers...) and of course, Sugar Mice (the best track of the album... I have goosegumps with the vocal part after the splendid guitar solo)

Conclusion: excellent last Fish's album with Marillion... And a great follow up to the masterpiece Misplaced Childhood. Not so good, but very close. The lyrics (and concept...) of the album is darker, and so is the music, making a marvellous mixture of neo-progressive hymns and touching ambiental passages. So this is a really recommended album for every Marillion, neo-prog or music's fan... And a splendid swampsong for an unforgettable and unrepeatable era: when Marillion's had this original and unique singer called fished, and together helped to creating a new progressive style with four marvellous albums, having Clutching at Straws the second place of the podium after Misplaced Childhood.

My rating: ****1/2

The Crow | 4/5 |


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