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Marillion - Script For A Jester's Tear CD (album) cover





4.23 | 2008 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 3.5 stars really, but I have to round it up because of its historical importance as well as its quality when compared to other discs in this dark era of music.

Calling it the first neo-prog album is up for debate. While many bands in the eighties and some later on followed somewhat closely this marillion sound, you can also argue that post-Gabriel Genesis was the band that brought this genre and influenced Marillion to sound like the band we all are familiar with.

I do not think I should describe the album is too much detail as great reviewers already did, as the band is very well-known here, and because the first available sample is a summary of the band's sound. Just expect clear-crisp production, theatrical feel, lush and modern keyboards, thick bass, emphasis on melody and harmony, and various prog elements except for perhaps complexity .. phew, long list.

I think I could divide the album into two parts: the greater songs and the lesser songs. I really feel that three songs are clear standouts while there is not a single song that feels like the weakest/strongest song in the album.

The greater tracks: _Script for a Jester's Tear: It begins with just the vocals, piano is later added and after a couple of minutes a fantastic driving theme appears. The rest is quite dynamic, making this an epic in the vein of Musical Box.

_The Web: I have heard this song in some guitar compilation and I remember it flooring me. There is a lot to love here: the emotion in the vocals, the amazing keyboard work, the wonderful musical ideas, the coherence, the dynamics and that special guitar solo.

_Forgotten Sons: Quite an interesting track. While the introductory groove and vocals are easily my least favorite part of the album, it is short and the rest is quite wonderful. The highlight for me is the middle of the song. Around minute two, there's an incredibly groovy guitar riff with someone reciting a poem while Fish screams the lyrics at the same time. Later in the song, a similar thing happens, but more dramatic and with a haunting military drum line. Between them, there is a psychedelic instrumental section. The ending is a fitting melodramatic finale.

The lesser tracks include the melodic but somewhat AOR-ish "He Knows You Know", the whimsical and synth-driven Garden Party, and the somber "Chelsea Monday" which features atmospheric electric guitars. All of them are quite enjoyable once they grow on you, though they do not leave as much of an impact as the three other tracks I mentioned.

Recommended, an important album in the history of progressive rock that still manages to be quite enjoyable. For fans of melodic rock and people who don't demand ultra-progressive works. Also, for people who find lyrics an important aspect of music.

Zitro | 4/5 |


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