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Marillion - Misplaced Childhood CD (album) cover

MISPLACED CHILDHOOD

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

4.25 | 1522 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I normally try to come up with something witty on this line but - Wow. Just wow.

This is quite an amazing album. Now, I don't claim to be anything of an expert on the genre despite how many books/webpages/liner notes I've read, but one thing about all these things have something in common. They usually all talk about the saving grace that is Neo-Prog which emerged in the 80s to save our precious way of writing music from complete destruction. Of course when talking about the subgenre of neo prog you often hear, ''Marillion this, Marillion that'', but it's really not until you hear one of their classic record that you know exactly why so many people talk about them. In first hearing Misplaced Childhood I could immediately understand the attachment so many proggers had with these guys then and now. This is an emotional thrillride of a record full of all the pomp rock progressive arrangements that we're used to in the progressive realm while having enough of a modern edge to make it big in the world they were born in.

For those who (like myself) got into the genre late and have yet to approach this band I'll say a few words about the music, trying not to be redundant. To accurately sum up Marillion, take Gabriel-era Genesis and slam it into the 80s without having their poppy edge. Indeed, the first couple times I listened to this record I said to my friends, ''this is one of the best Genesis albums I've ever heard!''. Lead singer Fish has a very Gabriel-eque voice here and it lends well to the music because it's different enough to keep them from becoming total clones of their apparent parent band. The music is a bit different as well, with bass and guitars keeping prominence for the most part. The music dares to use synths and dares to be catchy as well, but when it does it's done with such an emotional edge that no one can point a finger and scream ''POP!'' at them before becoming doused in the subjects of the song.

Of the standouts of the record, there's quite a few. Pseudo Silk Kimono opens up with a strong yet subdued synth and introduces Fish's voice. Short but effective. This segues into (arguably) the best short song on the record, Kayliegh, which is a stunning piece. Emotional, catchy and gorgeous this is the kind of prog that people would never have expected. The lines ''Do you remember...'' are almost tear jerking in their delivery and make for a very pleasant listen. Childhood's End? is another good one, this one heavier than some of the other tunes, and along with Waterhole there's a few rockers to be had here. The bass line on Childhood's End? is especially upbeat and makes for a lovely four minutes.

The longer songs of course dominate. No one can deny how good it is to hear a song like Bitter Suite or Blind Curve coming out of 1985. Both divided into segments, they each play out like most prog (mini)epics do. A nice rising action makes for a satisfyingly heavy and emotional climax coming into the last minutes of the songs. Some very spine chilling moments to be had here.

This one is a hard one to top. An amazing effort that if you've skipped until this point you should consider trying to look it up. I (and many others) say that this one is completely essential, not to be missed. 5 Hearts of Lothian out of 5!

Queen By-Tor | 5/5 |

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