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Marillion - Happiness Is The Road CD (album) cover





3.35 | 641 ratings

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5 stars First , to start with two points - 1) thank you to those who tore this album apart in initial reviews and posts in various threads. I initially bought it through their digital download as a way of encouraging this distribution model. Once in my possession, I listen & re-listened to it to see if I could understand the backlash against this album and particularly Hogarth era Marillion; 2) I will not do a song by song review. As with many prog albums where atmosphere is part of the appeal (Floyd's WYWH, not to compare the two), I will rate this one on the whole, rather than the parts.

O.K., now that this is out of the way... In many positive reviews of the better Marillion albums since Fish's departure, the reviewer often states that the best starting point is to clear from your mind that you're going to listen to the album as a prog piece of music. I.E., just listen to the music without pre-conceived notions or expectations (thank you & bravo Gatot).

I listen to this album 3-4times a week since I've bought it. Call it melancholy prog, mood prog, pop prog, whatever. Once done, disc one and two, I am calmed. I feel my melancholy (sorry for the repetition) worked through and done with. I feel relaxed. I feel a mellow & peaceful joy.

A day or two later , the album calls to me again. As if to say, let me take you away for an hour and a bit. It has seemed like an oasis. It doesn't present me with complex chord structures to figure out, it doesn't show off virtuosic playing to analyze, it just feels like taking a deep breath and releasing it along with your stresses and cares. Happiness is the Road.

P.S. for those who did purchase the initial digital download, you should have received an email advising you of the availability of an upgraded mp3 - 256bit version , that you can download at no further charge. They are even humble enough to point out some bugs and I quote :

Now, I know what you are gonna say... Those screens at Music Glue look a bit unfinished! Sorry about that, we have put it together very quickly and it still needs a little work on the aesthetic side of things.

P.P.S. AS a comparison, I have also bought the new King's X, Cynic, AC/DC, Metallica albums recently. None have been played as much a Happiness is the Road. And this is from a big AC/DC and King's X fan.

Heck, toss in a few dollars and download it. Tell yourself you're supporting a promising new method of distribution which may bring greater financial support to musicians than the traditional (and dying) physical CD, with its' attendant money grubbing middlemen - the major record label and distributor. Then give it a listen or three while you're reading or posting something to a PA thread. Who knows , eh ?

debrewguy | 5/5 |


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