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Marillion - Happiness Is The Road CD (album) cover





3.33 | 537 ratings

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3 stars After listening to Happiness is the Road a few times I've come to regard it as a very good album, much better than Somewhere Else. So far the reviews have really not been fair. I think people are still expecting Marillion to revert to the neo-prog Fish days, and that's not going to happen.

After a few years Marillion seems to have seemlessly absorbed other influences and managed to sound like no one else. Where you hear Marillion now you know it's Marillion, not a regressive neo-prog band playing the same stuff over and over again.

Musically they have matured so much since the Fish days; especially Steve Rothery. People have complained his guitar is somewhat absent on this album, but it isn't he's managed to create more sounds and textures and grown exponentially since the early days. On the first 5 Marillion albums the solos were great, but they all began to sound the same.

Musically this a much more varied album than Somewhere Else with Mark Kelly creating some great soundscapes and Pete Trewavas and Ian Mosely sounding much more alive. The songs take you on a journey; I find you really can't judge this album on the first listen which I feel many have on PA.

I find this album more complete than the last couple as there are no dreadful rockers like Most Toys, the Genie or the Damage. It really sounds like they crafted something this time out as each song seems extremely well thought out. The highlights for me are Happiness is the Road, ThunderFly, Planet Marzipan and Real Tears for Sale. Whatever is Wrong With You is their best single since the Marbles album and A State of Mind would and should be a hit.

I would give this album 5 stars if it were not for H's constant use of his falsetto, but he has learned he can not sing past his range, if he tries to scream or sing too loud he loses any tonality in his voice.

Overall an excellant album that rewards repeat listens:)

Wanorak | 3/5 |


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