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Marillion - Script for a Jester's Tear CD (album) cover





4.25 | 2223 ratings

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4 stars Marillion is one of the most influential and most well-known of the neo-prog groups. They are also one of the most original, being one of the bands at the forefront of the genre, and are widely considered to be the best.

The album starts with its title track, a melodramatic song about lost love, with soaring guitar solos, twiddly keyboard parts, and too many changes in dynamics to even try and count. That description doesn't do the song justice though, the piece is truly a beautiful work of art. The instrumental work (think Genesis-meets-Rush-meets-Pink Floyd) is superb, and Fish's highly emotive vocals (think Peter Gabriel-meets-Peter Hammill) suit the dramatic lyrics perfectly. He makes an excellent frontman. The next song, He Knows, You Know, is more straight-forward song. This one deals with drug addiction, with dark imagery scattered everywhere. Fish once again puts his dramatic voice to good use, making vast dynamic and range jumps, often doing so mid-word. there is an instrumental break in the middle where Rothery and Kelly have some very nice interplay. The next song, The Web, is another long progressive piece, more similar to Script for a Jester's Tear than to He Knows, You Know. The lyrics are once again angsty, but less focused on an obvious topic, and focus more on being poetic than telling a clear story. There are, however, a few more references to lost love and drug abuse. His voice bounces around in dynamics more than ever before here, and Rothery and Kelly both do stunning solos. Garden Party and Chelsea Monday aren't as good, but the final song on the album is amazing. Forgotten Sons starts off sounding more straightforward, but quickly launches into more changes in mood and theme in the space of 6 minutes than Script for a Jester's Tear covered in a little over 8 minutes. Included is a twisted remake of the Lord's Prayer and spoken-word interludes. It makes a powerful conclusion to a great album.

Admittedly, it's not for everyone. The angst level of the lyrics could easily be called emo (only in mentality, not music style), and if you aren't into such dark and highly dramatized music then you probably won't be able to appreciate it. But if you can get into that kind of thing, this album is for you. Marillion would only do two or three other albums that were equals to this one. (If you can get your hands of the bonus tracks, do so. It's worth it just for the epic Grendel.)

MrEdifus | 4/5 |


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