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Marillion - Fugazi CD (album) cover

FUGAZI

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.97 | 934 ratings

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The SaidRemark
4 stars Better than "Script".

Where as "Script for a Jester's Tear" came off too bland and tepid for prog, "Fugazi" is a more powerful and angry effort, in which Fish takes center stage and really carries the band to greater heights. Fish has abandoned the weird pseudo-Renaissance-culture-fascination persona he seemed to have on the prior album, and here he comes off as the gritty street poet he truly is. This album is a real grower (at least it was for me), and does not have the initial appeal of "Script". However, after repeated spins, this disc will yield more exciting results.

From from the get-go, "Assassing," shows a Marillion with twice the energy, much to the credit of the new drummer, Ian Mosely. Though the band does not give him as much space as he could definitely fill, he makes the music come alive with his drumming. On "Assassing," the band mixes elements of prog and funk, and features a great double-tracked guitar solo, as well as some stellar synth work. Fish's lyrics are better than they have ever been, he finally lives up to the title "poet" that he works under.

"Punch and Judy" is probably the weakest track here (except for "She Chameleon"), clearly modeled for radio play. Almost silly sounding with its humorous lyrics about the troubles of married life, this song is still quality Marillion, even if it lacks the intensity of their standard work. Good, but non-essential. However, it is followed up with the terrific "Jigsaw" - Marillion at their most heart felt. From Mark Kelly's excellent keyboard tone of the cutesy riff in the verse, to the killer vocal hook, "Stand Straight!", this song is a highlight. Straight ahead song writing at it's best.

The band follows up this easy song with the more inaccessible "Emerald Lies." It took me many spins to understand this song, which fuses bizarre rhythms, quiet theatrical guitar/vocal interplay, metallic chugging bass riffs, Fish howling his lungs out, and a tremendously epic outro. All of this is forced within a 5 minute song, and though confusing the first few times through, I must concede that it is a good song.

"She Chameleon" is a big blank spot on the album. Slower than Floyd, with a highly repetitive organ riff, tepid drumming with reminds me of their boring first drummer, and an unneeded and drawn out painful guitar solo which doesn't do much, this song is like a black hole on the album. If it weren't for the faster Moog solo of Kelly's, this song would drag the album down to 3 stars. There is simply too much empty space here to brood.

Fortunately, the album finishes with two awesome dark mini-epics, "Incubus" and "Fugazi". The former is an homage to a nightmare that Fish experienced repeatedly, and the latter is a rant against all types of social inequity, in and general, problems with the world. I have voiced my complaints about Marillion's longer songs on "Script for a Jester's Tear," but here they are already much more well-conceived. Including far fewer seemingly random parts and linking passages with better transitions, these two songs incorporate all the greatest aspects of Marillion's early career: dynamic lyrics, perfectly orchestrated guitar solos, lush keyboards, and a rock solid rhythm section.

This album has a far more present personality and soul than its predecessor, with a noticeable improvement on every member's part, and all around better song writing. There are several weak spots, but they are far overshadowed by the majesty of the remainder of the material. However, this album is still Marillion "finding themselves," and the future will show even more progression for these Neo-prog pioneers.

The SaidRemark | 4/5 |

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