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Marillion - Misplaced Childhood CD (album) cover

MISPLACED CHILDHOOD

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

4.24 | 1441 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Still I can't understand why MARILLION doesn't get the credit they deserve, yes it's true they have a strong GENESIS influence, but if you embrace a genre more than a decade after it's birth, most surely you will be influenced by one of the pioneers.

It's also truth that the selection of keyboards is not the best, specially because in 1982 they got rid of their Mellotron and used an emulator that didn't sounded remotely as good

But we must focus in the music, they were able to make excellent Prog in a decade that despised Prog and keep the genre alive, and "Misplaced Childhood" is one of the top albums of the decade.

"Misplaced Childhood" starts with "Pseudo Silk Kimono" and it's soft beautiful Synth intro, that leads to a section where Fish proves why he is one of the best vocalists in Prog history, only supported by Mark Kelly's keys, does an amazing job keeping the interest of the listener and preparing us for "Kayleigh" which enters after a brilliant transition between songs, now the work of the band is complete and at this point Rothery defines what would be the new role of the guitar, as peer of the keyboards and not relegated to a second plane, amazing song, despite the critics.

"Lavender" starts with an extremely beautiful piano intro and Fish's peculiar style as a story teller, everything sounds natural and coherent and Mosley with the powerful drums adds the energy required when the song needs a change. At this point Fish makes a radical change from storyteller to singer and does it with amazing proficiency, only 2:25 minutes but sometimes less is more, great song.

"Bitter Suite" starts with that mysterious keyboard intro that became MARILLION'S trademark in songs as "Assassin" that usually lead to a vibrant passage, in this case they choose a tense narration to create more suspense, and Fish singing in an almost howling style with his unique Scottish accent until Mosley again announces a radical change with a short drumming, the whole band joins the song and Rothery assumes his role of leader of the band, up to this point not a single weak moment.

"Heart of Lothian" sounds like a more ambitious work, carefully structured with an elaborate introduction, and a complex development with sudden and subtle changes sometimes lead by the vocals, in other cases by the soft piano, but around the second minute the radical change comes, a prepared explosion of power and musicality keeps the listener at the edge of the seat not knowing what to expect next, as usual Fish jumps from soft and gentle to aggressive and vibrant. As a note, if the changes in most Symphonic bands are sudden and surprising, MARILLION prepares each change, going step by step. Maybe they loose a bit of surprise but prove how carefully elaborate each song is.

"Waterhole (Expresso Bongo)" is something different, for the first time the band seem to set the beast free, if everything was gradually and carefully planned, now they allow themselves to attack the listener with everything the have, not a second of rest,

As in the previous track, "Lords of the Backstage" doesn't prepare the listener for anything, they start strong and even let the intensity of the track to grow as the seconds pass, as announcing an explosion of music, somehow in the vein of "Tubular Bells" but before the climax reaches, the short track ends leaving the conclusion for the dramatic "Blind Curve", in which Mark Kelly adds his peculiar organ combined with Rothery's guitar in a collaboration that reminds the one patented by Banks & Hackett, but different, more aggressive, with a vocalist that guides the band to an excellent guitar solo, radical changes, lush keyboards and a very solid interplay between Trewavas and Mosley make of this track one of the highest points of the album, 9 minutes of first class Progressive Rock.

"Childhood's End?" reminds me instantly of "And Then They Were Three", but if GENESIS would had sounded like this, I would kept following the band for some years instead of closing that chapter. Strong, perfectly structured, dramatic when required, everything is in it's place and sounds great.

The album ends with "White Feathers" an excellent and surprising finale.

Some people may believe I go too far with my rating, but if "Script for a Jester's Tear" was the birth of Neo Prog, "Misplaced Childhood" completely defined the sub-genre and raised the bar so high that the new bands would have to work very hard to reach this level. If this is not essential, I don't know the meaning of the word, so 5 stars is my rating.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |

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