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Marillion - F E A R (F*** Everyone And Run) CD (album) cover





3.77 | 444 ratings

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3 stars Progressive rock is a genre mostly appriciated by intellectual teens and adults. Within the progressive genre some bands are more adult oriented than others. On the top of the pyramid of adultness there's Marillion in its present day form. I would have never approached an album like this, had I not found the 2LP version as a bargain (slightly cut front cover). I'm actually glad that I did.

Marillion is of course the original neo-progressive group. On this album the band displays some traces of those early days, but mostly sounds like an art-rock group with a focus on ethereal sound designs - not unlike some quieter post-rock groups. Before I forget, the production is top-notch. Perfect high-fi listening.

Whereas the early work of the band could be quite bold and direct, here everything is very subtle and sensitive. Almost as if written for a wellness center. Singer Steve Hogarth - like it or not - is one of the most gifted singers of the progressive genre. He's also a bit drenched in his own believe of making something deeply profound - which I would only count as a given on this album's best titles. The 'El Dorado' suite (which makes up side one of the vinyl) is such a track, with the "I'm becoming harder to live with" outburst as great dark finale.

The follow-up track 'Living in Fear' compares unfavorably, being a stretched symphonic poprock song . 'White Paper' is a stronger atmospheric piano ballad with a dramatic movie-like atmosphere, which develops into a nice melodic art-rock song. Hogarth launches a lot of political sensitivities and images on this album in an effort to ground the otherwise otherworldly music, I guess. After two sides of vinyl I keep wondering when the often praised guitarist Steve Rothery will strike, but his efforts are all intertwined with the subtlety of the collective effort. His use of the professional electric guitar pallet of sounds is however comforting to the ears. The third side of the vinyl is reserved for the 'The Leavers'; a succession of dreamy parts that has little new to introduce (again some nice atmospheric piano) and fails to reach a rewarding finale. A bit of drag actually, but quite beautiful as musical wallpaper.

On side four 'The New Kings' the band has some of its more imaginative song-writing. I imagine this to be the most rewarding 'epic' for both fans and newcomers. Together with that fine opener 'El Dorado'. Since they make up for side one and four, I can easily customize this album to my liking.

In the end I wouldn't know who to recommend this album to, other than fans of Marillion. The bands has developed its eighties influences (both progressive, symphonic and pop) into something very professional and well executed - but not per se interesting for listeners of exciting, adventurous or imaginative progrock. Hence the rating.

friso | 3/5 |


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