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Marillion - Script For A Jester's Tear CD (album) cover

SCRIPT FOR A JESTER'S TEAR

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

4.23 | 1985 ratings

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progman02
4 stars Hello! I'm new to Progarchives! I'm thankful for this website! This is my first review so I will do the very best I can.

First thing's first: What a band! Marillion, formed in 1979, arrived at their first official and professional lineup in 1982, a year before this beauty came out in 1983. For a debut prog album, this one made a critical statement, in my humble opinion. It really set the stage for the neo-prog subgenre along with IQ's "Tales from the Lush Attic," released also in 1983. The first thing that jumps out at me was their youthfulness and eagerness, which i really appreciate. If there is anyone out there that is a fan of early Genesis ('Nursery Cryme,' 'Foxtrot' and 'Selling England by the Pound' era), this is for you! I will say, however, Steve Rothery's guitar filled out so much space and was a little more aggressive than Steve Hackett, although both are very fine guitarists. I'm sure many have said this, but Fish's vocals are very reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's style.

Now, the album itself... Marillion were criticized for being Genesis soundalikes, but I believe they developed their own sound. Rothery's guitar shone and twinkled in songs like "Garden Party," Pete Trewavas' bass had this burst of low end that was very satisfying. It reminds me a lot of Chris Squire's sound from the early Yes era ('Fragile' and 'Close to the Edge'). Mick Pointer's drumming was interesting, and strong. And of course, Mark Kelly's virtuosity on keyboards is undeniable. Songs like "Forgotten Sons" had a very creative Scottish-esque jig after the first verse. His ability to fly across keyboards and play multiple keyboards at once is a great technique to watch, let alone listen to.

For me, "Chelsea Monday" had more of a new wave feel, which is fun, although it retained the characteristic uncertainty of musical direction that Neo-Prog can and often does have.

The title track was a great song for experimentation as well as "The Web," which I am particularly fond of. And of course the single "He Knows You Know" had a Genesis vibe, for me at least. It reminded me of "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" for some reason. I think it was the vocal layering in the chorus.

Overall, I would give this album a 4 star rating. It is a landmark in Neo-progressive rock music, they were still polishing their sound. As far as being a debut effort, I'm very pleased and impressed!

progman02 | 4/5 |

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