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Fish - 13th Star CD (album) cover





3.79 | 276 ratings

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4 stars I had given up on Fish a while ago until I went to one of his shows last year. He notably played Arc of the Curve and it quickly got into me just enough to have me say "ok, let's give the great man another try". Well, I never thought I'd love a new Fish album this much. Thirtheenth Star is a complete success from start to finish. Just stunning.

This is a very melodic, crossover prog album; thus those looking for something more technical or heavy could be disappointed. I personnally have a crush for melodic stuff when it's well done, so this one was made for me. It is also a very consistent, steady album, rather than a roller coaster with many highs and lows. The sound is ambient-oriented, quite atmospheric, with some edgy guitars here and there, and some more energetic segments, such as the first part of Manchmal. It also draws from a variety of genres such as celtic, folk or jazz, but not too much so as to avoid thinning down the album's very original spirit.

For me, it also took quite some time to grow, to the point I almost shelved it and thought it was another disappointment. Strangely, this one started to grow while I was listening to it while I was distracted at doing something else. At some point, it just grabbed me, I realized I was listening to something that I very much liked, and I cannot get tired of it now. Even my girlfriend, who is a classical musician but who is not usually much fond of prog, loves it !

Steve Vantsis appears as a genius here. Thirteenth Star is a joyfest of superb guitars and songwriting. It also features one of Fish's best vocal performances (now with a very mature, balanced and poised voice) as well as great backing vocals by Lorna Bannon, and comes with a pretty booklet and CD design.

Except perhaps for the grandiose finish, I cannot point at my favourite moments; I love the whole thing. Easy 4 stars, just short of being what I consider a "masterpiece". But just how much I appreciate this album would probably have many people award 5 stars.

Thirteenth Star is not to be missed and is a more than excellent addition to just about any collection.

SentimentalMercenary | 4/5 |


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