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Marillion - Clutching At Straws CD (album) cover





4.14 | 1224 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars My first try with neo-prog wasn't exactly met with success; I expected a lot from IQ's THE WAKE, and that album never lived up to my expectations. I figured that the next neo band I should try would be Marillion, but CLUTCHING AT STRAWS wasn't the Marillion album I wanted to start with, but an inexpensive price tag at a random music store was too much to resist. So, what has become of try #2 into the neo-prog world?

Well, CLUTCHING AT STRAWS didn't exactly live up to my expectations, but I really never set my expectations high for this album, no offense meant. One thing I can say is that Fish's voice is a force to be reckoned with. While his timbre doesn't differ much from Phil Collins here, Fish really belts out everything as if his life depended on it, particularly on ''White Russian'' (a song I have lots of praise for). The instrumentation is well thought out; while nobody really sticks out, nobody tries to outdo themselves or overdo anything. A special kudos is sent to Steve Rothery's crystal-like guitar work that gives this thing an 80's sound but in a good way.

At best, this is a very carefully constructed pop album with lots of prog overtones e.g. the overlying concept about some poor sap named Torch. The one major problem with this album is that other than ''White Russian'', there really isn't a memorable song here. ''Incommunicado'' and ''Just for the Record'' have nice moments as well, but CLUTCHING AT STRAWS doesn't have much that really grips me. It takes too long to get started and finishes on a whimper.

It's not too bad, but fails to really stick out amongst the sea of prog I've heard thus far.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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