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Marillion - Clutching At Straws CD (album) cover

CLUTCHING AT STRAWS

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

4.13 | 931 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
5 stars Clutching At Straws will always be remembered as the last Fish-era album which is unfortunate considering all the excellent material this release has to offer!

I honestly think that this record is just as great as all of the band's earlier highlights if not even better. Unlike Script For A Jester's Tear, that overemphasized its lyrical content, or Fugazi, that gave us a weird mix of compositions that in the end didn't accumulate into a cohesive album, Clutching At Straws is a perfectly balanced album that brings out all the best qualities that existed on the previous three albums. Might it be the conceptual arc, strong lyrics or commercially-oriented escapades. This album offers it all!

The first three tracks form a loose suite and it's a great way to transition the music from Misplaced Childhood by giving the audiences just enough familiar ground to keep them interested in hearing the rest. The remainder of the album keeps up a dark and melancholic-like atmosphere all throughout the release. Tracks like Incommunicado and Slàinte Mhath do try to lighten up the mood but even they carry some connection to the overall theme of the album and don't, in any way, break the atmosphere set by the rest of the material.

I believe that moody atmosphere on Clutching At Straws is here for all the right reasons and the fact of Fish's departure actually adds to the strength of the of this album's style. It's true that this material took me slightly more time to appreciate compared to the band's previous works and that could probably explain why not as many people like this album in comparison to classics like Misplaced Childhood. It takes a few more revisits and a bit more patience until the music settles in but once it does the quality of this material becomes undeniable.

Just like Peter Gabriel before him, Fish left his band at the hight of their career and just like Genesis, Marillion managed to maintain their popularity for years to come. Although Clutching At Straws will always be overshadowed by his departure this album is an essential piece of Neo-Prog that has to be in every prog rock music collection!

***** star songs: Hotel Hobbies (3:35) Warm Wet Circles (4:25) That Time Of The Night (The Short Straw) (6:00) White Russian (6:27) Slàinte Mhath (4:45) Sugar Mice (5:46)

**** star songs: Going Under (2:47) Just For The Record (3:09) Incommunicado (5:16) Torch Song (4:04) The Last Straw (5:58)

Rune2000 | 5/5 |

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