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Marillion - Misplaced Childhood CD (album) cover

MISPLACED CHILDHOOD

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

4.24 | 1447 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
5 stars My 150th Review on ProgArchives!

For my 150th review here at ProgArchives, I've wanted to discuss an album that is really special to me. After some tough decision making, I've decided that it was finally time to review one of my all-time favorite albums - Marillion's Misplaced Childhood. I have been holding off this review for a long time, for an almost unexplainable reason. I've been afraid that after I put my own critical spin on such a special album that it might loose a little bit of its luster. Misplaced Childhood has been one of those albums that has really shaped my life recently. I have been listening to this album on a nearly twice-a-day basis for well over two months, memorizing every word and note until it is engraved into my head. Words can't describe how fantastic I think this album is, but I'll try my best to explain how awesome Misplaced Childhood is throughout this review. But if you really want to know how good this album is, just go out and buy it - you won't be disappointed.

After a slight stumble with Fugazi, Marillion comes back stronger than ever with this 1985 masterpiece. On Misplaced Childhood we here a much more mature and developed band. The production is better, the compositions are fantastic, and the band sounds even better on their respective instruments. When you add on the beautiful lyrics from Fish, a well-crafted concept, and some of the most heartfelt music on the face of the earth, it really makes for a fantastic album.

I'm usually a sucker for concept albums, so that does increase my enjoyment of Misplaced Childhood quite a bit. This is an extremely well-crafted concept, and should set an example for other bands. It reuses just enough musical and lyrical themes to give the listener a great emotional impact without ever becoming repetitive or derivative. I just can't praise the seamless flow of this album enough. All of the songs flawlessly flow from each other. I wouldn't have the song order any other way.

The musicianship is fantastic, as we're always used to from Marillion. Of course, Fish takes center stage on this album with his emotional lyrics and fantastic vocals, but the other four musicians have no shortage of great material on Misplaced Childhood. Steve Rothery plays some of his finest solos ever on this album. He really is a fantastic guitarist and suits the mood of the album perfectly. Mark Kelly's lush and melodic keyboards set the mood of the album perfectly. He doesn't have as many solos as Steve Rothery, but he sets a fantastic rhythm (and sometimes lead) section. Ian Mosley's drumming has gotten much better since Fugazi. I found his drumming a little uninteresting on the previous album, but that isn't at all the case here. He does a great job throughout the entire course of the album. Pete Trewavas does a great job as well. That man really knows how to play the bass, and he shows that he's the master throughout all of Misplaced Childhood. None of the musicians ever "shred" or show off, but they don't need to. Marillion is made up of top-notch musicians, and you can tell that from their distinct melodic style.

The production is unquestionably from the 80's. The synthesizers, electronic drum sound, and guitar tones may turn some people off, but I really enjoy it. I honestly love the production of 80's neo-prog albums like this, and I think it gives Misplaced Childhood some of its charm.

This album contains 10 songs, all of which are fantastic and worth hearing. My favorites are Kayleigh, Heart of Lothian, Lords of the Backstage, Blind Curve, and Childhood's End. I realize that I've mentioned half of the songs, but they are all so fantastic that I can't narrow it down any more. Keep in mind that all of the songs segue into each other, and are meant to be listened to together. My only complaint with this entire album is the closing track, White Feather. It's a good song, but I don't think it's a great way to end such a fantastic album. If it were placed somewhere in the middle of the album I would be fine with it, but it isn't as strong of a closer as I would've liked it to be. It's a minor complaint in the big picture, however. This is a fantastic album, and one mediocre track can't change that.

Conclusion:

Misplaced Childhood is a masterpiece of progressive rock, and is one of my all time favorite albums. I can't stop praising this fantastic album, and I don't think I ever will. You aren't a true prog fan until you own Misplaced Childhood, so do yourself some justice and go out and buy it now. Of course my rating will be 5 stars for this absolutely essential progressive rock album. This is one of the defining albums in the genre.

5 stars.

J-Man | 5/5 |

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