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Marillion - Brave CD (album) cover

BRAVE

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.98 | 722 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars After a long time of listening Fish's MARILLION and considering them a "B" class Prog band, I caught the flavour and started to respect more an more the band, but when I had converted into a fan, "Fish" left and the ghosts of the past (GENESIS) came floating around them.

From the first instant I suspected they would follow the path of GENESIS, but still hoped they would have a couple good albums like the Charterhouse School boys when Peter left, but I was wrong, in MARILLION the change was almost radical.

After the very decent "Season's End", everything was downhill, not that the guys became bad musicians, because you can't change from one album to another, but the music of "Holidays in Eden" was an absolutely dull mixture of AOR, Rock and Adult Contemporary.

At that moment I decided not to buy more "MARILLION" releases, but read so many good reviews of "Brave", that had to give it a chance, something I still regret.

"Bridge" works as an overture, it's almost an instrumental (the vocals really don't count), a bit experimental, but totally lack of appeal for me, seems that they had a good idea to start the track, but never were able to develop it and it's frustrating to notice how they don't know where to go. But when you believe can't get worst, the new singer "Steve Hogarth's" with a touch of late Phil Collins joins the disorder that leads nowhere.

"Living with a Big Lie" starts soft and boring, with a long intro that invites to sleep, but suddenly they the music goes in crescendo and leads to a strong but anodyne explosion of strength, just to fall again into the initial oblivion and explode again, but without any coherence or structure. All what they had achieved during the "Fish" years seems lost.

"Run Away" offers nothing new, the same feeling of emptiness invades me...Are this guys trying to play Prog, Pop or AOR? I simply don't know, for God's sake, when Mark Kelly and Steve Rothery add some power, "Hogarth" enters and takes it back to that tedious mood, at least the instrumental breaks are quite decent.

"Goodbye to all That" begins as a dull and anodyne ballad boring to an extreme, but hey, a radical change surprised me, while "Kelly", Trewavas", Rothery" and "Mosley" give their best, "Rothery" doesn't ruin it, it was about time this guys gave some signs of life. The quality is there but it's obvious "MARILLION" needs a leader capable of taking them at least near to what they did in their early years and "Hogarth" isn't him.

Hey is it "Hogarth" or a "Bon Jovi" wannabe trying to make th8is guys Rock? For God's sake, what a lack of originality, if it wasn't for the excellent organ this would sound like the music of "Young Guns II" (Blaze of Glory) but without the charisma of Bon Jovi. Even when not original, it sounds good, but Hogarth manages to pull back the band towards that depressive mood that by this point tempts the listener to blow his brains, a mood that becomes even darker and sad with the forgettable "Hollow Man", not recommended for Prozac patients, they make Kurt Cobain sound as the image of optimism.

"Lap of Luxury" again reminds me of "Bon Jovi", I'm sure the song pleases the crowd in each concert, but it's one of the most in transcendental songs I ever heard by this once great band. At least "Paper Lies" shows a band frying to Rock (if there's not a bit of Prog, they really need to Rock), but again they become predictable and boring

Well, it's time for "Brave", so we can expect for the best song to take the title of the album...But what? another anaesthetic song with absolutely no changes or interesting moments, hardly ever head a more soporiferous piece of music.

Well at last one good song, "The Great Escape" is not a masterpiece but at least "Hogarth" manages to add drama and emotion as never before, but the best is the instrumentation, this is the band that used to play with "Derek William Dick", the guitar solo by "Rothery is breathtaking, "The Great Escape" is the only song that saves the album from one star rating, because "Made Again" is decent but not enough to boost a rating.

The copy that I bought recently has a second CD of bonus tracks, but as usual I review an album as it was released originally.....................Two stars is the higher I can go.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 2/5 |

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