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Marillion - Holidays in Eden  CD (album) cover

HOLIDAYS IN EDEN

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.07 | 463 ratings

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Mike_Zed
3 stars A hare-brained pop effort by the once magnificent neo-prog quintet.

Marillion in search of a new direction. But unlike Genesis, which they are likely to be compared to, Marillion's hunt for fame and radio fortune seems to be pussyfooted, as if the band were uncertain whether to explore the new musical terrain. Of course, in the end, it occurred as a mere wrong call and, with their next album, the band members would revise their musical strategy and take up another approach (see "Brave").

Comparing HiE with SE shows a great dissimilarity between the two. Whereas SE tries (successfully) to continue the musical premises of its predecessors, "Holidays?" is somewhat a radical and ingenuous change of heart.

To be honest ? it is not that terrible a change. However, it cannot be explicated by the sheer call for exploring new sound-grounds. This cannot be even considered a transitional album, since you can clearly make out, that it's taking us nowhere (or to say it the redneck way: Them there songs ain't takin' nobody nowhere nohow!). In fact, there is naught to be dubbed absolutely fresh and all falls in the category of somewhat generic, decent but generic.

Rothery greets us with yet another of his first-rate but distinguishable solos during the first few minutes of "Splintering Heart", where Hogarth is vocally unbeatable. The title track is an up-beat, up-tempo rocker telling a supposedly funny story. Personally, I find the three-piece suite ("This Town / The Rake's Progress / 100 Nights") a little gem of the album - unprocessed and flawed a bit, but a gem nonetheless. I love the delayed guitar strumming in the middle. If I ever make a piece of music I am outright going to steal that melody.

Apart from a couple of outstanding songs, there are lots and lots of filler material on this album and that is, perhaps, its main blunder. And, while sometimes filler may be a decent instrumental or some surplus track from the past (likewise The Final Cut is entirely made out of amazing filler), more often than not it's a handful of pop ditties. And, among those, some old tracks, which come from the former group of a new band member (not that I'm pointing at anyone in particular). No One Can, Dry Land, Waiting To Happen and w all fall in the aforesaid category.

On the other hand, songs such as The Party and Splintering Heart are musical and lyrical predecessors to the tracks on "Brave", they even give out a similar ambience, but still aren't as consistent as the ones produced on Marouette grounds.

To conclude, the band managed, in all their recklessness, to conceal small pieces of bona fide art among Bauhaus chairs (metaphorically speaking).

Best Song: Splintering Heart(poignant and exciting, the way Tiggers like)

Worst Song: Waiting to Happen (this song seems as if it was going absolutely nowhere and for hours on end)

Mike_Zed | 3/5 |

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