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Marillion - Script for a Jester's Tear CD (album) cover





4.24 | 2108 ratings

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3 stars I remember buying this when it was brand new and listening to it with a delight which approached ecstasy, for here we had a worthy heir to Genesis, or so I thought at the time. But time has been less kind to this than the music which inspired it. Marillion are blander and more metronomic than their heroes, less given to delicacy and instrumental colours. The deadening robotic drumming which has blighted music since the 80s is much in evidence, as it is formulaic 'crying' guitar in the background. If it cannot be compared in scope, originality or inventiveness to the high watermark of the genre of a decade previously, it must be viewed within the context of the time, when the old school were devoting themselves to getting MTV approval. All prog fans must be grateful to Marillion and this album in particular, in keeping alight the dim flame of progressive music during the dark days of the early 80s. By comparison to the work being done by the established prog bands at the time, this stands a minor masterpiece.

The opening of the title track, the unaccompanied half cry of "for here I am once more " is still an inspired gesture. Fish immediately announces himself as a vocal dramatist in the vein of Peter Gabriel. Fish does produce a memorable half-shrieking performance on the whole album, if his lyrics are sometimes self-consciously dark and fall into the trap of trying to cram too many words into one sentence.

My favourite track is probably "Garden Party" which I remember always produced a good reaction when played live. Other tracks are worthwhile but not particularly varied.

Cheesehoven | 3/5 |


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