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Marillion - Seasons End CD (album) cover

SEASONS END

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.76 | 629 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars When Fish left the band some magazines wrote that Marillion were disbanded so I've been surprised to see a new release with a new singer. I went immediately to a shop and bought the album. I didn't know what to expect, and effectively it didn't convince me totally.

The slow instrumental crescendo of the first track, "The King of Sunset Town" was already sounding "different", even before the first touch of Steve Hogarth's voice. Not bad until the first guitar solo. After it, a guitar harping came and the high pitched voice of Steve Hogarth was a shock. Nothing to do with Fish, even if good. Something to make the ears more used. The song is an average neo-prog song, also seen with today's eyes. Too few to decide if I like Hogarth or not. I liked the song actually, and I still like it, but the first impact was light- years beyond any album of the Fish era.

Then it came "Easter". The song, of course. Now it was clear that Marillion were a totally different band. There's nothing of the old band in this song apart of the keyboard part followed by the guitar solo. They are more melodic respect to the Fish age. The odd signatures and the Genesis flavour are gone.

"The Uninvited guest" was the album's single, the first videoclip featuring Hogarth. To my ears it sounded like an attempt to give continuity to the band. What's the real difference between this song and Garden Party?

The title track starts with a guitar harping similar to "Three Boats Down". Slow and based on minor chords. The guitar solo is at the level of Rothary's best but it's too short. I find this song too pop-oriented. The coda lasts about half of the whole track so I don't know if it can be called a coda even when Hogarth sings the last stanza once more.

"Holloway Girl" is in line with the previous albums from a musical point of view, but it looks like it was written thinking to Fish. Hogarth is a good singer. I don't like much when he picks the highest notes with the throat, but he's not bad. The problem with this album is that Marillion are not completely Fish-independent in the songwriting, even if Hogarth is co- author or author.

"Berlin" is very similar to "Season's End" in the structure and in the chords. Phil Todd's sax is unusual. I think it's the first time for a sax in a Marillion album. Good performance anyway. It's th efirst song in the album on which the voice of Hogarth sounds approrpriate. Also in the "throat" finale.

"After Me" wasn't on the vinyl edition so I can't say anything of this song. I'm conservative, at the end of the 80s I still hadn't purchased a CD reader.

Now comes the hit single....I'mm not sure but I suppose then "Hooks on You" was a flop. It failed to conquer Top of the Pops as previously done by "Kayleigh" or "Incommunicado". I remember it as opener of the Alpine ski world cup runs. The initial guitar riff was exceptional in commenting the images of Stenmark, Girardelli, Tomba and Zurbriggen.

"The Space" is a nice song that doesn't add much to the album. I have to say that I had the possibility to see them live one month before Fish and I've been impressed by a great Hogarth's performance. This album represents a transition between the two singers, too different to sing the same things so I can't rate it highly, but this doesn't mean that Hogarth is poor. After all those years this is an album that I still spin up sometimes. A thing that I don't do with the most celebrated "Script...". It was a 3-stars waiting for the following album, actually. I keep this rating.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |

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