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Marillion - Afraid Of Sunlight CD (album) cover





3.77 | 654 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "How long can you stand? Living under the lens. The kiss of success The ensuing, all consuming, mess ." - Marillion "King"

Thanks God for showing me the hill and helping me widen my mind to fully enjoy the music of Marillion regardless who is the singer. Oh yes, the fact is that the band has already in my life since their "So here I am once more" thing was first released in 1983 and since then they had influenced me in my personal as well as professional life. Yes, they are my hero. Their music has sparked the lights and energy for my day-to-day activities. Credits should also go to my prog mates George Surjopurnomo and Adler Siahaan (Icann). Why? George helped open the gate in my mind in accepting any forms of music marillion is offering. I know that George was a die-hard fan of early Marillion and he is also member of the Front-Row Club (Marillion fans club). He simply said to me (during our prog dinner in Bakmi Kuningan two years ago, approx.) : "Put it this way, Gatot. We have already been "in" with their music. So, why not stay? Let's support the band.". Icann gave me advise: "Don't let your ego drive the musicians, let the musicians' ego drive you and enjoy the music!". What a wise word man!

So, let's talk our business now: to review this album. I purchased this CD sometime in 2000 because there was a small CD store that was about to close. So they put their CDs on sale. I paid only USD 6 for the single CD version. It was just for memorabilia for me because I did not open the plastic cover for a long time. I started enjoying their music by a new paradigm: just enjoy the music and don' compare it with others first. How do I feel. It's a good stuff. Hogarth's singing is terrific for this kind of music. Sometime in 2003, my prog-mate Rikon advised me that I should by the remaster version with 2 CD and 24-bit recording technology because there is an excellent track "Mirages" at disc two. I did. So my review is based on the remaster version.

The Album

The album opener "Gazpacho" (7:28) is medium tempo music with a straight forward structure. The combination of guitar work and inventive bass lines is excellent. This opening part is, I think, Pete Trewavas and Hogarth territory. Oh yes, Hogarth's voice is powerful here. Similarity-wise, this track is comparable with IQ music only that the vocal timbre between Hogarth and Peter Nicholls is really different. Title wise, this track has inspired the name of Marillion-influenced band from Norway: GAZPACHO. The other noticeable work is Ian Mosley dynamic drumming and symphonic keyboard work by Mark Kelly. "Cannibal Surf Babe" (5:46) is a happier track in terms of tempo compared to opening track. Again, Mr. Trewavas plays his bass guitar excellently here combined with keyboard. The song flows smoothly with relatively no tempo changes or with little variations. But it's still a good track.

"Beautiful" (5:13) is a very melancholic tune with touchy melody in a tempo which much slower than previous two tracks. The opening simple guitar work and its accompanying music sets an excellent entrance of Hogarth voice: "Everybody knows we live in a world where they give bad names to beautiful things .". Oh man . what a great entry here! The song moves nicely with excellent melody and the climax is when the lyrical part says "And the leaves turn from red to brown .". The next track "Afraid of Sunrise" (5:02) is to me like a ballad with an acoustic guitar based music in an unplugged style. The guitar and keyboard work in the middle of the track is very good. "Out of This World" (7:55) is a mellow track with an excellent melody. Hogarth seems really enjoy singing this track because it sounds like he sings through his heart. I also enjoy the guitar solo by Steve Rothery - it's so stunning!

"Afraid of Sunlight" (6:50) is in the same vein with the other "Afraid" but it's a bit different and again, I can see the voice quality delivered by Mr. Hogarth. "Beyond You" (6:11) continues the music in similar style. Individually, it's a good song, but as this track is positioned here - I can feel a sense of boring when it reaches this point. Lucky that at the end of the album the band offers a really excellent track that has become my favorite, i.e. "King" (7:04). It starts melodically with a combination of keyboard and guitar followed with a sudden break exploring people crowd. Hogarth voice enters softly: "How long can you stand. Tightening up. Avoiding the fight". It's a wonderful opening. At the end of first lyrical verse when Hogarth sings "I hope for your sake . Something gets in the way " and the music blasts in a rocking style with great keyboard and drumming. The melody of this song is really excellent. The song combines high and low points with tempo changes and transition in quieter passages. It's a wonderfully crafted composition that I have to admit.

Overall, even though I prefer "Brave" but this album deserves four stars rating: an excellent addition to any prog music collection. I recommend you to purchase the remaster edition as disc two contains previously unreleased tracks including an excellent one: "Mirages". Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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