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Marillion - Brave CD (album) cover

BRAVE

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.98 | 724 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
2 stars I had controversial feelings about Brave since when it was released. I 've been very conservative respect to CDs, but this was the first Marillion album with a length that made impossible a vinyl release, I think, so I had to buy it on CD and it has been one of my first CDs.

The previous two albums were transitional, collection of songs instead of concept albums like Misplaced Childhood and Clutching at Straws (the second just based on a concept). Brave signs the return of Marillion to a full concept album.

The problem that I have with this album even after 17 years is that even if I like any single song I've been rarely able to listen to the whole album in one shot. "Living With The Big Lie" is an excellent song, for my tastes "Runaway" is even better, but since "Goodbye to All That" i start getting bored. The light-dark atmosphere is almost the same on all the songs and this is one of the problems.

Also Goodbye to All That is a good song taken alone. From a musical point of view it's fully in Marillion's style, I can imagine Fish singing it, but when it comes I'm already tired.

So what's the reason of my feelings? Probably exactly this. Those songs seems to have been written thinking to Fish and don't fit well with Hogarth's voice. If you think to the two previous albums, the best songs are those that seem written for/by Hogarth. It's like Marillion, maily Rothary and Trewavas have taken inspiration from Fugazi and Misplaced Childhood as can be clearly heard in the slow instrumental part in the middle of Goodbye to all that, even after Hogarth has whispered some phrases (that's why I consider this part instrumental).

Going ahead, the first album's song that I don't like is "Hard As Love". The chorus is nice and this song is good for Hogarth, but the stanzas are uselessly hard. So it's not question of singer, here. It's only a song not good as the previous, even in the slow part.

I find "The Hollow Man" a bit boring, even if also this song has some good moments. "The Lap Of Luxury" is totally borrowed from "The Last Straw", "Paper Lies" is nothing special to me, but in this case it may be my problem: getting bored before it's a song that I've listened to less times.

Well, the title track is fantastic, instead. I really like the pipes at the beginning, however also this song is good alone but when it arrives, close to the end of the album, it's too late for me.

The last two songs aren't bad but they don't give me any particular feeling.

I've been thinking to this album for a long time trying to decide if I like it or not. Basing on how often I listen to it I think the answer is the second. I'd like to round up its 2.5 stars to 3, but I want to be honest with myself. It's not poor, but you have to be a fan of this lineup to really appreciate it.

octopus-4 | 2/5 |

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