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Marillion - Radiation CD (album) cover

RADIATION

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

2.64 | 364 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I had a specific experience with this album. Sometime in 1999 my firend who studied in the USA took a holiday back to Jakarta and brought me two CDs: Kettle of Fish and Marillion "Radiation". I tried to spin "Radiation" and failed to continue listening after half- way through the CD and I returned the CD back to my friend because I didn't think that I can enjoy the music produced from the CD. Time went by and there was time (I think sometime in 2004) I thought that I needed to collect all Marillion's albums Hogarth era because I already got into deep in loving the band during their early years (Fish era). And last year I got the "Radiation" CD with a bargain price (US$ 6) and did not spin it right away and let the CD being wrapped with its plastic. I spun the CD back after I could enjoy the band's pre-ordered "Marbles" CD. Marbles gave me a new horizon in accepting Marillion's direction nowadays. It's probably due to massive investment (GBP- wise) to acquire Marbles, I forced myself to enjoy album and I succeeded with this effort. So I did open the plastic strap that wrap "Radiation" CD, and here we go my views .

For sure, this is not a good album to start with Hogarth era's Marillion. One should try enjoying Marillion "Brave" before moving forward into other albums of Marillion's Hogarth era. By putting Marbles and Brave into perspective, I could see the other angle to enjoy "Radiation". First off, forget about expecting the band would play any symphonic kind of prog music nor neo prog. Not at all. This is totally different style that if you "unlearn" everything you know about early Marillion, you might be able to enjoy it.

The album kicks off with a short musical loop "Costa del Slough" (1:24) which features neat acoustic guitar work accompanying distant vocal singing style. It flows nicely to "Under the Sun" (4:13) which is a rocker with a good combination of keyboard and rocking guitar sounds. I can see through this track either Hogarth or Steve Rothery (guitar) have forced themselves beyond their boundaries. Yes, Hogarth tries to perform in rocking style while Steve tries to produce guitar work that blends howling sounds and classic rock style reminiscent of 70s hard rock scheme with bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath or Ten Years After. It's a good track overall. "The Answering Machine" (3:48) continues with a rock spirit even though it has an unclear composition and it lacks cohesiveness as a song. "Three Minute Boy" (5:59) is a pop outfit like Bee Gees. Good guitar solo.

"Now She'll Never Know" (4:59) is a nice song which starts with acoustic guitar rhythm accompanying Hogarth's floating singing style. The keyboard work that enters later has enriched the song textures. It's a relaxing and cool music with completely floating style especially with Hogarth's singing style. "These Chains" (4:49) is a ballad with acoustic guitar as main rhythm section punctuated by a piano work. The songs gradually increase into high points to chorus. Those who have been longing for Steve Rothery's guitar solo, this track gives you with cool guitar solo and nice ballad music.

For blues mania, "Born to Run" (5:12) can be a good thread as this track is heavily influenced by the blues. With floating singing style, the guitar fills sound very smooth. I have never imagined before that Marillion would have ever played blues music even though the tempo is really mellow. "Cathedral Wall" (7:19) remarks the band's revitalization of his mostly mellow style before. The album concludes with "A Few Words for the Dead" which moves the music really slow and quiet with some ambient / spacey style.

It's a good album. Keep on proggin'

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |

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