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Marillion - Fugazi CD (album) cover

FUGAZI

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.97 | 917 ratings

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Man With Hat
5 stars Hitting the high note.

Fuzgazi was Marillion's follow up record to the excellent Script For A Jester's Tear. Perhaps like most success, the band seems to have tried to capture that same energy and spirit here. This album has a feel to it that is very reminiscent of their debut, especially structurally. (Ie hard hitting and top notch opener, followed by a more "commercial" song, etc.) However, there are a few key changes. First, the overt Genesis references have gone. Marillion actually tend to sound less like a clone band and more like themselves (and unlike later releases still retain the progressive spirit of Genesis and the like). Second, and more important, Ian Molsey had joined the band. His drumming is very dynamic (even without comparing it to the drumming on the debut) and the music gains so much from it. Even though the drums are still very 80s sounding (for the most part) there is more looseness and more little ornamentations to the drum lines that make the songs more open and adventurous. Also, the production is so bright and loud that nothing is lost in fuzziness or obscured in any way sonically. Marillion have captured something special with this release, which unfortunately will not be seen again by the band.

Musically there is little to fault this album with. The only song that isn't a home run is She Chameleon. While the repetitive organ chords are enjoyable (and perhaps even eerie at times), the song drifts along much too long to keep interest. However, the song is still enjoyable, just not excellent, which the rest of the album is. Unsurprisingly emotion is the name of the game here. This time there is seemingly more anger and anguish than on the debut, creating a bit of a darker atmosphere overall. Fish's voice is in top form, belting out intelligent, sophisticated, and sometimes bitting lyrics wonderfully. Rothery seems to only have gotten better, and delivers some excellent solos and leads. The keyboard sounds are richer and smoother and fit like spandex pants. The bass is bubbly and anchoring (and more importantly never falling into a realm of just being there to be there to anchor the song). I've already expressed my love of Mosley's drumming, but I'll say it again. The Drumming is just want Marillion needed. Needless to say, nothing here is overly technical, but the musical nitty-gritty isn't always important. It's hard to give special mentions to favorite songs, as they are all top notch to my ears, but I'll give special mention to Assassing (with it's energetic melody line engaging percussion and wonderful guitar solo) and the title track, which is my favorite Marillion song all things considered (with it's multilayered song writing, sense of flow, reflective lyrics, and the overall feeling produced by such a work). But really, I could such things about any song here.

All in all, this is, in my opinion, the crowing achievement of Marillion. They've stepped out of the shadow of Genesis and started to shine themselves. They kept all the successful ingredients they planted on their debut and added that 'secret formula', while still keeping their progressive nature (which would unfortunately start to shed away starting with their next album). Even though their first album is more historically important, this one is the better album, music wise (at least to these ears). (Side note: The bonus CD, unfortunately, is probably my least favorite of the Fish era years, with really only Cinderella Search being of any value. Three Boats Down From The Candy is nice to have again, but isn't anything radically different from the original form. Only demos and alternative mixes remain, and I don't care much more those types of things.) Even though She Chameleon isn't as successful as the other six songs here, I have no problem awarding this 5 stars. Recommended to all fans of prog- rock.

Man With Hat | 5/5 |

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