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Marillion - Marbles CD (album) cover





4.08 | 1017 ratings

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5 stars Being new to reviewing prog (and labels don't interest me in the slightest) on this site, I have to go to the ones I hold in highest esteem and put in my 2c worth. I am also relatively new to Marillion (I can just hear some out there shrieking "...and you call yourself a prog rock fan?"), thanks in no small part to a friend who worked in a used CD store and passed on his recommendations to me.

The aforementioned used CD store had several Marillion CD's to choose from. I asked Jerry to show me his 3 favorites. He pulled out Clutching At Straws, Seasons End, and Brave. I gave each one a listen and bought them all. I have to say that while I liked Brave the best, it still wasn't enough to make me go out and hunt down everything in the Marillion catalog. That was in late 2000, and it was a good 3 years later before I purchased my next Marillion CD, which was This Strange Engine. This one perked my attention a bit more, but I'll review that one another time.

Now we come to Marbles. I had purchased it from a seller in Russia on E-bay, and it took long enough coming that I had all but forgotten that I'd bought it. The day that it arrived was a turnaround for me. When I put the CD in my computer's disc drive, I was stunned at how polished the music was, and how it fairly jumped out of the speakers at me. Of immediate impact on me were "She's Gone" and "Don't Hurt Yourself". With time, the whole thing caught me from start to finish. I have to say that this CD was instrumental in my scouring E-bay for as many Marillion CD's as I could find.

I feel that this CD is Marillion's "Dark Side of the Moon" in many ways. It is polished, accessible (in a good way), and listenable over and over again. The tracks are moving and emotional, and the impact of the music compliments the lyrical content to a tee, especially on The Invisible Man (which is a gem live). I no longer bother to get into debates over Fish or H being the better lead singer. Marillion are what they are, like them or leave them. I happen to love them. And having all but one of the Fish-era releases, I like the Hogarth ones better. Perhaps my dear friend in Virginia was a bit harsh in his assessment when he labeled Fish-era Marillion as a "poor man's Genesis", but I understand where he's coming from. I just happen to like the music and songs as a whole that the band has done since 1999 (with the exception of Brave and Afraid of Sunlight) better than anything they did before that time.

Contrary to most opinions, I think that and Anoraknophobia are outstanding releases in their own way.

But this one stands on its own merit as an effort that should be owned by music lovers who like prog, or rock in general. I can't wait to see what they come up with next.


- beebs

beebs | 5/5 |


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