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Marillion - Anoraknophobia CD (album) cover





3.35 | 515 ratings

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3 stars This is one of those Marillion albums that can neither be described as amongst their best, nor amongst their worst. It is, in fact, an average album. Better than recordings such as Radiation, This Strange Engine or Brave, but not as good as Afraid Of Sunlight, Marbles, or the earlier Fish-led works. The opener, 'Between You And Me' is excellent; an uptempo, melodic song that is, indeed, catchy. The band work well here, showing they have been together a long time. 'Quartz' is another strong song. Again, it is quite uptempo, but has a lovely quieter interlude in the middle, with Mark Kelly's keyboards sounding particularly effective. One of my favourites this one. 'Map Of The World' is a little too much on the popish side for me, but is still built around a decent melody. The sort of song you would never have caught Fish performing! 'When I Meet God' slows the tempo right down, and is another favourite of mine. Hogarth sounds in fine form here, as does Trewavas. In fact, it has to be said that Trewavas is maybe the most consistent player throughout the album. The song has quite poignant lyrics too. 'The Fruit Of The Wild Rose' is also good, but not quite up there with the best as far as I am concerned. It is another quite slow, dreamy piece, mixed with another strong melody. 'Separated Out' raises the tempo again, but is not amongst my favourites. Nice musicianship again, but, as on the whole album, not much soloing. (Oh for the days when Rothery would let rip, or Kelly would play a Banks-inspired solo!) 'This Is The 21st Century' is a slow to mid tempo song, and another good one. Nice vocals from Rothery on this one, and an atmospheric background to compliment him. Unfortunately, the album finishes with the weakest track on it, the not very impressive 'If My Heart Were A Ball...'. Rothery sounds ok, but the song itself is quite weak. A pity really. I don't have the two disc version, so cannot comment on the bonus material, but the one disc version is certainly worthy of a listen or two. I don't play it often, but it is nice to hear now and again.
chessman | 3/5 |


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