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Marillion - Marbles CD (album) cover





4.10 | 1094 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Marillion's latest release is definitely amongst their greatest. Nearly 20 years after the departure of Fish, Marillion adapted and changed styles with each passing album. From the AOR of Holidays in Eden to the ethereal beauty of Brave, Hogarth and Co. have changed like the tide over the past 16 years. Rothery with breathtaking lead and rhythm work, Kelly keeps the moody atmosphere at full tilt with lush keyboards, Trewavas utilizes many techniques in the bass-book and masterfully works around the framework of the song, Mosley drums with precision and accuracy even during the most complicated sections of the material, and Hogarth is masterful in his vocal and dulcimer work. In a word, the band is simply awesome.

The Invisible Man starts off slowly, with a droning down beat that quickly picks up pace as the band becomes more involved with the track. Trewavas gives moments of wonder with nicely timed harmonics as Rothery creates moody and melodic guitar lines. As Hogarth begins the vocal, one can already tell they are going to be going on a fun ride. The solo that Rothery takes towards the end of the song is among his best on the album. Marbles 1 is the first in a series of 4 Marbles songs simply about a child who loves marbles. Some nice echoing harmonics are featured as well as a catchy beat throughout the 1:45 timeframe. You're Gone and Angelina are two of the "poppier" songs on the album, with You're Gone being the leading single from the album (Don't Hurt Yourself also got its own single soon after).

Marbles II is a continuation of the Marbles theme of the album. Don't Hurt Yourself has a catchy chorus and a nice beat compliments of Trewavas and Mosley, you'd think after 20+ years of playing together they'd soon lose their lustre, but they compliment Rothery and Kelly nicely. Hogarth really goes all out on the vocal here, hitting falsettos during the chorus. Marbles III is the next incantation of the Marbles theme, expect more of the same from the past two. Drilling Holes contains some very emotional work from Rothery as well as some very inspired lyrics and vocals from Hogarth. Marbles IV is the final incarnation of the long running Marbles theme, and it finishes off nicely, with Hogarth asking, "Did anyone see my last marble?". Neverland is the conclusion to the album, a stunning 12 minute epic with magnificent keyboard work from Mark Kelly, as well as a heart-pounding guitar solo from Steve Rothery.

Overall, Marillion has outdone themselves again with this landmark release. Their 90's sound has come full circle with this release, a brilliant amalgamation of pop with progressive rock. Highly recommended. 4.5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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