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Marillion - Radiation CD (album) cover





2.68 | 481 ratings

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3 stars Marillion's Radiation is middle of the road disc for me--not my favorite, but I don't loathe it, either. This disc was during their mid to late 90's period, which saw greatness in spots ("This Strange Engine"), but inconsistency, as well ( Radiation, you could say, is the middle child that lacks direction and really doesn't have an identity.

The disc starts off with a scratchy old vinyl sounding diddy which highlights Marillion's humor in "Costa del Slough". Funny lyrics, but an odd tune that is a tongue in cheek song about the environment and the depletion of the ozone layer. A minute and a half of that gives way to the crunching guitars of Steve Rothery for the song "Under The Sun". Very intense song with some nice vocals by H and keyboard work by Kelly.

"The Answering Machine" is a fine song, but not a favorite of mine. The same goes for "Three Minute Boy", which is quite lazy in spots until the ending, which sees the pace picked up a bit.

Radiation isn't all bad. "These Chains", "Cathedral Wall", and "A Few Words For The Dead" are excellent Marillion songs. "These Chains" could be one of Hogarth's finest vocal performances, accompanying very lush melodies. The discs showcase song, however, is "A Few Words For The Dead". An absolute stunner! The first half is very soft, very bleak in sound; however, the mood changes from pessimism to optimism with Hogarth suggesting "Or you could love," and the band just unleashes in that usual Marillion-esque power that makes me shake my head in amazement. Excellent song!

As a footnote: I think I prefer the version of "The Memory Of Water" as a bonus track than the more acoustic version on This Strange Engine. The second version is extremely powerful that's anchored by Trewavas' thumping bass, and kicked up the arse guitar solo by Rothers. This band can totally rock at times.

Like I said, Radiation isn't bad...just not great. And greatness would soon come in the form of Anoraknophobia and (especially) Marbles. We just had to be patient for a couple of albums.

E-Dub | 3/5 |


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