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Marillion - Fugazi CD (album) cover





3.97 | 1249 ratings

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3 stars Time has gradually diminished my affection for Marilion's second studio album. There is no doubt that it saw Marillion develop their own progressive sound, and that after this the band's music took on a more commercial sheen, but considering that I prefer both Misplaced Childhood and Clutching At Straws to this effort, I have to conclude that it wasn't a bad thing.

It's obvious that Marillion were attempting to stretch out on this album, which has the hardest edge of the four Fish-era records. A couple of strong songs like Jigsaw (which has murky, oft inaudible verse sections, a magnificent chorus and a majestic soaring solo from Rothery that would easily have won him the lead guitar slot in any band that specialized in power ballads), Incubus (which promises the earth and delivers a country or two) and the Bowie-esque title track (which at least has a nice singalong finish) stand out from the pack.

But all too often this album seems to wander without conviction, and to make things worse, its production and sounds have dated badly. Assassing for example packs a bit of a punch, but is bogged down by a dated 80s sound that is equal parts hair-rock and disco-tinged. Emerald Lies is another slow-burning emotionally wrought piece that doesn't rank among the best for me (maybe there were too many of them by this point!). In fact I think it wastes a good start. She-Chameleon on the other hand, barely even gets going!

Looking back on Fish-era Marillion, this album now seems like a small step in the wrong direction. It is a muddier, less focussed version of the fascinating first album, and lacks the immediacy of the albums that followed. Its weighty moments are even beginning to affect my enjoyment of its delights, and the day may yet come when I find myself deriving more pleasure from the first post- Fish Marillion album (Seasons End) than I do from this. ... 58% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |


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