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Marillion - Somewhere Else CD (album) cover





3.06 | 604 ratings

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3 stars Marillion's 2007 album Somewhere Else was the follow up to what is in my opinion (as of this writing) their best latter day album, Marbles.

The album starts off well with a driving opener in "The Other Half". This song also incorporates a piano sound near the end of the track that Marillion incorporates into this album again in later tracks.

"See It Like a Baby" follows this up by being a decent pop-rocker that's typical of the Hogarth-era Marillion. It's not too long, it's inoffensive. It's okay.

Then we get "Thank You Whoever You Are", which begins as soft piano piece which threatens to turn into a power ballad at any moment once the guitars kick in. Thankfully it doesn't and it's actually surprisingly not too bad.

"Most Toys" seems like the commercial stab for the album. It's a short and sweet rocker with straight forward lyrics. I actually like this song quite a bit, but I can understand other prog fans not being too keen on it. This track is more akin to Pearl Jam than prog.

On the other hand, the title track is pretty decent as far as prog content. "Somewhere Else" starts off, once again, with a low key piano part, but as the song progresses the guitars kick in with some Gilmour-esque soundscapes. This track is one of the album highlights for me.

"A Voice from the Past" gives us another pretty mellow piano track that slowly builds into a crescendo with a guitar solo. Again, it's a well written piece and Hogarth gives a great vocal performance as well.

I bring up the vocal work because the next track, "No Such Thing", has Hogarth singing with his vocals distorted. I think that this will be just for the start of the track, but no, it's for the whole thing, which seems a bit unnecessary to me. The track itself is a bit repetitive as well. Kind of a weak point.

"The Wound" is another highlight of the album. For one thing, it doesn't start with a melancholy piano bit. It's a great rock track which shows an energy that, frankly, is missing from a number of other tracks on the album, and makes full use of its 7:17 running time.

"The Last Century On Earth" by contrast is fairly dull to my ears. It's by no means terrible, but it spends far too much of its almost six minute running time in a mid-tempo loop that only takes off by a few feet instead of soaring like it wants to.

The album ends on a short piece called "Faith" that begins with acoustic guitar and Hogarth in singer-songwriter mode. It's different, I'll give it that. It's pretty far from what one would ask or expect from a Marillion album though. And you know what? I'm okay with that.

I believe the most prominent opinion amongst many prog listeners is that this album was a disappointment. I know I certainly remember being disappointed with this album when I first listened to it upon release. But was it perhaps misjudged by being compared to the impressive recording that came immediately before it?

Overall: Re-listening to the album with the hindsight of a couple of years, I find that Somewhere Else isn't really the near-disaster I had originally thought it to be. It's a pretty solid album with a couple of good tracks. It also has a few that don't quite work, but the majority of the album can be viewed as very safe territory for Marillion. Which was probably the true disappointment.

Highlights: "Somewhere Else", "The Wound"

FunkyM | 3/5 |


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