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Fish - Internal Exile CD (album) cover

INTERNAL EXILE

Fish

 

Neo-Prog

3.08 | 154 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After leaving Marillion to pursue a solo career, Fish (or Derek Dick) released his first solo album Vigil In a Wilderness of Mirrors in 1990. His next album, released in 1991, Internal Exile, would take a sound similar to Vigil and doesn't really stray far from that sound. Sure, there are some great songs on this album, but for the most part, it's just too similar to the first album to be anything spectacular. Now don't let me be the first to say this, but the lyrics are top notch. Mr. Dick has such a way with words that everything he writes is nothing short of captivating lyrically. I wish that were the case with a few of the songs here, those ones feel too uninspired and contrived. The musicianship on this album ranging from unison guitars wailing to celtic inspired flute rhythms. Some of the music written is well crafted and fun to listen to, but some just doesn't come off right and some just doesn't have the right feel.

The album opens with two very strong songs. Shadowplay features some great lyrics and vocals from Fish as well as some strong keyboard playing from Mickey Simmonds. Frank Usher and Robin Boult are also great on guitar on this track. Credo has a strong chorus and catchy verses, with the word Credo being said continuously throughout the entire song. Just Good Friends has a passionate and sincere vocal from Fish, but the lyrics are a bit sappy and the music is uninteresting. Favourite Stranger is a forgettable piece, but I quite like the vocals and the guitar work. Lucky is strong piece with a terrific chorus about being born lucky, probably one of my favorite songs on the album. Dear Friend is another throwaway piece that goes nowhere fast.

Tongues is probably my favorite piece on the album. It's a very guitar oriented piece, as well as dark piece that has some terrific lyrics from Fish as well as a catchy chorus that is augmented by a female vocalist repeating the lyric, "We are speaking in tongues". Internal Exile is a celtic/folky piece that brings up Fish's heritage yet again (he even brings up the ever triumphant road of Lothian). A catchy chorus and some strong musicianship rounds out this song that closes the original album. As a treat, a cover of the song Something In the Air is featured. It's an ok cover, a bit interesting, but nothing I would call spectacular.

In the end, the bitter poet that wrote songs like Fugazi and Script for a Jester's Tear has left that style of writing and is in favor for more personal pieces, but he still retains that bitter edge that makes him so great. In the end, I think that Internal Exile is a good album, but it's no way near the best Fish album available. I would recommend either Vigil In a Wilderness of Mirrors or Raingods With Zippos for the unseasoned Fish fan (no pun intended). 3.5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 3/5 |

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