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Marillion - Sounds That Can't Be Made CD (album) cover





3.58 | 623 ratings

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5 stars Marillion are one of those bands that have continued quietly to produce astounding music for the last couple of decades without the need to try to bother the charts with huge sales or satisfy record company execs with the conbtent of their records. The result is that they have often produced amazing music to their own standards which sells to their dedicated fan based. Everyone else carries on oblivious to what has to be one of the best music catalogues in the world!

After a wait of nearly four years with only the stop gap album of Less is More to keep the fans happy Marillion finally unleash their latest opus. It was worth the wait!

Two things get Marillion fans REALLY happy in advance of a new album. The word 'CONCEPT' or news that there are some long tracks on the new record!

Last time around it was a concept album (Happiness Is The Road) whilst this time out we have not one long song but three (and when you consider the shortest song on the album is still 5:47...) and the album kicks off with the epic Gaza which clocks in at a massive 17:30! This is a powerhouse of a song, a veritable monster. The sensitive subject matter about growing up on the Gaza Strip in the middle of the conflict there is not one to be taken lightly and to Steve Hogarth's credit, he doesn't. Haunting arabic rythyms and vocals mix with a pounding bass line and some marvelous guitar solos including perhaps Steve Rothery's most aggressive solo ever around the 4 minute mark. This ranks alongside Ocean Cloud, This Strange Engine and Interior Lulu as an instant classic.

Following this is Sounds That Can't Be Made. The fourth longest track on the album and starting off with a vibe remenicent of 80's Prince. Synths are used to great effect and the song would make a great single if it could be edited down but let's face it, we wouldn't want that would we. The effect of the song slowing down at the four minute mark would be lost! Pour My Love is another song that could have got massive airplay in the 70's and early 80's. It showcases superb songwriting and musicianship perfectly. Sure to be a live favourite.

Power was the first song from the album to be released and it is a classic h era Marillion song. Moody with a catchy hook. Again, given air play it could be a massive hit. The chorus is moving and as the title suggests, powerful. Again a live classic in the making.

Montreal is the second epic on the album and it is a love song to a city that the band have come to love. It is in the vein of Neverland it that it builds slowly thanks to the musical soundscape and rythym created by Mark Kelly, Pete Trewavas and Ian Mosely. h sings to suit the mood and sound whilst Steve Rothery again lays down some sublime guitar. One to listen to with the lights off and at full volume. At over 14 minutes long this is a soung to savor.

Invisible Ink is a change of pace and tone as the band become moody and contemplative.. Then at 3:55 the song changes mood to become noisey and uplifting. Doing the reverse of STCBM, it ends vary satisfyingly with another great solo from Rothers.

Lucky Man starts out softly then a great hook kicks in before it settles into what sems to be a traditional guitar ballad. Rothers replicates tyhe guitar sound found on Asylum Satelite One from Happiness and it runs through the song showing just how good he is at putting emotion into his playing. It makes a great companion to h's vocal performance and shows off another great uplifting chorus.

Rounding off the album is the final epic, The Sky Above The Rain. 10 and a half minutes of ecstacy for any Marillion or modern prog fan. Delicate piano starts us off on another uplifting journey and musically takes you up through the crowds into a bright blue sky. Not bad for a song about a woman who is ending a relationship when she doesn't want to! All about communication between a couple who don't seem to understant each other. Rother's lays down some giuitar remenicent of Dave Gilmour's last solo album backed up by a beautiful Kelly soundscape. It manages to pull off the same trick as Fantastic Place from Marbles. Just when you think it can't get any better, it does. At 4:30 minutes in it changes tone and becomes mournful and Kelly's abilities come to the fore before we burst through the clouds carried by h's vocal and then Rother's takes us even higher. Simply beautiful.

This is just about the most consistent album Marillion have produced over their career (and this is a band whose back catalogue contains Misplaced Childhood, Clutching at Straws, Brave, Afraid Of Sunlight, Marbles and Happiness is the Road.) They have produced better songs elsewhere on weaker albums but as a whole this is about as good as it gets. What are you waiting for? Go and buy it now!

Headlong | 5/5 |


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