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

SOUNDS THAT CAN'T BE MADE

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.57 | 597 ratings

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rupert
3 stars The troubled one.

I've been looking forward to this album so much that, after all the positive reactions that it already received on the net, I'm rather troubled about it than really happy - now that I finally got it. On 'Sounds that can't be made', Marillion start to paint with thicker colours again. It's a wall of sound-album, even more than 'Marbles'. As if Michael Hunter had read what I don't like about his production of 'The hard Shoulder', here he allows/prescribes the band a lush and thunderous soundscape so much it ends up in the other extreme ( where 'The hard Shoulder' sounded like an unfinished and raw demo at times ). Didn't I say 'a little more' only ? This album hits me on the head like a hammer cause even in the quieter moments it's still feeling loud with Hogie's voice ( in good shape, no doubt ) so upfront in the mix it's starting to penetrate me more than once... and, when the band's going into heavier parts ( surprisingly often ), it's sounding violently thunderous with thick layers of Keyboards and massive guitars. I can take that with the first track, I can take it with the second, but I can't take it over a complete album and I sure can't listen to it all in one go without getting stress-effects. The performances ( especially Mark Kelly and Steve Rothery, great soloing ! ) are more than once absolutely stunning but although the band plays tight in the end there's something missing... it's the kind of dynamics that comes from the inside and then connects to my soul, not the designed or obvious one. So as a consequence... this album, which has a considerably high amount of 'prog' so it may be something for you, fails to touch me the way most of the other albums did, it's even growing tedious with the second half. 'Gaza' is a great opener, the title track is effective and catchy, too, 'Power' is a fine song with good groove and 'Montreal' contains, in parts, the most moving moments of the album, but... no, not this way, the whole thing starts to fall flat on me somewhere on the road. Even 'The Sky above the Rain' fails to really enchant me.

As I need to get used to it still, my hope for 'Sounds that can't be made' remains that it'll grow on me. I gave it about 5 spins yet so my review might come a little early. But where other albums, especially from the h-Era, were subtle enough to win me over, even when first impressions weren't overwhelming, with this one I have my doubts. The melodies aren't that memorable or fresh I think, and after you've been through the album it's hard to tell one track from the other ( minus 'Power' because of its special groove ) cause most of them are sounding so... brutally in the face the effect of it wears thin and doesn't serve the songs themselves. I wish it had a different production. I'm obviously no fan of Michael Hunter, although I love 'Essence' and 'Cadogan Hall' just the way they are. If not Dave Meegan or Stewart Every being back on the desk, I wish the band had their Brian Eno to capture the magical moments, not the most perfectly executed - and Michael Hunter, who is a very good engineer, only doing the final mix - perhaps with a little piece of advice. I'm sure this album could be far better if it weren't so violent to my ears. It may meet your expectations if you want your Marillion loud and proggy ( and somewhat regressive at the same time ), but to me it feels like a huge step backwards with some little splinters of what I really love remaining.

It doesn't feel right to me and I'm not really satisfied with half of the tracks. 'Pour my Love' has a fine refrain, I don't like the verses. I love the intro to 'Invisible Ink', but soon after the intro is done the song goes nowhere. Great Organ/Guitar-parts in 'Lucky Man', but the song itself remains patchwork. Creativity ' yes, lots of ideas and lots of things to like about it. But most of it sounds too familiar, still, and somehow I get the feel of worn out emotions. Not 'burnt out' like AOS, where they simply didn't have much power anymore, but worn out in terms of 'they didn't know where to take their power' and, instead of letting it touch you from the inside, decided to crash it on you. Not sterile as on HiE but cold in terms of hitting the same buttons over again - with increasing penetrance and loudness. This is my first impression, if anything changes I'll write another review and change the rating. For now ' it's a disappointment and I've got to stay honest. Maybe I'm wrong. Wish i could embrace the album just like Warthur does. But I've got to admit that I can't. It's too much for me so maybe the band wanted too much ?

3 1/2 stars ( for progarchives, a personal 3 ) at best, cause it's more 'prog' than say 'Somewhere else' and better than 'The Hard Shoulder' but I do prefer 'Radiation'. Honestly. Best ( means good ) tracks: Gaza, StcbM, Power, Montreal

LOVE; Roop

rupert | 3/5 |

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