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Marillion - A Verry Barry Christmas CD (album) cover





2.72 | 15 ratings

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Tristan Mulders
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Marillion - Xmas 2001: A verry Barry Christmas

2001's Marillion's Christmas gift is a compilation of various acoustic renditions of songs from the "Anoraknophobia" album, a couple of remixes and an instrumental version of another "Anoraknophobia" track.

The album starts with a nice rendition of a classic Christmas song in typical Marillion style, I saw three Ships. Always works well each time I give it another spin around Christmas time.

The next few songs are parts of acoustic sessions without audience. These songs are performed in what's now known as the "Los Trios (Marillos)" formation: Pete Trewavas on bass, Steve Hogarth on keys and vocals and Steve Rothery on acoustic guitars. None of these acoustic versions are bad, but I've also heard some of the songs in guitar-vocals only versions and that worked a bit better than with the inclusion of piano parts (e.g. the song This is the 21st Century).

The last section of this album comprises electronic music (incl. the instrumental version of This is the 21st Century). The first song in this section is the Aspect of I Mix of the song House. This song is remixed by one of the guys who were also responsible for the "Tales from the Engine Room" remix album. This reconstruction is a very laidback, dub-like soundscape, which comprises an average 12 minutes. The song is actually very interesting despite being a remix! It really holds on to the mood that characterised the original version. The composition is also very much constantly developing, changing melodies without ever giving the feeling you're listening to yet another one of those mainstream top 40 hey-it's-a-classic-let's-put-a-beat-to-it-and-we-have-a-hit-of-our-own songs which seem to be very trendy lately.

The second remix comes closer to that specific top 40 category. If it weren't for the lengthy introduction, the song could've picked up airplay anytime on one of those trance music radio stations. I personally don't even mind the 'poppy' sound of this mix, not at all, the song works great when played at a party, but it is not of any use as an entry in the average prog listener's collection I guess, unless he or she also likes electronic music. Although most of the original composition for the song Go were cut for this remix, actually only the vocals were left, the final section of this remix has the same uplifting feeling as the original "Wide awake" section of the song on the "" album.

The final track on this free fanclub CD is an instrumental version of the song This is the 21st Century. As I've said before, this song is better qualified as electronic music than as rock. The overall composition of the song is a lot like Massive Attack's music. Without the inclusion of Hogarth's voice, the song sounds pretty eerie and now the various individual instruments are a lot more noticeable. Especially Trewavas' bass guitar playing is a lot more present. I've listened to this version a lot while travelling to school by train. The spacey atmosphere makes you feel a bit too relaxed as it seemed the countryside passed me by in slow-motion hehe.

Maybe not an essential release for the overall progmusic collector, but for Marillion aficionados it is quite an interesting collection.

Tristan Mulders | 2/5 |


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