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Marillion - Crash Course CD (album) cover





3.09 | 4 ratings

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3 stars This is the 7th version of the 'Crash Course' CD sampler that apparently Racket Records produce every now and then to promote Marillion's latest release - this arrived in the post a few months before their 2012 release and features tracks from the acoustic 'Less is More' album and a selection of other tracks from the periods '94-'97 and '04-'08.

While I am fairly familiar with Marillion's works with Fish, I admit that apart from the occasional spin of Marbles and maybe Brave and Radiation in the past, I have not delved into the Hogarth era. If this compilation was to convince me that I should have, well then... it probably has not achieved its goal. With no exception, here we have a set of 10 compositions based on a more-or-less similar down-tempo, 'laid-back', almost ballad-like motive. The selection is such that the album might flow relatively easily but with no great variation in sounds, moods and rhythms. The 'progressive' element in its literal sense is generally missing or is making its appearance on a very seldom basis.

Hogarth's voice is expressive and moving, bringing out an unparalleled warmth; however, it sounds to me that this alone could not lift most of the compositions out of the 'emptiness' and simplicity that surrounds them. There are exceptions in this respect: the strong melodies of 'Neverland' (proves from where RIVERSIDE take influence), the nostalgic 'Estonia' with the clever use of balalaika (!) and 'The Great Escape' that builds up slowly to a strong harmony and then relaxes back again to Fish-era/Floyd melodies...

Compositions well made, polished, with solid rhythm sections and occasional moments of greatness, but mostly lacking in dynamics and this is how far this compilation goes. Would I be looking to explore further more Marillion works from the Hogarth era? Well... possibly one or two albums but I would not expect to find myself awed or setting this as a priority.

aapatsos | 3/5 |


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