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Marillion - Brave CD (album) cover





3.97 | 804 ratings

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4 stars I labored over the star rating for "Brave" for a while, because I can't consider it the masterpiece that many of the other reviewers on this site do. It takes a whole lot to earn your five stars in my opinion, and Marillion is not one of the few bands who does if for me. I do agree that "Brave" is one of Marillion's finest, so my rating for it is four stars.

The concept for this concept album has been covered by other reviewers, so I don't think I need to describe it. I do think that it is a good idea for an album. I assume that Hogarth, being the vocalist, is primarily responsible for the idea. He has taken a small news item, and imagined interesting songs using it as a starting point. I prefer Hogarth's lyrics over Fish's. Hogarth's lyrics seem less self-referential and allegorical than Fish's. And I studied English in college!

Now some words about the songs themselves. My favorites come primarily from the middle of the album - Hard as Love, The Hollow Men, Alone Again in the Lap of Luxury, etc. These songs all have strong melodies, which is why Marillion is a better band than most of the groups in the genre. Goodbye to All That is just a little too long for my tastes.

I really like the way the orchestral instruments - the cellos, flutes, and Uillean pipes - are used on this album. My biggest complaint about "Brave" is a lack of emotional variety. The story, which is melancholic by nature, is partially responsible. If the songwriting and variety aren't quite up to the level of a few of Marillion's releases, this is still a fine album.

thwok | 4/5 |


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