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Marillion - Script For A Jester's Tear CD (album) cover





4.23 | 1990 ratings

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Mr. Mustard
4 stars The 80's are usually considered a dark time for prog in terms of quality. But in 1983 came Marillion, with their debut album Script For a Jester's Tear. These guys are a unique melting pot of a number of different bands. They have the lush environment, flashy synth passages and theatric vocals of Genesis, some Pink Floyd-like atmosphere and tasty guitar solos a la Gilmour, and the heavier edge of Rush, especially evident in the bass. Despite this, they manage to convey their own unique sound. Script of a Jester's Tear is a perfect example of this.

Songwise, the album isn't terribly diverse; that is to say the instrument choice and overall scheme is mostly the same on every song (every song usually contains a catchy upbeat theme, a slower section with vocals, and a dramatic and tasteful guitar solo, or a combination thereof). It is also this reason that this is a rather consistent album, with every track being good.

As a whole the album carries the Genesis, Rush, and Pink Floyd sound as mentioned. Although classified as Neo-prog, I've always viewed it more as Symphonic Prog, with an 80's sound and production. This isn't terribly complex; there are a few odd meters and other rhythmic oddities. Perhaps what I like most about the band is that they cleverly mask the complexity, especially in 4/4 passages which sound like they're in an odd time. But overall, this is a very easy listening and consequently is pretty easy to get into.

Overall, with this album, Marillion pretty much started the Neo-Prog genre, and ensured that prog would not fade out in the 80's. It's importance in this regard, and the fact that it is one of the most energetic, melodic, and emotionally exciting albums gives it a position amongst the prog classics.


Mr. Mustard | 4/5 |


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