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Fish - Fellini Days CD (album) cover





3.50 | 161 ratings

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4 stars Always fun to review an underrated record and this one definitely is. "Fellini Days" came after "Raingods with Zippos" which was more or less a return to progressive form. I wouldn't call FD a progressive record. It has some symphonic flavours but the compositions are far too simplified. Moreover the guitar chords are too much on the fore. The good news is : it doesn't spoil the fun. In fact I gave "Fellini days" more spins than "Raingods". The guitar chords of John Wesley are pretty dominant and seems to carry most of the songs. The atmospheric keyboard parts are adding a foggy atmosphere. This must be the advantage of a solo artist. Every new album, different people are lending their skills and musical input. John Wesley and John Young contributed to the song writing and the result is more than satisfying.

The atmospheric "3D" takes some time to reveal its beauty. Gradually the sound get broadened by a mixture of orchestral keys and wonderful guitar chords. There're some similarities between the sound of this track and the sound you'll find on "sunsets on empire". Only the sound of Fish' voice is more quiet. On lots of moments during this album, Fish is rather whispering than singing. It suits the idea for this album well but I suppose his voice wasn't in good shape when this was recorded.

The production of "Fellini Days" is good but maybe Steve Wilson could have made it even better. Between the tracks there's the sound of a movie spinning. This is referring to the fact that Fellini was a famous director. Still this is not a concept album. The lyrical subjects are very different from one track to another.

The title track has the most harmonic chorus on the disc. It's astonishing, probably due to the excellent samples of a choir and a couple of backing vocalists. Since long Fish' vocals are accompanied by a couple of female vocals and as always, it works quite well. In fact with it has become a necessity with a voice that keeps eroding during the years.

The highlight of this album is most definitely "Long cold day" ; a powerful track. The main guitar chord that forms the basic melody is awesome !! Here, Fish is finding the power in his singing again, the sound of his vocal parts vary from calm to aggressive. Great to hear how the atmosphere slowly turns to calm near the end of the track. It ends with a great lyric line : ".as I hit the water, the ship sails on" which means that the influence of one individual should never be over-estimated. "Dancing in fog" is another intriguing track ; there's a gorgeous atmosphere, crossed by a haunting Fripp/Wilson like guitar line throughout the track. The sound of this song benefits from the exotic percussion and the trumpet line at the end. Nice one ! Even though this can't be called a ballad in any way, this track is most romantic. Maybe the composition could have been developed one step further on. When other musical parts and sections should be added, this would be an unforgettable prog track !

The closing track "the clock moves sideways" is another major gem in the same vein of the opening track. It sums up all the qualities of the band. Again the sound has some resemblances with Porcupine Tree. Here the weak points of most of Fish' music is showing again. The excellent melodies are repeated over and over again till it bores the listener..

It took me some time to get in to this album but in the end it has become one of my favourite Fish records. "Fellini days" was well worth the effort of repeated listens. The sound of this album breaths mystery even though the meaning of the messages in the lyrics is clear. When compared to Fish' back catalogue, "Fellini days" is one of a kind. 3,75 stars

Fishy | 4/5 |


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