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Milo Black

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Milo Black The Tail of Oskar the Fish album cover
4.00 | 2 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Oskar Wakes Up (Wednesday) (4:19)
2. Sam the Trout (7:00)
3. Song of the Flying Fish (7:25)
4. The Trip (16:16)
5. Oskar Wakes Up (Thursday) (5:43)
6. The Magic Seaweed Song (Radio Edit)* (5:16)
7. Song of the Flying Fish (Radio Edit)* (4:31)
8. Silent Sorrow* (6:06)

Total Time 56:36

* Bonus tracks on the release of 2000

Line-up / Musicians

- Miles Walsh / guitars, keyboards, programs, sonic manipulations, vocals, voice of "Pusher Fish"
- Pam Walsh / additional vocals
- Richard Hewitt / narrator
- Dominic Crane / voice of "Oskar"
- Tom Brown / voice of "Sam"

Releases information

Released independently in 1991.
Re-released in 2000, 64737

Thanks to progaeopteryx for the addition
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MILO BLACK The Tail of Oskar the Fish ratings distribution

(2 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(100%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MILO BLACK The Tail of Oskar the Fish reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progaeopteryx
4 stars The Tail of Oskar the Fish is Milo Black's debut album. Milo Black is basically the one-man project of one Miles Walsh, a multi-instrumentalist from Oxfordshire, England, with the occasional guest. Walsh originally conceived of this album in 1987, but didn't start recording it until 1990. The album was released in 1991 under the project name Black Hole. The album was re-released in 2000 on under the name Milo Black after Walsh had discovered there were a number of other artists using the name Black Hole.

The Tail of Oskar the Fish is a concept album telling the story of a small gray fish named Oskar and his search for the meaning of it all in apparently a 24-hour period. The album starts off with "Oskar Wakes Up (Wednesday)" which is mostly narration and some odd programmed water music. At this stage, Oskar obviously wakes up with the feeling that his life is not all that it should be. On the next song (Sam the Trout), Oskar visits Sam (who is of course a trout) for advice, but Sam is growing "magic seaweed." This is a nicely done guitar-driven song with a wonderful chorus line singing "magic seaweed" repeatedly. Definitely a catchy tune.

On the next song Oskar attends a concert by an imaginary group called Pikewind to cheer himself up. Pikewind (being played by Milo Black) performs their hit "Song of the Flying Fish." This song has a nice driving rhythm, great guitar work, and spacey keyboard work. It kind of reminds me of Porcupine Tree somewhat, mostly because Walsh's vocals are somewhat similar to Steven Wilson's. There is an interesting quote about how big outer space is, giving a nod to Douglas Adams.

The next movement on the album is the 16+ minute long "The Trip." As the title suggests, Oskar swallows some of the magic seaweed and of course goes on a trip where strange things happen. This is where the song turns into a psychedelic wipe-out with odd guitar effects, strange fishy poems (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Fish for example), weird sound effects, spacey noises, and a powerful, soaring guitar solo to end the song. The concept ends with "Oskar Wakes Up (Thursday)," where Oskar realizes he has no answers to the meaning of life and decides that it would be a good time to start his life anew.

Following the original album, the release contains some bonus tracks. These include radio edits of Sam the Trout (renamed to The Magic Seaweed Song) and Song of the Flying Fish. The final track is the Silent Sorrow instrumental, which sounds more like neo-progressive rock.

The concept of this album is quite original, especially using various fish as characters. The songwriting and compositions are quite nicely done. I think the humorous narration is a nice touch. Walsh is an exceptional guitarist showing influence nods to David Gilmour, Steve Hackett, and maybe a little bit of Steve Howe and Steve Hillage. His solos always have a nice soaring feeling to them (a favorite of mine). The music has some Floydian touches, and by association some Porcupine Tree similarities (even though this came out just prior to Porcupine Tree's debut). I also sense symphonic prog influences (maybe Genesis in places) and maybe even some Ozric Tentacles. It's a fairly nice mix of psychedelic and symphonic prog. The downfall is that all of the percussion and drums are programmed. I think this album would be greatly improved with a real drummer or at least better samples used for the programmed drums. The mix is about average, especially considering this was an entirely independent release. Between the songs one can often hear a lot of background hiss. This album probably could use a remix in a professional studio. Still, these distractions only seem minor to me but are worth pointing out.

If programmed drums and background hiss between songs is a problem for you, you might cringe. If you can get past this, it's a nice listening experience. I really enjoyed it enough to give it four stars (maybe 3.8 is more accurate).

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