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ANORAKNOPHOBIA

Marillion

Neo-Prog


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Marillion Anoraknophobia album cover
3.38 | 389 ratings | 36 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc One: 63:41
1. Between You And Me (6:28)
2. Quartz (9:07)
3. Map Of The World (5:02)
4. When I Meet God (9:18)
5. The Fruit Of The Wild Rose (6:57)
6. Separated Out (6:14)
7. This Is The 21st Century (11:07)
8. If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill (9:28)
Disc Two: 20:20
1. Number One (2:49)
2. Fruit Of The Wild Rose (Demo) (6:20)
3. Seperated Out (Demo) (6:04)
4. Between You And Me (Mark Kelly Remix) (5:08)
5. Enhanced Video : Number One (Recording Demo) (2:40)
6. Map Of The World (Recording Demo) (5:45)

Total Time: 84:01
(plus 8:25 video segment)

Lyrics

Search MARILLION Anoraknophobia lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Mark Kelly / keyboards
- Steve Rothery / guitars
- Steve "H" Hogarth / vocals
- Ian Mosley / drums
- Pete Trewavas / bass

Releases information

Intact Records, LTD #Intact 12674

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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Misplaced ChildhoodMisplaced Childhood
Import
EMI Europe Generic 2007
Audio CD$4.52
$9.84 (used)
Sounds That Can't Be MadeSounds That Can't Be Made
Deluxe Edition
Eagle Rock Entertainment 2012
Audio CD$8.88
$11.47 (used)
A Sunday Night Above The RainA Sunday Night Above The Rain
Eagle Rock Entertainment 2014
Audio CD$10.00
$8.32 (used)
Seasons EndSeasons End
Import
EMI Europe Generic 2000
Audio CD$6.37
$7.95 (used)
MarblesMarbles
Madfish Records 2011
Audio CD$8.06
$6.49 (used)
Afraid of SunlightAfraid of Sunlight
Remastered · Special Edition · Import
EMI Europe Generic 1999
Audio CD$10.17
$7.96 (used)
FugaziFugazi
Extra tracks · Remastered · Special Edition
Caroline 1998
Audio CD$8.81
$9.49 (used)
Clutching at StrawsClutching at Straws
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2001
Audio CD$5.73
$4.77 (used)
Best of Both WorldsBest of Both Worlds
Import
EMI Europe Generic 2007
Audio CD$6.33
$4.38 (used)
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MARILLION Anoraknophobia ratings distribution


3.38
(389 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
13%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
32%
Good, but non-essential (37%)
37%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

MARILLION Anoraknophobia reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars All joking aside.

The title appears to have been Marillion's attempt to demonstrate that they do after all have a sense of humour, and are not as serious as they appear to be. The album was accompanied by an equally humorous but rather dull sleeve. At the time of this release, the band were becoming increasing conscious of their "progressive rock" tag, and the associated dinosaur references which came with it. This resulted in them attempting to, as they saw it, turn their back on prog and seek to be acclaimed by the media with making "current" music.

"Anoraknophobia" is certainly different to their previous releases, but it's not as different as the band perhaps liked to think. Seen in retrospect, and in the context of both previous and subsequent releases, it is a natural progression (oops, nearly used the prog word there!).

Musically, the album resembles "Afraid of sunlight", but for my money does not match the quality of that album. The opening track, "Between you and me" is a straight forward piece of pop rock, with some U2 like guitar. Later, "Separated out" continues in a similar vein, with something of a wall of sound driving the beat. That track is dedicated to the band's fans, and the fact that they are prepared to stand up and be counted, despite "ridicule for their dedication to the cause".

"Map of the world" is the most commercial track on the album, with an almost Beach Boys feel to the high vocals on the very catchy chorus. That's really about it though in terms of up tempo songs, the remainder being ballad based. "When I meet God" typifies much of the Hogarth era Marillion output, with its delicate vocals and dreamy atmosphere. The punch-line here is the reference to "God" as she. Hogarth Marillion tracks such as this, of which there are many, tend to be rather hit or miss affairs. Sometimes they work very well, sometimes they become dull and tedious. "This is the 21st century" is one track where it does indeed work remarkably well. A 6 minute version of this track was posted on the band's website prior to the release of the album. The full version however lasts over 11 minutes, the latter half being an extended instrumental section.

Elsewhere, "The fruit of the wild rose" has the feel of an inferior version of "Afraid of sunlight", while "Quartz" sails dangerously close to including a rap section! The most controversial track however is reserved for last. "If my heart were a ball it would roll up hill" is a messy piece of self indulgence. It was clearly an attempt to push the boundaries with offbeat vocals, and various styles, closing with random lyrics from the other album tracks. A brave but misguided attempt at something different.

"Anoraknophobia" is almost entirely devoid of the fun implications of the title and sleeve illustration. Indeed, if there is a relationship between the title and the music, I have yet to spot it. As an album however, it is enjoyable, with some strong melodies, and fine performances. For me, it is not among the best of the Hogarth Marillion albums, but for those who enjoy the band's music, it is worthy of investigation.

The recording and creation of "Anoraknophobia" was funded entirely by fans of the band, over 12000 in all. Their reward was a double CD package, as distinct from the single disc version which sold to the masses.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#12433) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 04, 2005

Review by chessman
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is one of those Marillion albums that can neither be described as amongst their best, nor amongst their worst. It is, in fact, an average album. Better than recordings such as Radiation, This Strange Engine or Brave, but not as good as Afraid Of Sunlight, Marbles, or the earlier Fish-led works. The opener, 'Between You And Me' is excellent; an uptempo, melodic song that is, indeed, catchy. The band work well here, showing they have been together a long time. 'Quartz' is another strong song. Again, it is quite uptempo, but has a lovely quieter interlude in the middle, with Mark Kelly's keyboards sounding particularly effective. One of my favourites this one. 'Map Of The World' is a little too much on the popish side for me, but is still built around a decent melody. The sort of song you would never have caught Fish performing! 'When I Meet God' slows the tempo right down, and is another favourite of mine. Hogarth sounds in fine form here, as does Trewavas. In fact, it has to be said that Trewavas is maybe the most consistent player throughout the album. The song has quite poignant lyrics too. 'The Fruit Of The Wild Rose' is also good, but not quite up there with the best as far as I am concerned. It is another quite slow, dreamy piece, mixed with another strong melody. 'Separated Out' raises the tempo again, but is not amongst my favourites. Nice musicianship again, but, as on the whole album, not much soloing. (Oh for the days when Rothery would let rip, or Kelly would play a Banks-inspired solo!) 'This Is The 21st Century' is a slow to mid tempo song, and another good one. Nice vocals from Rothery on this one, and an atmospheric background to compliment him. Unfortunately, the album finishes with the weakest track on it, the not very impressive 'If My Heart Were A Ball...'. Rothery sounds ok, but the song itself is quite weak. A pity really. I don't have the two disc version, so cannot comment on the bonus material, but the one disc version is certainly worthy of a listen or two. I don't play it often, but it is nice to hear now and again.

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Send comments to chessman (BETA) | Report this review (#67877) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Review by E-Dub
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Aahhh, Anoraknophobia: the disc that put Marillion back on track. After the less-than-impressive Marillion.com, Marillion stormed back with a disc that re-established them as a world class act. Is it Brave? Oh no. Is it Misplaced Childhood? Nu-uh! What Anoraknophobia is is a disc by a band who aren't afraid to take risks. To stay with the trend without jeopardizing their integrity.

"Between You And Me" is an uptempo rocker that really sounds great live. Hogarth's voice has a grittiness to it, but still has that ever present power. Missing is a solo by Rothers, but he still manages to anchor the group with some great rhythm guitar work, and allows Kelly to add some nice keyboard work.

One of the surprises of the album is "Quartz", which is quirky and almost has a club quality to it. Probably one of Trewavas' best performances by driving the song with a funky bass line and the band just explodes on the chorus. Not since Brave has Hogarth given it as much emotion as on Anoraknophobia. Towards the end, in almost a fit of anger he declares, "I need maintenance! I need patience! I'm not foolproof! I'm not waterproof! I'm not shockproof, bombproof, bulletproof, fireproof, leakproof, childproof, stainproof, pressureproof!" Definitely one of the highlights of the whole disc.

I think "Map Of The World" was their attempt to make it back to the radio. Here in America the radio is about as exciting as Golden Girls repeats, so whether this worked elsewhere is unbeknownst to me. It has a radio hit written all over it, and they even went to an outside source for help in Nick Van Eede of Cutting Crew. What they gave us is a beautiful song that should've made it to the radio Mark Kelly provides great symphony-like keyboards, while Pete Trewavas holds it all together with some fine bass work. "Map Of The World" tells the story of a girl dreaming to see other places and experience life outside of her every day and tiresome world.

"She'll empty the sand from her shoes/In Paradise Sail out across the bay/She'll dance under an island sky/Until the break of day/She's got a map of the world/Pinned up on her wall/It's such a beautiful world/Glistening and magical."

This has always been a favorite of mine and still is. Great song!

"When I Meet God" took a little while to catch on... and it really didn't until I heard the live version on Popular music. It almost has a hint of the 80's with Kelly's keyboards and with the odd voice towards the end, but is still a good little tune. Not my favorite, but quickly earning my respect.

"Fruit Of The Wild Rose" keeps this from being a perfect album, in my opinion. It has a nice little jazzy section towards the end and some nice vocals by H, but one I haven't been able to latch onto yet.

A song dedicated to all the freaks, "Separated Out" really pushes the envelope. Producer Dave Meegan loves to have dialogue and voices in everything he produces, and has sound from a movie (The Sound clips used in this track are from cult 1930's Tod Browning film Freaks) playing along to help out with the story. "Separated Out" has a rockin' beat and gets Anoraknophobia back on a steady path after a couple of slower songs.

Anoraknophobia closes out with two songs clocking in around 9-11 minutes. The first of the two is "This Is The 21st Century" and we see Marillion tinkering with drum loops. Rothery experiments with different guitar effects to give it a Pink Floyd-ish vibe. Very odd lyrics, but ones that shows that Hogarth is an always thinking and questioning eccentric. One of the more surreal songs in Marillion's history, but one I really enjoy.

And a song that I've really come to love is "If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill". This song just hardly lets up. Mosley has never been a particular favorite of mine (good drummer, just not the style I look for in drummers), but he really shows a lot of power on this tune. The band does as a single unit. On this and throughout. Very emotional song!

Like I said, I think this is the disc that put them back on the right path. Hogarth has long since bid farewell to his co-conspirator, John Helmer (who came on to do some lyrics after Fish left and then stuck around), and has does a great job as the band's primary lyricist. The band really nailed it on this one and gave them momentum to create their 3rd (or 4th, if you count Afraid Of Sunlight) masterpiece in Marbles a couple of years later. Excellent work!

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Send comments to E-Dub (BETA) | Report this review (#71141) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 04, 2006

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars An easy listening prog .

Not quite sure whether this album still can be considered as prog or not because it seems to me that band had made an effort to get away from neo prog category of its music. Yes, you can find it at the album icon, Barry, which is described as disliking neo prog. It's not my intention to talk about music category here, I just want to have some words with respect to this album. I only have the single CD version from EMI and even I got the CD quite late - about one year - after official release date. It was for a simple reason: I don't really like the cover which seemed like copying the icons of children movies Teletubbies. It has a very poor artwork, I would say - or at least for my personal taste. But my wise friends told me that I should not judge the music by its cover so I followed his advice and finally purchased the CD.

As I had no preconceived mind or expectation about the kind of music Marillion offered with this album so I just spun it and I could enjoy it right away. Why? The music is so simple and does not require me to think about music complexity typical prog music offers. Say the opening track "Between You and Me" (6:28) it's basically a nice track in medium tempo with tight beat and good rhythm guitar. It's hard to deny that this is a good track as the music flows naturally. So is the case with "Quartz" (9:07) which has a thick bass lines combined with stunning guitar rhythm which shape a music in groove style. Again, common music buffs would easily digest this track with no difficulty at all. As matter of taste I enjoy the guitar rhythm combined with mellotron-like sound and excellent voice of Hogarth.

"Map of The World" (5:02) is basically a pop song with a straight forward structure. "When I Meet God" is a nice song performed mellow using keyboard as background and excellent voice of Hogarth. What surprised me - when the first time I first played this album - was "This Is The 21st Century" where it did not attract me at all at first listen because it's so boring. Lately, I found that this track is excellent and I truly enjoy how the music flows nicely.

It's a good album. For those who has been familiar with the music of Porcupine Tree, Radiohead or other prog with ambient style, this album may suit your taste. Good thing also, beside music, the sonic quality is reallygood. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#72954) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 24, 2006

Review by The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is maybe the strangest album from Marillion...

After trying to renovate themselves in "Radiation" and "Marillion.com" and not achieving it completely, they tried to go a step further with "Anoraknophobia"... This is a very eclectic record, with some new sounds and styles never heard before in Marillion. There's some funky influences in Fruit of the Wild Rose, Quartz have some rap verses from Steve Hogarth (really strange thing indeed...), This is the 21th Century has some electronic feeling in a similar way of trip-hop... But here are also typical marillion tunes here. Between you and Me is a good opener, very modern sound and good guitar playing at the end, but it's still pure Marillion... Map of the World is, for me, the best song of the album. Really beautiful, a song wich could easily had been in "This Strange Engine". Catchy tune...

And the classical Marillion song structures are also in When I Meet God, a good tune, and Quarz... And Separated Out is the typical rocker from Marillion, reminiscent from songs like An Accidental Man or Deserve. But like I said, the overall feeling of the album is different... It's a more electronic album, with a lot of effects and strange keyboards arrangements. And sometimes the results are not really satisfactory... Quarz is not bad, but some experiments like the rap verses spoils a little the song (but the bass lines and the final choirs are good...) Separated Out is just insipid... Fruit of the Wild Rose is too different of what I expect from Marillion to enjoy it completely... And If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill is just boring for me. The worst song of the album in my humble opinion...

Conclusion: maybe the most experimental album from Marillion. It has some interesting new facts wich make it special, but some things are too weird and untypical from Marillion to allow the whlole enjoying of the album. Maybe it's just a problem of my personal preferences...But of course, some songs like Between You and Me, Map of the World and When I Meet God, and maybe This is The 21th Century too, are obligated for every Marillion's fan.

My rating: ***

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Posted Friday, April 21, 2006

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Marillion's first album of the new millennium is a vast improvement over their previous 3 albums, This Strange Engine, Radiation, and marillion.com. While This Strange Engine and marillion.com had their moments of pure gold, Radiation left a lot to be desired, and luckily by the time .com came out they had improved everything that was wrong with it. This album, coming out two years after marillion.com, shows even more improvement as the group was becoming involved in more technically advanced and more modern. The music on this album itself is a refreshing mix of well used keyboards and guitars with a solid foundation of bass and drums at its core. The songs on this album all are longer than the past few Marillion affairs as well, with 3 songs hovering around 9 minutes and one 11 minute track. Does this show album show a more progressive Marillion at work? To some extent yes, but to some extent no.

The album opens with Between You and Me, which is a glorified pop song. Now, all the pop songs on this album are high quality, very well produced, and very catchy on top of all that. This song's chorus is very catchy and I'm quite fond of the guitar work from Rothery on this one, really clever work from him here. Quartz is the first 9 minute song on this album, and it really drives one home with a fantastic groove kept alive by the powerful bass of Pete Trewavas. Steve Hogarth shines on this track with powerful vocals and very well written lyrics. The drumming from Mosley on this track is also top notch. Map of the World is the most blantantly pop song on the album, but it's also got an infectious chorus that will keep you singing it every time you hear it. The keyboard work on this track is stellar, as well. When I Meet God is a bit of an odd rocker that utilizes some looping voices towards the beginning and end, and the keyboards from Kelly bring back memories of the kind of things he was doing in the 80's.

The Fruit of the Wild Rose is the weak link of the album, in my opinion. It's very unfitting and it really disturbs the natural flow of the album. On top of that, it drags out of bit with an overly long jazzy instrumental section towards the end. Seperated Out puts the rocking juices back into this album. It really has a natural kick to it that Trewavas and Mosley drive home with terrific rhythmic approaches. This is the 21st Century is one of the best Marillion epics to ever be recorded. I say this because musically this song is perfect. It has interesting bits of experimentation from Rothery (his guitar tones and effects on this song are very different than anything he's ever done) as well as a great extended instrumental section in which each member can really flesh out what they are doing on their respective instruments. It's the strongest piece on the album and the best Marillion piece to come out since the title track on This Strange Engine. If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill ends the album with 9:28 of solid rock 'n roll. Strong riffs and chord progressions as well as extremely strong vocals from Hogarth are featured here, and it ends the album in a terrific and uplifting fashion.

In the end, Marillion's first album in the new millennium was a definite step in the right direction. Their next album, Marbles, is at par with this album, as that album had the same great balance of progressive rock and solid pop. Any Marillion fan will enjoy this, and any casual fan of progressive rock will find enjoyment in this album as well. 4.5/5.

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Posted Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Exceptionally refined and artistic music that slithers its way between the gulf of progressive and mainstream rock; "Anoraknophobia" is as excellent as it is infectiously addictive, with the band playing better than (almost) ever before and turning out a variety of songs that both move and inspire. There really is a little bit here for everyone here.

"Between You and Me" is a powerful, upbeat opener that will instantly put the listener in a good mood (set it as your alarm clock tone!) while the intensely emotive "When I Meet God" and "This is the 21st Century" will send chills up the spine. There isn't a weak track on this album and the band's hybrid art/pop sound will set its hooks for good.

As for the band itself, it seems as if they have rediscovered their enthusiasm for their playing, since all of their performances are stand out and dynamic. Rothery plays his best guitar solos in years while the rhythm section is tight and inventive throughout. Kelly incorporates his keyboard expertly as well, skipping the solos of their previous albums and contributing much more in the way of dynamics and textures.

All in all an easy album to fall in love with, and a great introduction to the band.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

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Posted Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars In order to be able to record this album, Marillion Mark II will have it pre-paid by its fans. Original idea to say the least. It will be one of the only originalities for this album.

The opening number is rather pleasant, I admit. Good rhythm, even Hogarth sounds interesting. Rothery again is in good shape (it seems that it happens more and more on late Marillion Mark II albums). This song rocks alright, but I am afraid that it will one of the very few good stuff available on "Anoraknophobia".

The confirmation comes immediately : "Quartz" has a funky flavour which is not at all my cup of tea. This long song is totally uninspired. Press next although I am not sure that "Map Of The World" will be strong enough to wake you up. Just another and easy listening rock ballad. Nothing great, I'm afraid.

The following number is far too long (over nine minutes). To bear Hogarth's lamentations for such a long song is rather unpleasant for me. Vocals are over-exposed (I really wonder why because they are far from being interesting). His lack of passion is dangerously contagious...

We'll remain on the soft edge, but at least "The Fruit Of The Wild Rose" has a nice melody and some sorts of blues tint which at least brings a bit of variety. It reminds me "Beautiful" which was a very pleasant song. "Seperated Out" is my favourite track featured on this album. A good rocking song (simlilar in beat to the opening number). It was about time ! Finally, something dynamic to listen to.

I am not sure whether or not this band has a developped sense of humour but with the next song "This Is The 21st Century" I have learned at least that Marillion Mark II is aware that they are living in the 21st century. But they should also try and play 21st century music then, instead of releasing the same old stuff since 1989. This song is probably effective while you want to get asleep. But only is these circumstances. Since it clocks at over ELEVEN minutes, you'll have pretty much the time to do so. Another long Hogarth lamentation.

Another long one to finish. "If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill" (long title as well). This one is a bit different in its mood. The backing instrumental are somewhat resembling to Crimson (mainly in the starting phase), while Hogarth is above average and not so invading this time. Another bearable song.

Most of the songs should have been cut by half, to maintain a bit of an interest. Thinking that the ones who pre-paid this work also got the right to receive a special two CD-set version !

IMO, an EP with "Between You & Me", "The Fruit Of The Wild Rose" and "Seperated Out" would have been enough. Two stars.

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Posted Saturday, August 04, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars You get the feeling that this is the album that MARILLION made to distance themselves from the prog genre. Incorporating Rap, electronics and Pop to make commercial sounding songs will tend to give that impression. Still out of the eight tracks I really like half of them.

"Between You And Me" is a good opening track that is fun, energetic and catchy. I like the line "Today ! I saw music in the sky". "Quartz" has some good bass driven verses that are almost funky. Spacey synths arrive 3 1/2 minutes in.The song gets heavier a minute later as Hogarth raps while Rothery plays a mournful melody. It turns mellow quickly before the heaviness returns. "Map Of The World" is a let down after two strong songs.This one is just too poppy.

"When I Meet God" I can take or leave. The organ 7 minutes in is a nice touch, but overall i'm not a fan of this tune. "The Fruit Of The Wild Rose" and "Seperated Out" both continue the disappointment for me. The latter song sounds like U2. The last two songs on the album along with the first two are really good though."This Is The 21st Century" is my favourite song on the record. It opens with Eastern sounds and I really like the spacey chorus. "If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill" is a bombastic song with passionate vocals. Rothery and Hogarth really standout on this track. There is a spacey interlude after 5 minutes.

I was more impressed with "Marillion.Com" then I was with this one, and I would put this on a par with "This Strange Engine".

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Posted Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Marillion's Anoraknophobia was more of the same and not nearly as different as we expected. It falls comfortably in line musically with its predecessor, marillion.com, showing little progression in my opinion. My first listens of this CD were met with dissatisfaction and dim prospects for the group's future if they didn't turn it around soon. Fortunately for me, the CD has aged quite well and I include in my regular listens of Marillion. However, even though I find Anoraknophobia enjoyable, I must warn that it is still miles away from their Brave and Afraid of Sunlight albums. It is only marginally better than marillion.com.

I think many of us at the time were expecting something totally different after seeing the anorak-wearing Barrys holding coat hangers all over the cover, thinking this was some sort of tribute to South Park's Kenny McCormick. Like it's predecessors, Anoraknophobia is a mixed collection of mainstream and slightly progressive numbers, with Quartz, This is the 21st Century, and the unusually-titled If My Heart Were a Ball It Would Roll Uphill being the best songs on the album. Hogarth gives an emotional and powerful performance, his voice at probably the best of his career. But the focus on a more mainstream style doesn't give this talented group the room to explore the atmospherics and virtuosity it is capable of. Still, quite a good listen. Three stars. Good, but not essential.

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Posted Monday, October 15, 2007

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Anoraknophobia' - Marillion (7/10)

Finding my copy of Marillion's 'Anoraknophobia' in a used CD store, I picked it up with fair expectations. I had listened to a fair bit of Marillion already and had been meaning to get into their music, but I recognized none of the material on this album's tracklist. In other words, this was going to be a blind purchase of sorts. I figured it wasn't going to be their most mind-blowing release, even a bit mediocre, but for such a fair price, I wasn't going to pass up a prog album I could at least have a few decent listens with... I'm happy to say the album went above and beyond my expectations.

From the first listen, I was very impressed. Marillion's meld of progressive rock and accessible traits reminded me alot of my favourite band, Porcupine Tree.

While 'Anoraknophobia' doesn't work on a great album-centric level, there are some songs here that are absolutely amazing. The flow connecting the songs doesn't function as well as the band must have hoped, but two songs here in particular make 'Anoraknophobia' an incredibly worthy album. The two 'extended compositions;' 'When I Meet God' and 'This Is The 21st Century' get the curtains crashing.

Both of these songs are incredibly moving. Neither of the songs adopt any highly upbeat- uptempo moments throughout their duration, but both of the songs get very dramatically intense, despite the fact they are both slow.

Songs like 'Separated Out' (which if anything, is the cause for a nice belly laugh, plenty of humourous references in there, including an homage to none other than the Ramones!) and 'The Fruit Of The Wild Rose' are a bit forgettable, but nice listens nontheless, and something that certainly aren't a chore to listen to.

My one main gripe with the album is generally the flow, although that could have been remedied for the most part if the band had made 'This Is The 21st Century' the dramatic closer instead of inserting 'If My Heart Were A Ball, It Would Roll Uphill' as the final track, which shallows in comparison. 'This Is The 21st Century' would have been the PERFECT closing track, and would have left the listener on an ending note of emotional shock, and the actual closer does not have that effect at all.

Flaws aside however, I am so happy I found this album. This album has really set me up to delve into some of the band's certified masterpieces. An excellent album!

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Posted Sunday, August 02, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Anoraknophobia is my favourite post-Fish Marillion album, bringing together everything that makes them so wonderful to me. Hogarth's intense vocals and rich melodies are thrust forward by the some of the most inspired and rocking prog they ever made.

Yes I know nobody agrees with me. It doesn't surprise me. There are plenty of reasons why. The first is of course that the world is still full of Fish-nostalgics for whom Hogarth can never do anything good. Second reason and more relevant for this album is that Marillion has adapted a sound here that deviates quite a bit from everything else they have made. Only the preceding marillion.com had a similar approach. Also that one did not go well with the regular Marillion crowd. It's a sound that has a bit more bite then their usual smooth melancholy. That brings me to the next reason, not only is it different, the kind of external influences Marillion has introduced here come straight out of the blooming alternative rock scene from that era.

Particularly Radioheads experimental rock comes to mind but there are plenty of other influences. Like trip hop for example, gorgeous tracks like Quartz and 21st Century have a rhythmic backbone and atmospherics that have a very big Massive Attack flair, marillionized to good effect. Between You and Me is a catchy upbeat song that comes very close to the music of New Order's album from that same magical year 2001. (What? New Order? Eugh!). And of course there's Hogarth's voice that will always remind us of vocalists from bands like Talk Talk and The Blue Nile.

Map of the World is the only letdown here. That track is way too cheesy for me. But that's 5 minutes out of 63, that's still 58 perfect minutes. More then enough I would think. When I Meet God and The Fruit of the Wild Rose would be the most typical Marillion tracks here. Beautiful melancholy with strong melodies supported by tasty laid back musical craftsmanship of very high standard. Less is more indeed.

Seperated Out is the second up tempo rocker and clearly not Marillions specialty. Not bad but not so convincing as the opening song. But the very best is yet to come. If My Heart Were a Ball should be able to convince even the most ardent Hogarth bashers and Marillion-is-no-prog believers.

Anoraknophobia finds Marillion taking careful steps outside of their comfort zone. Something that didn't please the fans much and with the next releases they would play safe and return to their more popular sound, and ultimately become entirely uninteresting (except to the fans of course). 4.5 stars for the anorak, my favorite one along with Fugazi and Afraid of Sunlight.

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Posted Thursday, September 03, 2009

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars Anoraknophobia marked the first album Marillion released after I started listening to them at the end of 2000. By this time I've only heard the '90s album Afraid of Sunlight and the '80s Seasons End from Hogarth-era so I was eager to hear how the band have progressed into the 21st century!

Unlike the previous trilogy of albums, that began with This Strange Engine, the band have decided to take a bit more time writing the material for what would become Anoraknophobia. I believe Pete Trewavas puts it nicely in this album's comments section on Marillion's official website where he writes that the major difference with this particular writing and recording session was that the band didn't have any left over material left from the previous sessions and therefore had to write the entire album from scratch. It also helped that over 12,500 fans pre-ordered Anoraknophobia before it even received an official release date which made it easier to be creative and open-minded during the whole process.

Hearing this album for the first time I basically had the same reaction to it as Peter Gabriel's album Up. Both of these releases sounded like old-timers trying to re-invent themselves. But while Up began to slowly but steadily grow on me, Anoraknophobia stagnated and hasn't really impressed me over these few years. This is definitely a pity but I blame Marillion's inability to keep the flow going all throughout their lengthy compositions. Most of these tracks follow a pretty simple formula starting with the verse/chorus sections that then evolve into a groove section. This whole arrangement is definitely an interesting premise but I feel that in order to really nail it the material has to be given enough time to develop a personality of its own.

If we come back to Peter Gabriel's example, he began crafting his album almost 10 years before releasing it and this effort really shows since the transitions between the different track sections feel natural and the compositions are so well crafted that they can't really be taken apart. Anoraknophobia, on the other hand, sounds like a carefully thought through band effort with a few drum loops added here and there. The results are good and sometimes even great but I still think that most of these performances would have worked better in trimmed down format.

It's nice to see Marillion giving their music a reboot which is definitely something a few more bands should consider doing but the material on Anoraknophobia don't result in anything above the good, but non-essential rating on my part.

**** star songs: Between You And Me (6:27) Map Of The World (5:05) When I Meet God (9:15) This Is The 21st Century (07:56) If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill (9:26)

*** star songs: Quartz (9:07) The Fruit Of The Wild Rose (6:57) Separated Out (6:13)

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Posted Sunday, April 11, 2010

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars An album that is one of the more controversial amongst the band's incredibly loyal fanbase, this was the first release of the 21st Century, and was, on the back of Marillion.Com, a further attempt to move the band away from the stereotypical neo prog label and also to break back into commercial success. At the time, Steve Hogarth, especially, was popping up in interviews everywhere to inform the population that Marillion were no longer a prog rock band, and should now be compared to bands such as Radiohead. Thankfully, he no longer does this, now that prog is no longer a dirty word, but it should be made clear that they are no Radiohead, either.

This album, with its playful title nod to the rather obsessive nature of fans such as myself, was recorded on a pre paid basis by said fans. This review, however, is of the single CD generally available at record shops.

What we have here is actually what the band have usually always been very good at. Attempting to progress beyond what they produced before and move on, whilst still appeasing fans like myself who demand exceptional musicianship and thoughtful music.

It starts off on a high, with Between You And Me, a rollicking opener which has, rightly, remained a live favourite ever since. Great vocals, great riffs, and great rhythm section. Six and a half minutes of fun, even better on the live LPs.

Quartz is a nine minute epic which, to my ears, is very disjointed. When it's good, particularly in the quieter "It's So Hard" passages, it's very good, but, otherwise, it doesn't seam together well at all and sounds a bit of a mess. It doesn't help that the production isn't particularly good, either. There are, however, some great guitar breaks from Rothery and, especially, strong funky bass lead by Trewavas, so it's not a total disaster.

My favourite track is the clear "let's get back into the charts, boys" commercial single, Map Of The World. It wasn't a smash hit, by any means, but it certainly is very typical of what this band, in whatever incarnation, do very well, marrying progressive rock with commercial instincts, and the story, of a girl dreaming of escaping a drab, poor, life to travel and see the world, is marvellous, and the band execute it extremely well indeed. This is one of the best tracks the band have performed and released, and also one of the most obscure in terms of recognition. Rothery's guitar solo in the mid section is one of his finest, and you are tapping your toes relentlessly throughout.

When I Meet God runs at over nine minutes long, and is far better and joined together than Quartz. It is the type of track they do best. Thoughtful, melodic, emotional, and musically very tight indeed. Hogarth is on supreme form, Kelly has rarely sounded better creating a lush synth backdrop, and Rothery is almost shouting in his understated support. Fans of great bass playing should also listen carefully to the melodic lead that Trewavas creates on this, whilst Mosley makes up the best rhythm section in the business. A delight from start to finish, this is worth two stars on its own.

The Fruit Of The Wild Rose was the band's attempt to reinvent themselves as a jazz improvisation quintet. It doesn't work and, thankfully, no further attempts were made. This track, I'm afraid, has throwaway screaming at you.

We get back on track with Separated Out. The musical theme returns to that of the opening track, and it races along at a fair old pace, with some tremendous riffs and a great vocal performance by Hogarth dedicating the track to all of us Marillion anoraks. Cheers! The film vocal interludes are, to me, a bit annoying, but overall this is great fun.

Two epic tracks close the album. This Is The 21st Century is the longest track on the album, at over eleven minutes long. Lyrically interesting as an attempt to prove to the masses that Marillion are a modern band, as, indeed, with the funding exercise, they most certainly were, proving themselves true trailblazers. There are some delicate, intricate, and experimental guitar pieces from Steven Rothery, and the entire piece is understated and almost trancy, certainly with the excellent instrumental passage closing the track, but still undeniably Marillion. A very enjoyable track which demonstrates the true progressive nature of the band, never afraid to try something different.

If My Heart Were A Ball, It Would Roll Uphill closes the album, and is similar in many ways to Quartz, in that it is decent, but disjointed, and really could have done with being four minutes shorter. The experimental riffs, and Ian Mosley's hammering drum performance (probably the heaviest in his Marillion career), make this a very interesting track, but, ultimately, not amongst their finest.

Marillion have, for very nearly 30 years now, been my favourite band, but a review must be honest in its critique and rating. This is a good album, but no more. Certainly, I have given four star reviews to far superior albums from the band. Completionists, like me, will, of course, have to own this album. For all others, it is decent enough, but not, in my opinion, particularly representative of the now extensive catalogue of work, and certainly not a good place to start with the Hogarth era if you are not familiar with it.

Three stars. Masterpieces were to follow!

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Posted Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It took a long while for Radiation and marillion.com to grow on me, and they hadn't quite managed it by the time Anoraknophobia came out - so I wasn't feeling too good about Marillion's current musical direction. At the same time, I was rather turned off by the infamous press release that the band released at the time, challenging the music press to try and review the album without referring to Fish or neo-prog or any of the phrases usually used to discuss the band's earlier career. I thought the release was both extremely negative - seeming to say more about who the band weren't instead of who they were - and an enormous misstep, since antagonising the critics could only inspire them to be even more dismissive than usual.

So, on the whole when I first listened to the album I was in entirely the wrong mood to appreciate it, and like Radiation and marillion.com I found it disappointing at first. But like those two albums, it's grown on me over time. In many ways, it's like the third in a series which includes those other two albums, in which Marillion explore ways to apply their progressive songwriting skills and distinctive atmospheres to the proggier end of indie rock - much like Porcupine Tree (and to a lesser extent, Fish himself) were dabbling in at the time, in fact. I also think it's the best album in that trilogy.

Firstly, it has the major advantage that it enjoys far better production standards and a much better sound than either of the two earlier instalments in this trilogy - the now-famous crowd funding method of using pre-orders to acquire the recording budget really did the band proud, it seems. Add to that the fact that the shorter, poppier tunes this time around are just plain better, with a richer and lusher sound and often a few more progressive twists here and there than the simpler and more stripped-down songs on Radiation or marillion.com. Whilst some of the band's experiments fall flat - H's daft little not-really-a-rap on Quartz still comes across as being very, very silly - for the most part they succeed in finally achieving the sound they'd been groping for on Radiation and marillion.com.

That said, the past isn't as far away as you might think. As well as a sample from Todd Browning's Freaks (which seems to be a reference to the Fish-era B-side), at one point on the album H starts singing lyrics from Chelsea Monday! You would think that if the band were that keen to distance themselves from the Fish era they wouldn't be making direct references to songs from Script For a Jester's Tear. I suppose this illustrates the gap between the band's public statements and what they were actually doing musically: just as they vociferously denied being a prog band, at the same time they were applying the lessons of the "new prog" movement as kickstarted by Radiohead and others, giving a psychedelic pop twist to it, and crafting it into prog-tinged melodic rock trips which are certainly progressive even if they aren't neo-prog.

However, all that is water under the bridge now. Marbles would see the band leaning back towards prog, a reconciliation with the term which would culminate in their 2010 appearance at High Voltage - proudly taking to the prog stage and proving more than willing to describe themselves as a prog band again. So in listening to Anoraknophobia now, I can leave all the cross words behind and let the music speak for itself - and it speaks very pleasingly indeed.

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Posted Friday, March 02, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars I think ANORAKNOPHOBIA is the last of a series of albums, from radiation, where Marillion had a more commercial sound. For me, it is the least progressive album even though it contains really good songs such as Between You and Me, When I Meet God, This is the 21st Century. There are other songs ... (read more)

Report this review (#1010436) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Saturday, August 03, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars the turning point... at least in terms of sales. In other terms "Anoraknophobia" was a consequent further progression with, once more, impressive results, and though there's - imo - very proggy stuff on it ( especially "Quartz", but also the drum'n'bass-driven "This is the 21st Century" ), its r ... (read more)

Report this review (#610456) | Posted by rupert | Sunday, January 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Anoraknophobia was the last of what I like to call Marillion's transition out of the regular music business and into independence, which was also the transition from their initial Hogarth-era music to what they currently do and has evolved in the last decade. This is a sequence of three album ... (read more)

Report this review (#557676) | Posted by Juan.Pablo.Gonzalez | Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Marillion's Anoraknophobia was underwritten by more than 12,500 fans who pre-ordered a copy. Anoraknophobia is very much in the same vein as the previous releases Radiation and Marillion.com, but whereas I found Radiation and Marillion.com rather disappointing, Anoraknophobia has the band approach ... (read more)

Report this review (#358952) | Posted by KeepItDark | Monday, December 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I just love this album! It may not be the best Marillion album out there, but I always enjoy this one from start to finish. It contains a good combination of longer and more complex songs and some nice pop tunes. And whether you like it or not, Marillion nowadays will always lean towards the pop ... (read more)

Report this review (#224079) | Posted by Tuonela | Wednesday, July 01, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Among their best with Hogarth. This album is simply a set of separated songs - not a concept album. The tracks are varied and all have their own merits. 1. Between You And Me - A slow piano intro sets the track up to be rather sad, but instead, it jumps into a cheerful riff and holds togethe ... (read more)

Report this review (#186187) | Posted by Staker | Friday, October 17, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I don't understand this mess around this album. I remember the excitement of the fans (especially Polish) when it was realeased and the opinions about this 'best Marillion album ever' so they said. I also remeber that in one of the auditions in Polish Radio 3 the fans voted for 'This Is the 21 ... (read more)

Report this review (#110928) | Posted by Patique | Wednesday, February 07, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars As a Marillion fan, this album really disappointed me. It is hardly note-worthy as a prog album, in fact, it is not very proggy at all. If it were not labeled prog I would give it a better review, because, despite the fact it is decent as a pure rock album, it is hardly amazing as prog. The album ... (read more)

Report this review (#107166) | Posted by Scapler | Thursday, January 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Marillion's Anoraknophobia is a light album that could easily be pop-alternative in it's own way if the songs were shorter and less progressive. Of course, it doesn't sound like 80's Marillion either! But still, most of the songs in here are pretty enjoyable. I'm pretty sure any prog fan will app ... (read more)

Report this review (#82138) | Posted by Dr4Wazo | Tuesday, June 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is one of the better Hogarth albums of the newer "Marillion" sound. The album starts off in uplifting rocky fashion with "Between you and me" which has a very "The Who" sound to it. In other places i can detect a bit of 80's Clapton. "Quartz" has more of a rhythmic feel to it which is almost ... (read more)

Report this review (#45317) | Posted by | Friday, September 02, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This was a welcome return to form! Anorak is a very accomplished album and proved that Marillion still had plenty of life left in them. I almost give this album 5 stars but I cant due to the last track, If my Heart were a Ball... It is very enjoyable but essentially a rather long jam session! ... (read more)

Report this review (#41383) | Posted by | Wednesday, August 03, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A remarkably good piece of work...Maybe one of the best of the ''Hogarth''-era!Of course any of you who reject Marillion for been pop must stay away of it!This album is a lot pop- influenced especially in songs as ''map of the world''( the most catchy of the album) and "between you and me''(thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#12435) | Posted by suachili | Saturday, May 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I am now going through the SH era albums, and I am positively surprised. There are some real hiden treasures there. And this album is one of them. I like it very much. It makes me younger. When I was a teen I liked the most of all Misplaced childhood. Now, i do not listen to it very much. If I ... (read more)

Report this review (#12434) | Posted by | Friday, May 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When I bought this CD, I only did it to complete my collection of Marillion albums cos I don`t really like "marillion.com" or "radiation". To my surprise, Anoraknophobia was not as worse as I thought. This CD isn`t Prog but it contains 2 songs, I really love, This Is The 21st Century and When ... (read more)

Report this review (#12432) | Posted by Abominog | Wednesday, January 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Marillions music seems to have slowly diminished to the point that hogarth`s now whispering through the majority of tracks & the overal sound`s comparible to those annoying aromathearopy/hippy tapes of dolphins & whales mating.Call it ignorance on my part,failure to recognize artistic integri ... (read more)

Report this review (#12430) | Posted by | Wednesday, December 08, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars listening to it the first time I was impressed... especially by the second track 'quartz' - in my opinion one of their best tracks ever! there were some other nice or interesting tracks but overall I can't give more than 3 stars... why? I think it can't compare to their best efforts like 'brav ... (read more)

Report this review (#12427) | Posted by | Wednesday, August 18, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Marillion is, without a doubt, one of the greatest and more eclectic bands of all time, listen to his first works and then, listen to the last ones, they have been growing step by step and keeping their identity and his fantastic playing. This one is an excellent album, along with their la ... (read more)

Report this review (#12426) | Posted by | Thursday, August 12, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well, I only have the 1 cd version so I guess I am only entitled to review the 1st disc only :p~ Many would say that Anorak is one of Marillion's weakest effort up to date. Yes, I join their mailing groups and (I guess) more people in there somewhat dislike this album. On the other hand, I lov ... (read more)

Report this review (#12425) | Posted by | Tuesday, June 29, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Marillion has been in the eye of the hurricane since Fish left the band, perhaps, the fans and other people thought that they might died with the loss of the main singer, however, the band has achieved a unique sound through the years, and perfected it with every record, sometimes, we pretend to hat ... (read more)

Report this review (#12423) | Posted by | Thursday, April 22, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Another great album which is loved by the fans (particularly those who helped out in the funding of it...) with something for everyone. Map of the World and Between You and Me obviously the crowd pleasers most likely to appeal to the casual radio listener, whilst the more involved Marillion fan (tho ... (read more)

Report this review (#12418) | Posted by | Saturday, January 17, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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