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





4.23 | 1989 ratings

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5 stars Script For a Jester's Tear is the first full length album from neo-prog pioneers Marillion. This one album launched an entire movement, a fact that always impresses me. The band takes almost all of its sound from Gabriel-era Genesis, but they do not rip off their idols. Fish's thoughtful and metaphorical lyrics are as strong as Gabriel's but they are much more bitter. Rothery's style is identical to Hackett's, but he stands out whereas Hackett blended in with Tony banks' keyboards too often. Trewavas is slightly better than Rutherford. Pointer and Kelly sound too much like Collins and Banks, but they are not blatant rip-offs.

The songs on Script are not epic in length, but they are longer than the majority of the songs being written at that time or even now. Every song has an inventive arrangement. The album is sort of a big breakup song, only the couple was never together. It is a tale of unrequited love, and Fish fills his lyrics with his trademark irony. The concept follows a poet's unrequited love and its effects on him. The title track starts things off softly until Trewavas enters. Rothery's decent solo arrives and raises the bar. It's more moving than technical, and it stays true to the symphonic soloing of Howe and Hackett, not taking up too much room. The difference is that his guitar sound much more modern than Howe or Hackett; Steve cements his 80s guitar in Marillion's sound on this song.

He Knows You Know deals with the poet using drugs to give him an escape from his sorrow. I like Trewavas funky bass on this, but the track didn't grab me for a long time.

The Web is my favorite song on the album. Rothery's solo is superb, and the poet ponders whether he should move on.

Garden Party shows that the poet decides to leave his pain behind him and mingle with society. Fish viciously attacks the hypocrisy of society on this number. I have a feeling Oscar Wilde would have loved this song, and the whole album for that matter.

Chelsea Monday directs Fish's rage towards high society women. The poet pictures the perfect societal woman as one who essentially lives her life out of fashion and other wemen's magazines so she does not have to live her own life. The arrangement on this track gives me the creeps.

Forgotten Sons shifts the attack now to politics and the subject of war. The poet wonders why young men and women must die for their governments; Gatot says it also deals with the IRA's attack on the Harrod's department store. Then Fish gives a manifestation of man's interal conflict with himself. Primal instincts vs. intellect and morals, etc.

The flaw of this album is that concept sort of slips. We go from unrequited love to pondering war. However, Fish does manage to tie it all in, and the result is a triumph of prog. Though not as good as Mispalced Childhood, this album is a must own.

Grade: A-

1800iareyay | 5/5 |


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