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Marillion - Misplaced Childhood CD (album) cover





4.25 | 2093 ratings

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3 stars Many of the characteristics of classic albums can be found in Misplaced Childhood, including some very catchy melodies, recurring themes, solid transitions between songs, and a somewhat unifying concept. On the other hand, this album also has many of the notable flaws that plague so many 80s albums, from cheesy synths, overly simplistic songs and rhythms, and very little interesting musical (to say nothing of virtuosic) contributions from the individual musicians. If Fish was "safe in the sunshine", so is Marillion with this album, taking few risks and in so doing making few notable contributions. I understand that Marillion made a positive historical contribution to prog with their debut, but Misplaced Childhood represents some regression in my opinion.

Pseudo Silk Kimono, Kayleigh. This is not a great start, from the simplistic synth opener (painfully magnifying Fish's vocal limitations), to the catchy yet poppy Kayleigh (at least this one has a nice guitar break and Fish sounds much better).

Lavender, Bitter Suite, Waterhole, Lords of the Backstage. In a word, boring. The first two have many slow parts, failing to develop quickly enough to hold my interest, and the latter two are too short to really make an impact. After enough time, I usually just blow past these tunes.

Heart of Lothian, Blind Curve. Here the music really picks up. Heart of Lothian is a great song, don't get me wrong, but Genesis comparisons are hugely overstated. It starts out in 7/4 time, then moves to 5/4, with great guitar and synth interplay for a killer intro, but then settles into a simple 4/4 groove for the rest of the song. So there's the one minute of really inspired prog on this album for me. Blind Curve is the extended piece (nearly 10 minutes) and sounds like the closest song resembling Script for a Jester's Tear on the album. If the album was dragging for you to this point (as it was for me), here is where things really pick up in emotion and quality, leading to a great finale.

Childhood's End?, White Feather. These are basically two well-transitioned songs that make for an EXCELLENT close to the album. Great powerful (yet melodic) singning by Fish, coupled with some great melodies and tasteful synth playing, really ends this album on a high note.

In sum, I like the second half much more than the first, though there is nothing awful or truly spectacular throughout. I see this as one of many solid, yet flawed albums, and three stars seems appropriate.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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