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





4.23 | 1993 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars First and best neo-prog album ever?

Released in 1983, "Script For A Jester's Tear" marks the genuine birth of the neo-progressive rock genre. MARILLION mixes various ideas from the 70's prog masters like GENESIS and PINK FLOYD with the energy, urgency and synthesizers of the 80's. One may find the influences too obvious, the songs less complex and interesting, and Fish's theatrical singing trying too much to mimic Peter Gabriel's. However, from these elements, the band manages to modernize (at the time) progressive rock and to define a new musical sub-genre. This first opus already offers a novel approach, many keyboards and guitar soli, and sonorities that cannot be found in the 70's classics.

Featuring several ambiance changes, the title track is a true delicate depressive musical drama. A little gem, with an aerial guitar. On the contrary, "He Knows You Know" is rock-ier and sharper. The fantasy synthesizer playing will become typical of the neo-prog style. Then comes "The Web", alternating tense and soft beautiful passages. This song contains very nice and refreshing keyboards and guitar soli.

Although less remarkable than the other songs, the punchy "Garden Party" is also quite pleasant. The melancholic "Chelsea Monday" contains a pretty unreal guitar play, sometimes sounding Gilmour-ish, but used in MARILLION's world. This magical atmosphere was quite new at the time. The powerful finale is simply great. The ender "Forgotten Sons" is my favorite song of the record. Featuring the most lively and ferocious passages of the disc, it also shows different influences, like a slight funky feel. A successful marriage between keyboards and lyrical guitar, with a beautiful evanescent finale. It rocks!

Although shorter when compared to the prog classics, the compositions manage to offer good progressions, changes and variety. MARILLION manages to build their own identity by merging their different seventies inspirations into the musical landscape of the eighties. Despite a dated sound, this first opus is rather refreshing and promising, and opens new horizons for other bands to come.

Simply essential for every fan of the genre. Also the one to start with for Gabriel-era GENESIS lovers. With "Fugazi", "Script For A Jester's Tear" is MARILLION's best album, as well as one of the best neo-progressive record of the 80's!

Modrigue | 4/5 |


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