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Marillion - F E A R (F*** Everyone And Run) CD (album) cover





3.77 | 444 ratings

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4 stars A new renaissance for Marillion!

My relationship with Marillion has been an idle one for quite a few years now. I'm a big fan of the classic Fish era material and do enjoy the early Hogharth era releases up until Afraid Of Sunlight, yes that includes the somewhat controversial Holidays In Eden. After 1995 the band continued their cycle of album releases which to me sounded pretty bland and unfocused. The band did manage to get praise for the 2004 release Marbles but I'm still not entirely sure why it's such a popular release. Maybe it has to do with the band finally getting their first cohesive release in years? After two more releases Marillion finally hit rock bottom with the release of Less Is More, a studio album which consisted of new acoustic arrangements of some previously released tracks. To me it sounded like the band was no longer even trying to make any new creative choices and instead were just pandering to their existing fanbase.

Then something happened with the release of Sounds That Can't Be Made, which partly could be attributed to Steve Hogharth's strong lyrics that moved away from his otherwise very personal reflections and became more concerned with the world of today. I remember hearing Power for the first time at a concert and taken by the delivery and message of the new material. After listening to the entire Sounds That Can't Be Made I was definitely impressed by many of the compositions but there were still a few lesser tracks that dragged the overall experience for me.

Four years passed and a new Marillion album was beginning to make headlines. At first I was only barely enthusiastic about the news, writing off Sounds That Can't Be Made as a minor spark in the band's catalog and assuming that they'll get back to business as usual on F E A R... how wrong it was of me to assume this! After hearing the EP The New Kings, which predated the release by a few month, my mind definitely began to change since what I was hearing on this four part suite was a more aggressive and revitalized band. Musically the material is fueled by genius keyboard arrangements by Mark Kelly, which don't distract from the overall flow of the music while creating just enough groove for the other band members to contribute to. Steve Rothery performs some of his most memorable guitar work in years, which could be attributed to the new energy that he's received by working on his solo work with the Steve Rothery band. Ultimately it's Steve Hogharth's lyrics and vocal performance that completes the material and makes it some of the most memorable work from Marillion in decades!

The album consists of merely six compositions, three of which take up more than 75 % of the album time and thus are the backbone of this marvelous album. Of the three I probably enjoy El Dorado and The New Kings the most but The Leavers is not far behind the other two. These three compositions have an overall theme that reflects upon the current state of affairs in the world and taps in the dark side of the politics and world economy. The three remaining shorter songs are by no means lesser than the rest and manage to complete the transitions between the multi suite tracks. Living In F E A R is probably my least favorite composition on the album but it's mostly due to it's last 2 minutes which, in my opinion, could have been omitted from the track. White Paper is my favorite of the "shorter" tracks due to it's sleek progression, which almost makes it a multi suite in a mini format, and the strong melodic hooks in the vocal delivery. Tomorrow's New Country finishes off the album with an epilogue and makes me wonder whether this is the new direction that Marillion is planning to expand on in the future? I guess only time will tell.

To me F E A R is the best Marillion album since the 1987 release of Clutching At Straws but the journey here was long and quite a bumpy one. Please give this album at least three spins before making your judgment. For me it took more than 10 repeated listens for the tracks to settle into what I now consider an excellent release from one of the under-appreciated band's of modern progressive rock.

***** star songs: F E A R (4:07) The Grandchildren Of Apes (2:35) Vapour Trails In The Sky (4:49) White Paper (7:18) Fuck Everyone And Run (4:22) Russia's Locked Doors (6:24) Why Is Nothing Ever True? (3:24)

**** star songs: Long-Shadowed Sun (1:26) The Gold (6:13) Demolished Lives (2:23) Living In F E A R (6:25) Wake Up In Music (4:27) The Remainers (1:34) The Jumble Of Days (4:20) One Tonight (3:56) A Scary Sky (2:33) Tomorrow's New Country (1:47)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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