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





4.23 | 1993 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I hate to use the overrated, but I'm afraid I have no choice here.

Don't get me wrong, this is a neat album. It is historically significant, too, being one of the major factors in spawning the neo prog movement, which arguably saved progressive music as a whole. However, the music here is progressive in the most generic sense of the word. Most of the tracks sound like Marillion trying to be Genesis. I don't mind bands drawing influence, even, if they must, a heavy influence, from other bands, but on more or less all the tracks save for the final one, it sounds like they used an imaginary Peter Gabriel to produce their album. The sound, then, is lost in the 70s, kind of piddling around and never moving forward really. This problem will be the one to haunt almost all neo prog until well into the 90s.

Here, we have the beginning not only of the band but the first of the four albums from the Fish era. The man has a unique voice when he chooses to use it thus, giving tracks like Forgotten Sons and the title track a lot of punch and flair. The musicians are all talented; however, none of them really stand out as particularly skilled or exciting, at least on this record. The general criticism of neo prog bands playing only safe prog rather than pushing the boundaries applies a bit less to this record than to later ones, still. The very quiet intro to the title track kicks into a surprising bit of bouncy keyboards. Forgotten Sons is a haunting and raging cry for justice, with a few sounds from Fish that could almost be called screams. He Knows You Know is a fun, fast paced tune. The rest of the songs are well-balanced, but on the whole they are sort of generic and nothing special.

This is a good album, don't misunderstand. I enjoy listening to it plenty. However, Marillion recorded several better albums, and other neo prog bands have done better, too. Genesis did better as well. In all, a worthy album to own for fans of the genre, but I'm not going to recommend it to everyone.

LiquidEternity | 3/5 |


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