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





4.23 | 2007 ratings

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4 stars Marillion's debut failed to impress me the first time or two I heard it, but it has grown on me since. Certainly Fish sounds an awful like Peter Gabriel, both in his God-given voice and in his way of singing so theatrically; but this comparison wears out with repeated listens. I don't hear the terrible drumming that many profess to hearing, although I will say the drumming does nothing for me. Strangely, this is an album that's enjoyment value changes as it goes (for me anyway); I really like the first two songs, but things begin to drag after a while. In fact, my ranking of the tracks would be exactly as the tracks appear.

"Script for a Jester's Tear" Quiet vocals over piano begin the album. When the band comes in, they do sound rather like Men At Work, at least until the introduction of the synthesizer. The song stops completely to allow the next section to begin, a technique I don't particularly care for. Fish sings pensively over quiet acoustic guitar and easygoing synthesizer, before the heavier dramatic section comes in. The lead guitar during the next park (not to mention the overall sound) has an unmistakable 1980s sound, even as it fades out.

"He Knows You Know" At first, the vocals can be off-putting, but after only two listens, they grew on me. The tightly structured synthesizer work and subsequent guitar solo are excellent. It ends with a short but weird telephone call (a la Pink Floyd's "Young Lust").

"The Web" From heavy rock to more theatrical acoustic guitars, this might be the most varied song on the album. Mark Kelly's synthesizers are pleasing, and , despite a simplistic chord progression, Steve Rothery performs a rather sophisticated guitar solo. Speaking of chord progressions, the main one sounds like "House of the Rising Sun," so it sounds terribly derivative.

"Garden Party" The gentle noise of a party leads into the synthesizer-heavy introduction, punctuated by Pete Trewavas's bass and Mick Pointer's drums. Clean but strange guitar lets the music sound breathy, especially alongside Fish's vocals, which sound like they are outdoors. While the musicians do a fantastic job, I find myself largely bored, at least until the flashy solo from Kelly.

"Chelsea Monday" Trewavas plays the chords on his bass one note at a time, as Fish sings. Once again, the chord progression demonstrates a lack of creativity, particularly during the rather loud guitar solo. A clean guitar enters for the next segment, which features some intriguing lyrics. During the final guitar solo, there's some panned conversation that can be unsettling if heard through headphones- I look over my left shoulder every time!

"Forgotten Sons" My least favorite track on the album is the last one; it's just so hard to stay interested in. I enjoy the bass playing and synthesizer work the most, but largely, this song is directionless and irritating. The most aggravating part is the spoken vocal with the higher singing that accompanies it, and the warped recitation of The Lord's Prayer puts me off. The ending is the best part, with some tasty guitar bits and good vocal work.

Epignosis | 4/5 |


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