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Marillion - Misplaced Childhood CD (album) cover





4.25 | 2093 ratings

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5 stars SUPERB! This is the band's third album and the best that this band has ever produced to-date (2004). This is now 19 years after release date and I still consider this album still a MASTERPIECE. This album would not die with a passage of time.

In my opinion, there are two things that bound to any kind of music: 1.) the story that the musicians want to tell the listeners, and 2.) the structural integrity of the music composition itself. This album has fulfilled both excellently. As Fish described the first three albums in the MC sheet music book as "SCRIPT was bedsit thoughts, FUGAZI was hotel thoughts and MC is home thoughts.", some lyrics in this album can be considered as too personal with some of them touch the national pride as well. But the beauty of it is that anyone who listens to this story may relate with his / her own, assuming (for example) "Kayleigh" synonymous with his girlfriend. Anyone can also relate the "I was born with the heart of Lothian" with their own interpretation of "Lothian" or any national anthem. I think this is the strong point of this album, story-wise, as it was born from actual experience of the lyricist. Be it a real story or an imagination.

For those of you who are new in prog rock, this album is a must. You won't regret as there are "ear candy" pop stuffs like "Kayleigh" and "Lavender" as as well as nice melody and stunning prog music. The music of MC is beautifully crafted, well structured in terms of composition. All 10 songs were organized into two parts. I guess this is due to the availability of two-side LP when the album was created. Otherwise it would be a one piece of music. Again, with this album I admire highly on the band's ability to create a nice, natural and smooth TRANSITION between chapters in a song and between songs. The transitions piece, I think, has successfully accentuated the story and created a solid music nuances. Considering this is a concept album, there is NO tag line melody that is typically used repeatedly throughout the album. Each song carries its own melody and identity. Mixed together, they create a great music composition. This makes the album is worthy for exploration. With this album, you would hardly compare MARILLION with GENESIS. MARILLION is different.

DETAILS: (for those of you who want to explore further. Otherwise, just BUY the CD! The 2 CD version is better as later you would enjoy the other version of MC. You should listen to CD 2 after you get used to CD1.)

"Pseudo Silk Kimono" with a howling keyboard sound and heavy voice of Fish "Huddled in the city of pseudo silk kimono wearing bracelets of smoke .." has a dense in mood. Rothery's guitar work at the background is really nice. Disappearing sound of "Pseudo .." was then followed with a nice keyboard intro of "Kayleigh". It's a catchy transition here. "Do you remember?". This track transcends various relationships that Fish had experienced with bitter end as he was so committed with his career to be a famous singer. Again, at he end of this track a piano sound brings the music to "Lavender" nicely.

In the first part of "Bitter Suite" Fish sings in a poet reading style "A spider wanders aimlessly ..etc." . The music has transformed to a little bit spacey kind of music. The only unique thing is at vocals here. The tone has then climbed up when he sings "A train sleeps in a siding .. etc". This part ends nicely with "Her mother said she's beautiful, her daddy said 'a whore'". Terrific piece, melodically really!

I consider "Bitter Suite" is the trunk, melody-wise, of the album especially when at the third part (Blue Angel) when Fish sings "J'entend ton Coeur" the music moves fabulously with slow piano, keyboard and guitar sounds to the beautiful melody of fourth part (Misplaced Rendezvous). "It's getting late .etc." Woooowwww!!!! What a wonderful piece here, my friend!! It's damn nice! But the ecstasy has not ended yet as when the lyric part reaches "The parallel of you .. you" yeaaah .. another nice piece! It then bring you to fifth part (Windswept Thumb) "On the outskirts of nowhere .." .

The climax is really at the "Heart of Lothian" where the music brings together to a relatively higher tempo than the preceding tracks. "Wide boys! Wide boys!". It rocks! I admire Fish technical ability to sing seamlessly "rooting tooting cowboys, Lucky little ladies at the watering holes .".

Part 2 (B side) is much energetic and really stunning. The band does not allow any poppy touch in any of five tracks that make up Part 2. Opened with a high energy "Waterhole / Expresso Bongo" with dazzling percussion and drumming sounds, high tone vocal, this track sets the whole tone of Part 2. You may observe how brilliant the transition between this track to the next "Lords of the Backstage". "A love song with validity .." and "I just wanted you to be the first one .." are the lyric parts that people used to emulate. They have nice melody!

Hey, I bet you would say the next track "Blind Curve" is another really (really) wonderful track! I never imagined that human kind could create a very stunning, well structured, and nice melody musical composition as great as this track. From "Last night you said I was cold .." to "Strung out under necklace .." to "Oh I remember Toronto ."My childhood .. misplaced childhood .." to "I saw a war widow ." all are brilliant music pieces! It might require 3-page review for this track only. It's really a great track!

The other two tracks are excellent also. "I will wear your white feather / I will carry your white flag. I will swear I have no nation / But I'm proud to own my heart" is a nice lyric of a concluding track "White Feather". Relating to reading a book, it seems to me that the concluding track is like the ending of the story. Brilliant work!

So, what do you think? - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Gatot | 5/5 |


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