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Marillion - Misplaced Childhood CD (album) cover





4.25 | 2093 ratings

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3 stars Misplaced Childhood lacks the quirky eccentricities of Script for a Jester's Tear, the instrumental drive of Fugazi, and the bleak moodiness of Clutching at Straws. Instead, it's largely a flavorless album devoid of spice. While there is nothing inherently wrong with simplicity, the progressions on this album are bland and wholly predictable. Generally, this is not a progressive rock masterpiece (it's hardly progressive rock), but it does contain some very good music, especially to the ear not put off by 1980s rock clichés, which this album has in spades.

"Pseudo Silk Kimono" Stark synthesizer providing a simple development sits beneath Fish's unmistakable vocal.

"Kayleigh" A saccharine pop song, but a strikingly good one and immediately catchy, "Kayleigh" is a light bit of fun in the vein of Toto.

"Lavender" A childlike, sweet follow up to "Kayleigh," this is again unoffending soft rock. The lead guitar consists of a modest but fitting motif.

"Bitter Suite" Synthesizer and spoken word open this darker song, which primarily consists of Steve Rothery performing another elementary solo.

"Heart of Lothian" Passionate and patriotic, this is one of the highlights of the album, featuring a splendid counterpoint between the vocal climax and the lead guitar.

"Waterhole (Expresso Bongo)" The sixth track picks up with some dark energy, but unfortunately doesn't do much with it, preferring to just peter off into the next track.

"Lords of the Backstage" Vividly bright, this tune is a major contrast to the previous song.

"Blind Curve" For the most part on this album, Marillion had been sitting comfortably in syrupy pop music, occasionally dipping a toe into the complexities progressive rock is well known for, but here, the band embraces the compositional involvedness that was more evident on an album like their very first one. The ubiquitous clean electric guitar transforms the chord progressions into even more satisfying entities. The piece drops off into a percussive chasm, one that sounds quite like the very beginning of Genesis' "Back in NYC" before moving back into simplistic symphonic rock.

"Childhood End?" Pete Trewavas elevates an otherwise straightforward synth-pop song with compelling bass playing, and Mark Kelley's synthesizer lead concludes the piece wonderfully.

"White Feather" The closer is a brief, energetic rocker, and little more.

Epignosis | 3/5 |


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