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Marillion - This Strange Engine CD (album) cover





3.42 | 561 ratings

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3 stars Occasionally I dig this out and give it a listen, I am playing it at the moment. To be fair, the album is a tad better than I remember it. 'Man Of A Thousand Faces' has some nice acoustic guitar, a pleasant melody, and an uptempo feel to it. Quite a nice start, though I could do without the choir/chorus at the end. 'One Fine Day' is slower, and recognisably Marillion. Very nice, but again, nothing special. '80 Days' is, yet again, very nice. It has a catchy chorus and is listenable, but Marillion have done much better than this. 'Estonia' could be one of my favourites. This is a slower piece, with trademark Rothery echoey guitar work running through it. This is a good song, one I enjoy. 'Memory Of Water', on the other hand, is probably the second worse track on the album. Now I like slow songs, but this is tedious, drags along, and is, frankly, quite depressing. Sorry, not my cup of tea. Lyrically it's hard work too. 'An Accidental Man' is much better. Nice guitar from Rothery again and a strong tune with impressive lyrics. Another thumbs up from me here! Unfortunately, we now come to what is possibly the worst song Marillion ever wrote. 'Hope For The Future' starts off slowly, with acoustic guitar, but then...oh dear, oh dear, in comes a truly awful pseudo-calypso rhythm and a pretty dire 'melody'. the chorus is the sort of thing you have nightmares about. It was hearing this track again that has put me off getting the cd. However, the album ends strongly with the epic title track. Fifteen plus minutes of classic Marillion, it's a song that seems to be in three parts, with nice tempo and mood changes, and a great build up to a powerful finale. Now this is more like it! If 'Memory Of Water' and 'Hope For The Future' had been replaced by two better songs, this album wouldn't be too bad. But those songs, especially the latter, drag it down in my opinion. Nevertheless, the rest of the material is, if not Marillion at their best, at least decent, and is worth three stars.
chessman | 3/5 |


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