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Marillion - Somewhere Else CD (album) cover

SOMEWHERE ELSE

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.04 | 538 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ProgRobUK
2 stars After the excellent Anoraknophobia and Marbles, could Marillion surprise us again? Sadly, no. This album fails to do it for me - frequently weak lyrics (usually a Marillion strong point) and a mix I don't particularly like. The Other Half is a promising start and is the most consistently good track on the whole album. There is a well balanced mix and a good bounce to it. Part of the way through it breaks with a characteristic Marillion change of pace and style dropping into a piano-led part before picking up again. Nice Rothery guitar work with a classic solo at the end. Great stuff - similar in many ways to 'Between You and Me' off Anoraknophobia.

See It Like A Baby has the feel of several tracks on the Marillion.com album - pleasant but instantly forgettable. It really does nothing for me. I also disliked the drum sound on this track which then reappears elsewhere on the album. Thankyou Whoever You Are One of the most popular songs amongst Marillion fans off the album, 'Marbles', is the track 'Take Me The Island'. When recording that song the band thought that it couldn't be made to work. Producer Dave Meegan forced the band to work though it and they ended up with an excellent song. For this album, Marillion seem to have tried to replicate that song. Thankyou has similar sounding instrumentation, similar slow pace and overall similar feel and structure. Although pleasant enough, it all sounds just a bit dated. Whilst 'Island' had moving words, these seem so much weaker. Worse still, Mr Hogarth seems incapable of singing the word "Thankyou" half the time seeming to sing "sank you" instead. To make matters worse, once it has been pointed out to you, you find yourself straining to listen to every chorus to see whether he will sing it right. The song has another nice Rothery solo just before the final rousing chorus of "sank you's". Overall a pleasant but dated song.

Most ToysOops, what happened here? If someone were to compile a "Worst of Marillion" album there can be no doubt this will be on there along with classics such as 'Built In Bastard Radar' and 'Hope for the Future'. The endless repetition of the hardly deep insight that "he who dies with the most toys is still dead" is boring. The whole track sounds like some terrible school band. The best part of this track is its brevity coming in at only 2:48.

With Somewhere Else we come to the second truly good track on the album and the longest at almost eight minutes. The words were written by Steve Hogarth one Christmas Eve following the break up of his marriage; this one really hurts and has some of the most powerful lyrics on the album. Unfortunately, it is slightly spoilt by having some of weakest ones too. The song starts with a piano driven series of chords with h questioning the good of being in a band and the "thin line between love and hate". Then, about three minutes in, we have some of the most cringe worthy rhyming I have ever heard - Taurus, Thesaurus and Chorus. I guess that h thought he was being clever when he wrote those, but the whole verse sounds out of keeping with the overall tone of the song weakening the whole effect. The dreadful verse is repeated again but with the vocals heavily processed and added bleeps giving the feel that it is being beamed down from a spaceship. This leads on to more weak lyrics about floating around in space. The music works here, but not the lyrics. However, suddenly the song takes on a life of its own and the last couple of minutes are Marillion at their best with the emotion of the lyrics coming through powerfully. I cannot help but feel that with more work this could have been one of their best songs ever.

A Voice From The Past is a slow song that yet again starts with the piano and h singing over it. A song about how we relate to others in our world, especially those in poverty. Again the song has some sections of weak lyrics and it takes over three and a half minutes before it reaches its strong section. Another great Rothery guitar piece towards the end.

No Such Thing is quite possibly the most boring song that Marillion have ever managed to produce. Rothery lays down a slow guitar loop over which Steve Hogarth (with a highly processed voice) sings "There's no such thing" lots of times. Steve Hogarth says that they nearly didn't include it on the album - they shouldn't have bothered trying to save it.

The Wound After the last two slow ones, we get upbeat again. The overall sound is very much like that of the 'Radiation' album. The song is in two parts which work well together. The same strange drum sound/mix is present, but this time it works with the style of the song. It finishes with some very odd breathing down the microphone which sounds like someone about to break into tears. Again, with more direction, this could have been an excellent song.

And at that point the album ends. Well not really. But you wouldn't miss too much if you skipped the last two tracks. But here they are anyway.

The Last Century For Man When I heard this live, before the album was released, it sounded like a chaotic mess with appallingly bad lyrics. I could only assume it would be much better on the disc. It isn't. It's a slow dirge for nearly six minutes telling us we are destroying the world and we act as if we don't care. The lyrics really are as bad as they appeared at the gig and I cannot stand the "God Bless ..., I mean it" lines in the chorus. That 'Worst of Marillion' album has another entry.

Faith Having heard this song twice at one of the Marillion conventions it was a sigh of relief that it wasn't included on Marbles. Unfortunately, the band seem to think it is good and so put it on here instead. The song is initially an acoustic guitar ballad (guitar played by Pete Trewavas, I think, who normally plays bass) with a bit of a Beatles-esque feel to it. At about 1:45 the rest of the band comes in sounding dreadful all really low-fi - those awful drums and this time some terrible bass sound too. The song ends with the addition of a French Horn which, apart from sounding totally out of place is mixed far too load. The sound quality on this track is extraordinarily different from the rest of the album. It sounds much more intimate and close-up. A check of the liner notes shows it was recorded the year before the rest of the album.

Steve Hogarth has said that the original plan was for an EP of four or five tracks. Careful selection could have produced what would have been an enjoyable EP. Instead we have what sounds in places more like a demo tape. I don't like the production, finding myself straining at times to hear any bass at all and wishing I could turn the drums down slightly and vocals up slightly. There is a set of five photos of the band members in the middle of the album lyrics that is laid out as if someone is missing. I can't help but feel that the missing person is Dave Meegan who produced the excellent 'Brave' and 'Marbles'.

The album may appeal to someone who really liked 'Radiation' and 'Marillion.com' as there is a lot of similarity in the sound and style, but for the vast majority of followers of the band though, you have to be honest, this just isn't that great.

It's hard for a Marillion fan to say this but 2.5 stars would be the score I would give. As I don't like the mix and overall sound, I'll round that down to an embarrassing 2 stars.

ProgRobUK | 2/5 |

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