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Marillion - Somewhere Else CD (album) cover





3.04 | 538 ratings

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3 stars The patient has survived ;)

This is actually the third Marillion album I had listened to... later I listened to the others. In comparison with the fantastic "Season's End" or the epic "Brave" it may seem to be a mediocre album. However I've taken into consideration all studio albums after "Afraid of Sunlight" and I found none in which more than half of the tracks would be worth listetning. Furthermore... I found that not more than two (sometimes three) songs could be rated as "good". It's a bit different in "Marbles" though... but the over-10-minute tracks are highly experimental (for Marillion that is) and some of the people that like the band could find them too strange. If "Marbles" was the experiment than "Somewhere Else" is the outcome. I may gladly admit the patient survived ;-) And he no longer suffers from anoraknophobia, internet addiction nor is he radiated ;-). OK, let's put the jokes aside.

I would recommend Somewhere Else (aside from another album with an identical acronym) to all starting their journey with Marillion. The 'journey' is a good word to describe this album. Many of the songs pick up the subjects of movement or change:

"And I'm falling But I'm rising.. Downwards into blue sky." - The Other Half

Aren't these lyrics kind of strange? "downwards into (...) sky"... yup. This is another thing I love about this album. Hogarth has finally written some really intelligent ambiguous metaphorical lyrics. If he keeps up the good work by 2020 he might even write something similar to "Fugazi". Oh... and Marillion's 'love songs' are no longer so shallow as "No one can" or "Hooks in you". If someone's interested these are: "The Other Half" (one of my favourites), "See it like a baby" and "Thank you whoever you are" (also "Faith but that's a totally different story). The former is the fastest and more rock-like, the latter are a bit slower but the sound of Rothery's guitar releases their darker, sometimes, more depressive sides. And the guitar solo in the first song is fantastic... something like playing a waltz on a distorted guitar... It's too short however, like asking "shall we dance" in the fourth minute of a 4:23-long song. That could be excused, but not "See it like a baby" which shows no emotions at all and the chorus is sung just for the chorus' sake - mindless repetition of the same sentence. The worst song on the album in my opinion.

The 'love song' part is separated from the more progressive songs with "Most Toys". It seems that this one doesn't fit the album but it's a surprisingly good track. Not because of the lyrics or the tune - actually because it's totally opposite to all Somewhere Else songs. It doesn't have catchy lyrics, but I think it is so to suit the decorum rule - noisy, sometimes gibberish lyrics in a noisy song... oh and this song IS noisy. You can hardly tell when the tunes change, moreover it's hard to find another song in which the vocal is more tuneful than the guitar. It's like King Crimson's "Happy with what you have to be happy with" only better.

The best is yet to come. Somewhere Else and A voice from the past - two excellent gloomy songs. The latter perhaps the most cheerless. This is fully the outcome of the "Marbles" experiment. Quite long, but not too long, musically excellent. The band gives you all it has. Overuses nothing and forgets nothing.

Well, the next three tracks are not as good as the rest of the album... but each one has something to give you. "No such thing" Another gloomy song. But no sensations here. Maybe there's no such thing as an album filled with excellent songs? If Hogarth's voice were an instrument, this could have been a good instrumental. It's a bit better than mediocre. "The Wound" now that one has a kick, and nice lyrics. It consists of two parts - the more aggressive and the slower, more tuneful. If someone's in the right mood (or has cut himself ;-) ) he may enjoy it.

"Faith" is the band's return to the early model of "at least one acoustic ballad per album". Marillion returned surely in the positive way. Faith is calming, joyful and interesting. Quite like "Made again" (a bit less meaningful, but that doesn't mean it's not excellent). It lacks the solo and the thrilling ending of "After Me" or "Easter" but it's even better, because it sounds originally while losing nothing of it's cheerfulness or the calm mood.

Overall the album is technically superb. Nonetheless it seems the guys paid half the attention they should to some tracks. No huge mistakes and some really excellent piece of music.

Best Song: Somewhere Else Worst Song: See It Like a Baby

Mike_Zed | 3/5 |


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