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Marillion - Clutching At Straws CD (album) cover





4.16 | 1296 ratings

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4 stars This 1987 release from Marillion saw their triumphant return to the dark progressive stylings of their early albums after the mediocre Collins-pop "Kayleigh" era. The album revolves strongly around the themes of alcohol and addiction, and was to be lead singer Fish's swan song with the band. The first side of the album is patchy, with several great tracks such as the opener "Hotel Hobbies", the powerful fan favourite "Warm Wet Circles", and my personal favourite on this side of the album, "White Russian", a song which proves that Fish was far more than a geeky Peter Gabriel tribute act. However, this side does have it's weak parts, such as the poppy and bare sounding "Just For The Record", which is definitely the weakest track on the album. The second side of the album is the stronger of the two, opening with the albums most famous single "Incommunicado", which gives us a glimpse of Marillion's heavier side, striking a resemblance to their earlier single "He Knows, You Know" from their debut album. The next track "Torch Song" tells the sad tale of an alcoholic who seems very much resigned to his early grave, with grief stricken vocals from Fish and a light and melancholy riff from guitarist Steve Rothery. The third track on this side "Slainte Mhath" is another lyrically powerful piece, telling tales of those who used alcohol to drown their sorrows, such as the soldiers who were mentally scarred at the battle of the Somme, and of the unemployed Clydeside shipyard workers who'd industry has collapsed beneath them. The penultimate track, and the strongest on the album, is the excellent all rounder "Sugar Mice", with excellent instrumental work by Rothery and keyboardist Mark Kelly supported by a powerful drum beat from the renowned prog drummer Ian Mosely, this is most definitely the finest example of Marillion's musical talent on the album. The album's final track "The Last Straw" is a round up of the themes shown throughout the album, with some excellent tempo and timbre changes. This album is personally not my favourite by Marillion, but it is worth listening to and a great album for any Fish fanatics.
cynthiasmallet | 4/5 |


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