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Marillion - Sounds That Can't Be Made CD (album) cover





3.57 | 599 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars For a band like Marillion, now with seventeen studio releases in their library, there is bound to be a lot to love... and a lot dislike. Even in the past three releases I've found myself captivated, inspired, disappointed, and now with Sounds That Can't Be Made, bored. This, despite the album's stellar production values and layers of musicianship... it's just a boring album.

The set-piece, a 17 minute opus that blends styles and inspiration into a surprisingly heavy and ominous composition, comes across as disjointed and unengaging. The band sounds great, but the song didn't grab me or leave me with much to walk away with. It's an experiment, and I respect Marillion for trying something like it, but it doesn't play to their strengths. Over rated and off-putting.

The better songs are those like the title track, "Pour My Love," "Power," and "Invisible Ink," which are extended art-pop pieces that feature the band's slinky cool and thoughtful playing. Rothery has a handful of great solos, and the rhythm section specifically stands out especially strong throughout. These few songs also have poetic and thoughtful lyrics by Hogarth.

Speaking of H, Hogarth does his vocal shtick well, giving us his characteristically interesting phrasing and emotional delivery. However, like the songwriting overall, there are no real passages that stuck with me because of the density and triteness of the lyrics in almost every other track on this album. Many songs are crammed with words, and too many of them are banal and unambitious. "Gaza," "Lucky Man," and the painfully bad "Montreal" are so uncreative and pandering that it actually took me three listens to make it through this album.

The handful of good tracks and the band's musicianship rescue the album from a 2-star rating, but that's being generous. Sounds That Can't Be Made is a collection of Marillion moments that sometimes coalesce into interesting songs, but more often overstay their welcome in lengthy and uninspired songs. As a huge fan I get a lot of enjoyment listening to the band play the instrumental passages, that's about it. Vastly inferior to the momentous Marbles or Brave; this album feels like This Strange Engine with higher production values. Let's see if the guys can rebound next time.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |


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