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Marillion - Misplaced Childhood CD (album) cover

MISPLACED CHILDHOOD

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

4.25 | 2071 ratings

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Modrigue
Prog Reviewer
3 stars A deception

Even after several listens, I still don't understand why this album is often considered as MARILLION's best and as one of the greatest representative of the neo-prog genre. I do enjoy the other studio records from the Fish-era though, but here the music is a bit too consensual. For sure, the band gained more audience by turning more accessible and radio-friendly with this release, making the compositions less progressive and complex, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, despite being the first MARILLION concept album, "Misplaced Childhood" is too smooth and do not possess the creativity and the magic of their previous opuses. The evasion and fantasy are still present, but are melted with 80's pop cheesiness.

The opener "Pseudo Silk Kimono" is a melancholic intro for "Kayleigh". This hit single possesses a nice beautiful ambiance, but is ruined by its soapy melody. The poppy commercial "Lavender" is also rather boring. The worst track of the record. On the contrary, the progressive "Bitter Suite" is one of the best compositions of the disc. It features a spacey introduction, numerous changes and pretty floyd-ian peaceful passages. "Heart Of Lothian" is another poppy neo-prog rock song.

Then comes the hard oppressive "Waterhole", quite surprising with its tribal ambiance. As a transition, "Lords Of The Backstage" is forgettable but fortunately short enough to avoid being irritating. The 9 minutes "Blind Curve" is the longest and other progressive track, in the style of "Bitter Suite". Despite its very nice guitar solo, this composition is average, as it contains lengthy insipid passages. "Childhoods End?" is in fact the opposite to "Kayleigh": the only good things are the powerful melody and its fantasy finale, typical of the neo-prog genre. Concerning "White Feather", this hard FM ender seems rather out of place.

"Misplaced Childhood" has interesting tracks, but less breathtaking moments than on "Script for a Jester's Tear" or "Fugazi". The mixture of commercial pop and neo-progressive structures does not work always very well and doesn't provide such evasion as the other previous opus.

An overrated album, not the best point to start with to discover neo-prog, especially if you're allergic to 80's FM pop. However, this is still MARILLION with Fish, therefore the result remains overall enjoyable.

Modrigue | 3/5 |

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