Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Marillion - Clutching At Straws CD (album) cover





4.16 | 1296 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Goodbye Fish, you will be missed

Since I learned that Fish left MARILLION after releasing this album refused to upgrade it to CD, being that it gave me some sort of nostalgia to listen the "swan song" of a glorious band that turned dull and in-transcendent after the departure of the talented frontman, vocalist and lyricist, but instead of complaining, lets talk about the last album of MAERILLION with the charismatic Derek William Dick.

The album is opened "Hotel Hobbies" a song that begins with a long and mysterious introduction with Fish singing almost a cappella, being that the music is so subtle that we can almost only hear the voice, but suddenly the song radically changes into a heavy section with Mark Kelly and Steve Rothery giving a memorable performance.

Almost instantaneously "Hotel Hobbies" morphs into "Warm Wet Circles", one of the most beautiful and melodic classics of the band, the vocals are so unique, that I can't imagined it being sung by Hogarth...One of the top moments of the band.

"That Time Of The Night (The Short Straw)" is one of the songs that I like less from the album, but I can't deny that the keys and bass are spectacular and the soft changes are very interesting, probably one of the few songs that reminds more of the four man era GENESIS.

"Going Under" is another high point with the excellent guitar and atmospheric Mellotron, but best of all the way it links with the faster and strong "Just for the Record", this guys manage the contrast between songs in a very skilled way.

The following two tracks are among my favorite MARILLION songs, the atmospheric but hard "White Russian" with radical changes plus amazing piano and the eternal "Incommunicado", a classic that shows the typical Fish MARILLION style, simply frenetic and delightful, with one of Derek"s best vocal performances.

"Torch Song" is a beautiful ballad, not spectacular, but good enough, specially because the Synth, but it leads to another classic "Slainte Mhath" which after the soft introduction changes into one of the best tracks of their history, perfectly syncopated by Ian Mosley who has one of the best timings I ever heard, but not lack of emotion and abrupt percussion explosions, and to complete the scene, Fish showing all the energy he's capable of.

The album ends with "Sugar Mice" and "The Last Straw", both soft and melodic, as to lower the revolutions after the frenetic "Slainthe Mahth", but in my opinion not the best option to close the last album with Fish in the vocals.

Obviously "Clutching at Straws" is not in the superb level of "Script for a Jester's Tear" or even "Misplaced Childhood", but surely an essential release for every Prog collection, so 4 stars it is.

BTW: My version of "Clutching at Straws", comes with a second CD that I won't write about (I only review the albums as they were originally released by the band),, that contains good unreleased material and some alternative versions of the best tracks , but despite this option I take, strongly recommend to get it, some of this bonus tracks are very good.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this MARILLION review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives