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Fish - Raingods With Zippos CD (album) cover





3.68 | 261 ratings

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3 stars Fish continues proves once again that his career was not over by a long shot when he laft Marillion. He still knows how to let loose the most basic and the most intricate human experiences and emotions into song form, more often than not with a flurry metaphors and symbolism which could basically set the curriculum for a high school English class alone. It is my opinion that he did his best work with Marillion, and though much of his solo work is worth a generous nod, it hardly ever surpasses his work with the band. At the writing of this review, I own Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors, Sunsets of Empire, and Raingods With Zippos, which is definitely the best of the bunch.

Representing the prog aspect of Fish's solo career is the mood-shifting, atmospheric and above all interesting epic, "A Plague of Ghosts." This is by far my favorite song, not only because it holds my interest with excellent use of textures and electronic/synthesized atmospheres, but because the songwriting is tight and all sections of the epic have their own characteristic while maintaining a slight cohesiveness to make the song plausible as a whole. It really is one of Fish's crowning achievements.

The other tracks are not up to this level of greatness, but don't fall flat either. At their worst, they're enjoyable filler, causing no harm but not enticing me to return for multiple listens very often. I enjoy "Tumbledown," with it's catchy tune propelled by a jaunty piano sequence, and "Rites of Passage/Plague of Ghosts" which reminds me heavily of the subdued, introspective tone of Roger Waters' best solo album, Amused to Death. The other shorter songs are by no means bad, and can be quite good, but do not inspire me as much as those already mentioned.

As far as I can tell, Raingods with Zippos is the best solo album Fish has to offer. It's not as good as the albums he recorded with Marillion, but he does display strong songwriting and one superb track which is entirely up to par with the bygone era. This is one album for the avid Marillion fan or for those curious to see what Fish has been up to after setting out on his own.

stonebeard | 3/5 |


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