Marillion - Anoraknophobia


Year of Release: 2001
Label: Intact Records
Catalog Number: Intact 12674
Format: CD
Total Time: 92:26:00

Call me a dedicated fan. Call me a hopeful fan. Call me an "anorak." Call me fan number 12,600 and something who pre-ordered this album sound unheard. Yes, there in tiny print is my name, declaring that I am, and have been, a Marillionite. That's the dedicated part, as each one of those names belongs to a person, a fan, who purchased this album before there was even an album to purchase. Before, perhaps there were even songs to make up an album to purchase. The timelines for all this are little hazy to me, since I ordered my copy oh-so-long ago. This pre-ordering was an extreme leap of faith. Not that I haven't bought albums based on reputation or past experience before without having heard a note, but this was something different. This was, perhaps, unprecedented. Just as the fan-financed US tour of 1997 was, only this time it was quid pro quo. Where financing the tour didn't buy you a ticket, pre-ordering this album got you this album, Anoraknophobia. And the band don't short-change or disrespect the obvious affection Marillion fans have. This special edition version comes with an illustrated lyric book, acknowledgement of each fan-financier, plus a bonus disk of demo versions (2 tracks), bonus tracks (2), and two video segments of the band laying down demos. John Bollenberg has also reviewed this title, and you will find his name, too, on that list. Here, too, you will find commentary and notes from the band about the recording of the album. But, if you're reading this, deciding if you want to buy this album, then you need to know more about the music that will be on it, as it's the same on the retail version.

So, the hopeful part of me was hoping (naturally) that this album would endear itself to me as had each preceding Marillion album dating back to 1983's Script For A Jester's Tear. Of course, hearing that album and this, you'd hardly think it was the same band. Except for the vocalist and drummer, it is, of course. Guitarist Steve Rothery is back. Keyboardist Mark Kelly, bassist Pete Trewavas -- all back, the stalwart members. Ian Mosley has been behind the kit long enough that its hard to remember he wasn't the drummer on Script? and Steve Hogarth, vocalist with the band longer than Fish was (yet Fish is still identified as ex-Marillion vocalist still?) returns. It's H's vocals which provide the most consistent link with Marillion past, as Marillion have otherwise reinvented themselves for this album. Again. Oh, perhaps they aren't so different from the Marillion of Radiation and marillion.com, but it does seem so in some ways.

Though the more you listen to it, the more you here elements of Hogarth-era-Marillion past. This is an album for the dedicated fans, though not inaccessible to newcomers. You don't have know Marillion's history to understand the album, but there are musical overtones that longtime fans will appreciate. Especially if, like me, they were somewhat disappointed with the band's last two outings.

My favourite track is "Quartz," which has a very funky beat, and seems to be one of the few times when Trewavas has had the spotlight to this degree ? oddly, but for the funkiness, this track could have been on Brave. Lyrically, one wonders if isn't left over from those sessions. So, while I must let go of the idea that my guitar hero Rothery is going to play lovingly emotional guitar lines like those of yore, there are some notes that surely do recall those watery tones of "Estonia." Kelly accents this song with equally watery keyboard sounds, kinda 60s/70s sounding. Hmm, and there's a part here at about 5:30 that is vaguely disco-esque. Certainly a glittery ball slowly spinning wouldn't seem out of place. This may be the single track that meets what I'd hoped for the band - 90s sound and energy and yet not losing those signature things that make them Marillion. Worth repeat listening.

"Between You And Me" opens the album quite energetically, though quiet piano introduces the track. While I wouldn't exactly say Hogarth sounds giddily in love, his fanciful imagery suggests just such a state. It is upbeat, jangly pop. Never thought I'd use those two words to describe Marillion, but there you go.

"Map Of The World" begins suspiciously like Bob Seger's "You'll Accompany Me," as Rothery strums a gentle acoustic guitar (according to the liner notes, an Ibanez semi-acoustic). Once Hogarth comes in, it becomes one part "100 Nights" one part jangly roots rock like Gin Blossoms?or is it Matchbox 20? Goo Goo Dolls? I don't know?I've got this other song going through my head but can't recall which band it is. The falsetto line going though my head is "Everything's going to be all right?" which Hogarth mimics here with his "Pinned up on the wall?" But, guess what! A Rothery solo that -- oh, the goosebumps -- that he hasn't really forgotten?lovely. Well, yes, I do like this song, as it appeals to the jangly-roots-rocker in me.

Melancholy, organ-like keys open "When I Meet God" and share the forefront with Hogarth's vocals. This is a warm track that, in some ways, recalls "Beautiful." It builds slowly, as guitar, drums, and bass come in. I think of "This Strange Engine" a bit, too. And "Out Of The World" in places. There is an emotional fragility to parts of Hogarth's delivery that recall bits of Brave as well ? this very well could be the protagonist of that album.

"Afraid Of Sunlight" is recalled in the acoustic, southwestern "The Fruit Of The Wildrose," but I also thought of Eric Clapton (of "Cocaine" specifically, but because of two or three notes coming from Rothery). "Separated Out" is the socio-political track here, at least on one level. A song for outcasts of every stripe. "This Is The 21st Century" sounds as if it is the ambient remix of the track, a la Positive Light's remixes of "Memory of Water" and the whole Tales From The Engine Room. The first time I heard this track was at MP3.com. I had the visualization screen open in WinAmp, as I usually do ? little did I know that the visual of a swirling and spinning wormhole would be the perfect accompaniment.

The album closes with "If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill" which is as funky as "Quartz," but this is a dark and dirty funk; it's grinding, sultry, angular and tough. Want a slight flash back to 1983? We'll it's here in this track, at about 5:30, where you get half-audible whispery voices a la "Script For A Jester's Tear," where the rhythm has been modernized and funkified. It's brief, of course, as the track glides into another phase, Hogarth's vocals treated with echo effects. Here we get bits of phrases from other songs on the album, but not in the same context. These are sound bites, delivered with the pulse of the percussion and bass.

Since Bobo also covered the audio tracks on the bonus disk, I thought I'd comment on the two video segments. The first is straight-forward, black and white, in the studio clip of the band demoing "Number One," the first of the four bonus tracks. There were moments where I thought of the mellower 70s Beatles material from Paul McCartney. The second clip is a montage moments in the studio while a wordless, demo version of "Map Of The World" plays in the background, Hogarth humming instead of singing the words.

So, have my hopes been met? Yes, I'd have to say they have. My feelings toward this album are far more positive than to the past two, but not because of the references. What Marillion have recaptured is what makes them Marillion, those things that should come through whether they are playing blues, roots rock, jazzy-funk or progressive rock. This is Marillion as we've come to know them, and Marillion in the 21st Century, and the mixture seems to have found the right balance.


Tracklisting:
Disc One: Between You And Me (6:28) / Quartz (9:07) / Map Of The World (5:02) / When I Meet God (9:18) / The Fruit Of The Wild Rose (6:57) / Separated Out (6:14) / This Is The 21st Century (11:07) / If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill (9:28)

Disc Two: Number One (2:49) / Fruit Of The Wild Rose (Demo) (6:20) / Seperated Out (Demo) (6:04) / Between You And Me (Mark Kelly Remix) (5:08) / Enhanced Video : Number One (Recording Demo) (2:40) / Map Of The World (Recording Demo) (5:45)

Musicians:
Mark Kelly - keyboards
Steve Rothery - guitars
Steve "H" Hogarth - vocals
Ian Mosley - drums
Pete Trewavas - bass

Discography:
Script For A Jester's Tear (1983)
Fugazi (1984)
Reel To Real (1984)
Misplaced Childhood (1985)
Brief Encounter (ep) (1985)
Clutching At Straws (1987/1999)
The Thieving Magpie (1988)
B-Sides Themselves (1988)
Season's End (1989)
Holidays In Eden (1991)
A Singles Collection 1982-1992 (1992)
Live At The Borderline (1992)*
Live In Caracas (1993)*
Live In Glasgow (1993)*
Brave (1994)
The Making Of Brave (1995)*
Afraid Of Sunlight (1995)
Made Again (1996)
Kayleigh (1996) (Dutch comp)
Essential Collection (1996) (UK comp; same as above)
Real To Reel/Brief Encounter (1997)
Best Of Both Worlds (1997)
This Strange Engine (1997)
Rochester (1998)*
Piston Broke (1998)*
Tales From The Engine Room (1998)
Radiation (1998)
Christmas 1998: The Web Christmas (1998)**
Kayliegh: The Essential Collection (1998) (UK comp.; diff. from above)
Unplugged At The Walls (1999)*
Marillion.com (1999)
Zodiac (1999)*
Christmas 1999: marillion.christmas (1999)**
marillion.co.uk (or bonus disk) (Ver 1-2000)
The Singles: '82 - '88 (box set) (2000/2009)
Christmas 2000: A Piss-Up In A Brewery**
Crash Course (Sampler) (2000)
ReFracted! (2001)*
Anoraknophobia (2001)
Another DAT At The Office (2001)*
Christmas 2001: A Verry Barry Christmas (2001)**
Fallout (2002)*
Anorak In The UK Live (2002)*
marillion.co.uk (or bonus disk) (Ver 2-2002)
Brave Live 2002 (2002)*
Caught In The Net (2002)*
Crash Course (Sampler) (2002)*
The Singles: '89 -'95 (2002)
Brave Live (2002)*
AWOL (2002)**
Christmas 2002: Santa And Elvis (2002)**
The Best of Marillion (2003)
View From The Balcony (2003)**
Christmas 2003: Say Cheese! Christmas With Marillion (2003)**
Curtain Call (2004) (3CD Box)*
Crash Course (2004)*
Marbles (2004)
Remixomatosis (2004)*
Christmas 2004: Baubles (2004)**
Popular Music (CD oop, avail. as download only) (2005)**
marillion.co.uk (or bonus disk) (Ver 3-2005)
View From The Balcony (Sampler) (Ver 2-2005)
Marbles By The Sea (2005)*
Marbles Live (2005)*
Handful Of Marbles (Sampler) (2005)*
Christmas 2005: Merry Xmas To Our Flock (2005)**
Unzipped (The Making Of 'Anoraknophobia') (2005)*
Crash Course (Ver 4 - 2006)
Smoke (2006)*
Mirrors (2006)*
Marbles Vinyl Edition (2006)
Christmas 2006: Jingle Book (2006)**
Somewhere Else (2007)
Crash Course (Ver 5 - 2007)*
Christmas 2007: Somewhere Elf (2007)**
Family (2007)*
Friends (2007)*
Crash Course (Ver 6 - 2008)*
Happiness Is The Road - Volume 1: Essence (2008)
Happiness Is The Road - Volume 2: The Hard Shoulder (2008)
Early Stages - The Official Bootlegs 1982-1987 (6CD Box) (2008)
Christmas 2008: Pudding On The Ritz (2008)**
Happiness Is Cologne (2009)*
Live From Loreley (2009)
Recital Of The Script (2009)
Less Is More (2009)
Size Matters (2010)*
Tumbling Down The Years (2010)*
The Official Bootleg Box Set, Vol. 2 (2010)
Live From Cadogan Hall (2010)*
Live In Montreal / Saturday (2010)*
Live In Montreal / Sunday (2010)*
Keep The Noise Down (sampler) (2010)
marillion.com Deluxe Digipack (2011)
Somewhere Else (2LP) (2011)
Marbles Deluxe Digipack (2011)
Marbles (2LP) (2011)
Live In Montreal / Friday (2011)*
Season's End Live 2009 (2011)*
This Strange Engine Live 2007 (2011)*
Afraid Of Sunlight Live 2003 (2011)*
A-Z (2012)*
This Strange Engine - Deluxe Digipack (2012)
Fugazi (LP) (2012)
Holidays In Eden (LP) (2012)
Sounds That Can't Be Made (2012)
Sounds That Can't Be Made - Deluxe Edition (2012)
Crash Course (2012)*
Sounds Live (2012)*
Anoraknophobia (LP) (2012)
The Glow Must Go On (2012)*
Sleighed Again (Christmas 2012) (2012)**
Best.Live (LP box set) (2013)
Radiation 2013 (2013)
Brave (LP) (2013)
Misplaced Childhood (LP) (2013)
Clocks Already Ticking (CD/DVD) (2013)*
Best Of Leamington (2013)*
Best Of Montreal (2013)*
Brave Live 2002 (CD/DVD) (2013)
Radiation 2013 (LP) (2013)
Somewhere In London (CD/DVD) (2013)
Afraid Of Sunlight (LP) (2013)
Clutching At Straws (LP) (2013)
Sounds That Can't Be Made (LP) (2013)
Brave Live 2013 (2013)
Sounds That Can't Be Made - 2013 Special Edition (2013)*
Proggin Around The Christmas Tree (Christmas 2013) (2013)**
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (dlx bx set) (2014)*
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (Holland version) (2014)*
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (Montreal version) (2014)*
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (3LP) (2014)*
A Collection Of Recycled Gifts (xmas comp.) (2014)*
Live At The Forum (2014)
Chile For The Time Of Year (Christmas 2014) (2014)*
Glass Half Full (2015)
F.E.A.R. (2016)
Waves & Numbers (2016)*
Marbles In The Park (2016)*
Singles Night (2016)*

Recital Of The Script (VHS/DVD) (1983/2003)
Grendel/The Web (VHS EP) (1984)
1983-86 The Videos (VHS [oop]) (1986)
Live From Loreley (VHS/DVD) (1987/2004)
From Stoke Row To Ipanema (VHS/DVD) (1990/2003)
A Singles Collection 1982-1992 (DVD) (1992)
Brave, The Film (VHS/DVD) (1995/2004)
Shot In The Dark (VHS/DVD [oop]) (2000/2002)
The EMI Singles Collection (DVD [PAL only])(2002)
A Piss-up In A Brewery (DVD) (2002/2010)
Brave Live 2002 (DVD) (2002)
Christmas In The Chapel (DVD) (2003)
Before First Light (DVD) (2003)
Wish You Were Here (DVD box, oop) (2005)
Colours And Sound (DVD) (2006)*
Marbles On The Road (DVD) (2005)
Bootlet Butlins (DVD) (2007)*
Somewhere In London (DVD) (2007)
This Strange Convention (DVD) (2009)
Snow De Cologne (DVD) (2009)**
Out Of Season (box set) (DVD) (2010)
Ding Dong Loreley On High (live) (DVD) (2010)
In-Tube DVD Sampler (DVD) (2010)
Out Of Season (DVD boxset) (2010)
Live In Montreal (3DVD) (2011)
Holidays In Zelande (BR) (2012)
Clocks Already Ticking (CD/DVD) (2013)
Brave Live 2002 (CD/DVD) (2013)
Brave Live 2013 (BR & DVD) (2013)
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (BR & DVD) (2014)*
Breaking Records (BR) (2015)
Unconventional (BR & DVD) (2016)
Out Of The Box (BR & DVD) (2016)

* Racket Records releases; ** Fan Club only

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: May 22nd 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Score:
Artist website: www.marillion.com
Hits: 823
Language: english

  

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