Fish - Fellini Days

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Chocolate Frogs Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:42:00

If you have seen my last few reviews and have been wondering why the hell I'm giving every album reviewed three and a half frogs [points], don't worry, I haven't forgotten how to count. It's mere coincidence. Anyway, getting back to the purpose of this review, I have just given Fish's Fellini Days my official final listen before starting to write, and I must say, it was much better than I thought it would be.

I have nothing against Fish, mind you, and I happen to think that he was one hell of a lyricist and not a bad singer at all, but when I heard the title track of his previous release, Raingods With Zippos, the man's voice sounded like it was on the verge of being shot. I admittedly did not get to hear more than a couple of tracks off that album, which did not include the supposedly excellent "Plague Of Ghosts," so I can't really make a sound comparison between then and now, but I can tell you one thing: If Fish lost his voice for a moment, he's found it again.

On Fellini Days, the singer sounds particularly ballsy when it comes to the album's standout tracks, and still surrounds them with a veil of hypnotic mystery that accentuates his deep voice; something that results rather resplendent on the similarly exotic moods of "So Fellini" and "Dancing In Fog." It's no secret that Fish has stated his desire to bring his music into a state of continual progress more than once, and he is achieving that. There is a modern quality to the darkest tracks of Fellini Days that jumps at the listener with ominous samples and effects, cool foreboding atmospheres, and a certain vocalist who seems to be at his very best when in an aggressive mood.

I must admit, however, that I have my qualms regarding the album. Four of them, to be precise. Oh yes, you're very clever, they're all songs. In what has now been a Fish tradition for a while, a host of ballads and poppy tracks constitutes about half of the album, and this time around, that's not a good thing. Proof is sufficiently provided by "Tiki 4," which admittedly sounds very solid and well executed in its Hawaiian tone, but really doesn't make things interesting until it reaches the end and drifts off into an exotic landscape of descending sunsets that results exotically majestic.

And with the exception of the more Pink Floydesque mood of the excellent "3D," it is that very exotic majesty that crowns the best tracks of Fellini Days with an undeniable feeling of accomplishment. Furthermore, it also manages to erase the memories of boring pop quickly and brings the record again to what is the perfect ambience for Fish's vocal abilities. That is why, when one listens to the admirably unnerving webs of sound that guitarist John Wesley and keyboardist John Young weave with an electronic drum track in "Clock Moves Sideways," there is not a shadow of doubt: Fish is still in business, and he does it like he means it.

Similar artists: Pink Floyd, Phil Collins

3D (9:11) / So Fellini (4:06) / Tiki 4 (7:32) / Long Cold Day (5:33) / Dancing In Fog (5:30) / Obligatory Ballad (5:15) / The Pilgrim's Address (7:18) / Clock Moves Sideways (7:17)

Fish - vocals
John Wesley - guitars
John Young - keyboards
Steve Vantsis - bass
Dave Stewart - drums

Vigil In A Wilderness of Mirrors (1990)
Internal Exile (1991)
Songs From The Mirror (1992)
There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop
?Swears He's Fish
Toiling In The Reeperbahn (1993)**
Derek Dick And His Amazing Electric Bear (1993)**
Pigpens Birthday (1993)**
Uncle Fish & The Crypt Creepers (1993)**
For Whom The Bells Toll(1993)**
The Funny Farm Project - Outpatients '93 (1993)***
Suits (1994)
Sushi (1994)**
Acoustic Session (1994)**
Yin and Yang (1995)
Fish Head Curry (1996)**
Krakow (1996)
Sunsets On Empire (1997)
Kettle Of Fish (1998)
Fortunes Of War Acoustic Set UK '94 (1998)
Tales From The Big Bus (Live From K?ln 1997) (1998)
Haddington Corn Exchange 1998 (1999)
The Complete BBC Sessions (1999)
Raingods With Zippos (1999)
Candlelight In Fog (USA 2000) (2000)
Fellini Days (2001)
Sashimi (Live In Poznan, Poland 1999) (2001)
Fellini Nights (2002)
Mixed Company (2003)
Field Of Crows (2004)
Bouillabaisse - The Best Of Fish (2005)
Return To Childhood (2006)
Communion (2007)
13th Star (2007)
A Feast Of Consequence (2013)
The Moveable Feast - European Tour 2013-2015 (2016)
Farewell To Childhood - Live In Europe 2015-2016 (2017)

NEARFest - Fish Live In The USA (2009)
Leamington Spa - Sunday October 21st (2013)
Fishheads Club Live (2013)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: August 25th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 870
Language: english


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