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    Marillion - marillion.com

    Year of Release: 1999
    Label: Intact
    Catalog Number: RAWCD 144
    Format: CD
    Total Time: 62:25:00

    I have been a Marillion fan since Misplaced Childhood (of course), and with each release I have eagerly awaited the sonic adventures the band were going to take me on, whether it was Fish on vocals or Steve Hogarth. I've loved each and every album (to greater or lesser degrees) right on up to Radiation, which, while there were parts I liked, overall it disappointed me.

    So, it was with some trepidation that approached marillion.com. Had they further left the special for the mundane? Were they even closer to becoming just an ordinary rock band? Well ? no; the shift seems to be back the other way.

    This album falls in between Radiation and This Strange Engine. Much of it is close (sometimes too close) to This Strange Engine. The highlight for me, however, is the least Marillion-like track, one that manages to capture the Marillion essence I found lacking on Radiation. That track is "House" which closes out the disk. While there are the subtle, understated vocals by Hogarth that he does so well, and atmospheric sonics by the band, it is the addition of a warm, high-toned and brassy trumpet that lifts this song into another realm. I'd have to call it mellow, non-sugary smooth jazz - or maybe even Marillion meets Miles Davis ? though I actually thought more of Rick Braun (my personal favourite trumpeter, so that may have something to do with it).

    The overall feel to this album is the same as with "This Strange Engine" (the track). If you were to pick the elements of that track apart and develop them separately, you'd get this album. The ideas and themes here are different - actually more like succeeding chapters to that story. All of which presumes that you're familiar with that earlier disc, so I'll assume you're not.

    And though I won't go track by track, here a few sound bites to give you a sense of what to expect.

    Imagine if Hogarth sang a Tom Petty penned tune, enhanced by a touch of saxophone. That would be track two, "Deserve," though Hogarth himself penned it.

    "Go!" is a return to Marillion of Brave - quivering bass; sparse, shimmering guitar notes, keyboards both tinkling and washing. Beautiful., and comes very close to "House" in being my favourite track.

    "Turn The Beat Around"-- no, sorry, it's "Rich" that's next, but you might for a moment be thinking that Marillion have included a cover tune. "Rich" actually is more a Beatles-esque tune given a 90's sheen, but also a rather typical rock song. It's not bad and won't have die-hard fans cringing like they did over "Cannibal Surf Babe."

    "Enlightened" is trying for that same magic of "Estonia" - it even follows the same structural pattern: soft, delicate, intro building to the chorus. And maybe that's why I didn't like it on the first few listens, because, on the one hand, it comes close to "Estonia" but not quite, on the other, it comes too close to "Estonia." There is a good guitar solo by Rothery here. The "not quite" crops up where Hogarth's vocals don't soar with that smooth tone. Instead, there's a bit of roughness around the edges, and, of course, because there are different lyrics, there are different beats. Not that I want it sound like "Estonia"; I'd prefer if it sounded less like "Estonia." "Tumble Down The Years" sounds a bit like "80 Days" - if I recall correctly, many of the tracks here were written at the same time as the material from This Strange Engine, so perhaps it isn't so surprising.

    "Interior Lulu" has a strange arrangement - one part psychedelic 60's groove, one part 60's spy movie theme (James Bond came to mind ? no - Austin Powers came to mind ? a little more swank than Bond ? modern Bond, at least). There's a sense of blue and green lights swirling about a wall, while ribbons of lights undulate like seaweed beneath the sea. Then it explodes for a few measures before settling again ? this at times sounds a lot like "This Strange Engine" (there are even a few repeated lyrical phrases from that track). In fact, this track is like that in one other respect - being the longest, a concept album in the space of more than 15 minutes. There is so much here of the Marillion that I missed on Radiation, I find this becoming my favourite track - but a long way from being my favourite Marillion track.

    Overall, I like this more than Radiation, and recommend it to both Marillion fans and newbies alike, but hasn't yet reached the same appreciation level as their earlier material.

    Also released by Castle Music

    A Legacy (6:16) / Deserve (4:23) / Go! (6:11) / Rich (5:42) / Enlightened (4:59) / Built-in Bastard Radar (4:52) / Tumble Down The Years (4:33) / Interior Lulu (15:14) / House (10:15)

    Steve Hogarth - voice
    Steve Rothery - guitars
    Mark Kelly - keyboards
    Pete Trewavas - Bass
    Ian Mosley - drums and percussion
    Ben Castle - saxophone (2)
    Neil Yates - trumpet (1, 9)

    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)*

    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)

    * Racket Records releases; ** Fan Club only

    Genre: Progressive Rock

    Origin UK

    Added: January 10th 2000
    Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
    Artist website: www.marillion.com
    Hits: 1465
    Language: english

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