ARTIST:

MARILLION

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

MARBLES

(2004)
LABEL:

AUTOPRODUCTION

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Easy-Listening, Intimist
"If "Marbles" proposes less progressive, darker and more atmospheric atmospheres, Marillion's music does not regress for all that."
PETER HACKETT (02.04.2004)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Marbles had caused a lot of ink to flow before and after its release? However, The Marillion of Marbles doesn't seem so different from Anoraknophobia even if the style is significantly darker, more atmospheric, more progressive.

The record opens with a fabulous piece: "The invisible man", a complex suite of more than 13 minutes where the musicians confirm their virtuosity and reveal to us the general atmosphere of Marbles. This progressive ascent towards the dazzling power of a breathtaking finale is structured around a disturbing rhythm; Pete Trawavas' bass and Ian Mosley's percussions are very much in the forefront throughout the album. In contrast to this dark rhythmic atmosphere, the Kelly-Rothery pair caresses our eardrums with this wonderful complementarity of keyboards and strings typical of Marillion's great works. But what strikes us the most, from the very first seconds of listening, is Steve Hogarth's voice. H is here demonstrating his lyrical expression. His playing is sometimes dramatic, sometimes enchanting, his voice going from honey to rock. 

The structure of the disc may displease some people because we find, like a red thread, the eponymous title of the albumcut in four short parts interspersed among the long titles. These four "Marbles" are small, intimate, almost acoustic interludes, which are far from being trivial and uninteresting, because these finely chiseled parentheses are like a necessary punctuation for a resolutely powerful album. One cannot deny some pop passages but it would be a shame to sum-up this album by this criteria. 

Before concluding, I will review some important Marbles tracks that I haven't talked about yet. First of all Angelina which is a marvel of ballads with a female voice that mixes with Hogarth's voice to finish seducing us followed by Don't hurt yourself, a song with an acoustic guitar background and a pop-folk atmosphere. Very pleasant and easy to sing, it would have made a more obvious single than You're gone. Finally let's quote Neverland, second long song, very progressive, very vocal, a composition in several parts which would be almost on the level of The invisible man if a false echo effect on H's voice didn't slightly annoy us.

Marbles is in the end a very good album and the fact that it is signed Marillion is not the assurance of finding a style, but that of a more than certain quality. Marillion evolves on less progressive atmospheres, but his music does not regress for all that.


More informations on http://www.marillion.com/





TRACK LISTING:
01. The Invisible Man - 13:37
02. Marbles 1 - 1:46
03. You're Gone - 6:27
04. Angelina - 7:41
05. Marbles 2 - 1:55
06. Don't Hurt Yourself - 4:48
07. Fantastic Place - 6:12
08. Marbles 3 - 1:51
09. Drilling Holes - 5:11
10. Marbles 4 - 1:25
11. Neverland - 12:09
12. You're Gone (single Mix) - 4:00

LINEUP:
Ian Mosley: Batterie
Mark Kelly: Claviers
Pete Trewavas: Basse
Steve Hogarth: Chant
Steven Rothery: Guitares
   
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