This is almost undoubtedly their best ever album, and that is saying something. The fact that they managed to defy all of the critics over the years to release album after album (this is their thirteenth studio album)of quality rock and superb musicianship testifies that there are a few of us who are prepared to stay with a band who ignore trends in order to develop and grow musically and to produce music which challenges and uplifts. I was one of the many fans who stumped up quite a lot of money to receive the special 2 CD version only available from their website and you really need to get this 2CD version to get the feel of the work. The incredible 'Ocean Cloud' is not on the single CD version (well at 18 minutes long, would it be?) and nor is the wonderful 'The Only Unforgiveable Thing' (does it sound a bit like Coldplay at the beginning?).
If you could classify their albums as 'more rocky' and 'less rocky', then this one would be one of their less rocky. There are many stand-out tracks, with superb, spine-tingling guitar work from Rothery which harks back many years to around 'Afraid Of Sunlight' (1995) and previously, notably the very lengthy 'Neverland', brilliantly produced by Dave Meegan, the subtley unlifting 'Fantastic Place', and the massive 'The Invisible Man'with its twists, turns and, in true Marillion fashion, changes in tempo. I think that my only minor reservation would be that, whilst their 'long' songs are not over-long, some of their shorter stuff is. 'You're Gone' and 'Don't Hurt Yourself' (both released in edited forms as hit singles!) do slightly outstay their welcome for me. However, if you want to discover one of the best-kept secrets in rock, you ought to try this. If you abandonned Marillion after Fish's departure, or soon after, this is a good place to catch up with them again.