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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Journey
Hi ya!

I have listened to both discs quite a few times now (Vol 1: Essence & Vol 2: The Hard Shoulder)

I love it. I think its fantastic!

The more I listen to it the more I get into it. For me its one of those albums that I have to sit down and listen to...to get myself in tune with and to get absorbed into it both musically and lyrically...
Published on 20 Dec 2008 by Alf

versus
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compose your own one 5-star cd from this overall 3-star double cd.
I review Marillion's latest as a double cd and I've waited a while to review this since the band uses to make "growth" cd's. A personal exemple is "Afraid of Sunlight" which took almost a year for me to appreciate fully and has become one of my favourite post Fish Marillion cd's of all time.

So back to Happiness Is the Road. I've been listening to this album...
Published on 11 Dec 2008 by Bart Rietveld


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Journey, 20 Dec 2008
This review is from: Happiness Is the Road, Vol. 2: The Hard Shoulder (Audio CD)
Hi ya!

I have listened to both discs quite a few times now (Vol 1: Essence & Vol 2: The Hard Shoulder)

I love it. I think its fantastic!

The more I listen to it the more I get into it. For me its one of those albums that I have to sit down and listen to...to get myself in tune with and to get absorbed into it both musically and lyrically. Many elements are not openly obvious to me, at first...but when I get it, its great. To me these are very important elements of what makes a great album! The gentle and subtle things are just as important as the powerful ones. And the production.... YES! ...wonderful to my ears! :)

I'm enjoying the journey...
To the band and Mike Hunter (+Roderick & Jon & other contributors),
thanks for paving the way...
its a happy road to travel :)

Give this album a close listen and a chance. Give it time. It gets better and better. :)

-A
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diverse and modern, 20 Oct 2008
By 
David K. Smith (York, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Happiness Is the Road, Vol. 2: The Hard Shoulder (Audio CD)
It's amazing that a band that has been around since the early 80s can create an album of tracks as diverse and modern-sounding as this.

It includes breathtaking musical soundscapes (Asylum Satellite 1), glorious vocal melodies (Half the World), a driving rock anthem (Whatever is Wrong with You) and complex, dense, multi-layered musings on identity and emotional exposure (The Man from the Planet Marizpan, Real Tears for Sale).

Special mention goes to the opening track Thunderfly, in which the band manage to seamlessly merge hook-laden rock with ambient oases of gentle colours and sound, to create a single track which I promise sounds like nothing you will have ever heard before.

There are bands out there approaching their 'difficult second albums' that would kill for material this good - god only knows how Marillion manage to keep this up at their 15th attempt.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 6 Nov 2008
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This review is from: Happiness Is the Road, Vol. 2: The Hard Shoulder (Audio CD)
Having had both as part of the special double package I can honestly say this album is a sheer delight and a triumph for this band who I have enjoyed for many years. If only bands like this were played more on the radio, many listeners would know and experience what real music sounds like . This band has evolved and continues to evolve with beautiful music every time they produce an album. It is for me, the best ever.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock played with style and humour, 28 Oct 2008
By 
This review is from: Happiness Is the Road, Vol. 2: The Hard Shoulder (Audio CD)
The Hard Shoulder is volume 2 of Happiness is the Road. The songs here stand out more quickly than on volume 1 which is a flowing concept album. The first three songs are amazingly strong, and all very different. Then Older Than Me brings a very personal message from h after the single Whatever is Wrong With You the last four songs bring the album to a great climax. At the moment my favourites are Asylum Satellite #1 "we can see the madness perfectly from here!", Real Tears for Sale and Half the World, but it changes by the day...
Quite excellent.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 21 Oct 2008
This review is from: Happiness Is the Road, Vol. 2: The Hard Shoulder (Audio CD)
This is volume two of Marillion's brand new double album Happiness is the Road. Like all Marillion albums this gets better and better with each listen. It needs to be played loud for it's full potential and played all the through. If you listen to this album properly and like good rock music I have no doubt that you will thoroughly enjoy this album.

Steve Hogarth's voice is again brilliant and emotional and Mark Kelly's keyboards are exceptional and he is all over this album. Highlights from volume two include The Man From the Planet Marzipan, Older Than Me, Threw Me Out, Whatever is Wrong With You and Real Tears For Sale.

All in all this album is a must buy and possibly one of the best albums of 2008, it's quite simply stunning.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness is the new Marillion album, 17 Oct 2008
By 
W. Leggate (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Happiness Is the Road, Vol. 2: The Hard Shoulder (Audio CD)
This is Volume Two of the new Marillion album Happiness is the Road.

This new album needs listening to properly and on a good stereo. If you do you will be rewarded with one of the finest albums, not just by Marillion but by anyone ever. Highlights on disc 2 include Thunder Fly, The Man from Planet Marzipan, Older Than Me, Throw Me Out, Whatever Is Wrong You and Real Tears for Sale.

Steve Hogarth is again on fine form with great lyrics and his amazing voice. But it's not just him as all five of them are on top form and have created a stunning emotional album.

I strongly recommend this album but make sure you listen to it properly and you will be rewarded. It's a masterpiece.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Genius of Marillion, 19 Nov 2008
By 
Mr. T. jones (Isle of Wight,England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Happiness Is the Road, Vol. 2: The Hard Shoulder (Audio CD)
All Marillion albums are good albums;but sometimes they produce a work which, when listened to and taken in at all emotional levels,is the same feeling as falling in love.This is one such album. Marillion have stated that they 'really do care about every note played' - and boy does it show. They have, over the years, created a special bond with their fans;Marillion make recordings for these fans,not for the money or fame that it can create. If you like music that makes your spine tingle and turns your stomach into a knot, buy this album. If you are a fan, then you already know Marillion have the power to do this.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness is the Road - Best thing they have ever done, 16 Oct 2008
By 
A. Lewis (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Happiness Is the Road, Vol. 2: The Hard Shoulder (Audio CD)
These guys have done it again, after the superb Marbles and excellent Somewhere Else they have surpassed themselves yet again.
This album is sublime from the opening track on the first CD - Essence to the last track on the 2nd CD - The Hard Shoulder there are no duff tracks or fillers just brilliantly crafted moving prog rock music.
Support these guys and buy this album - they richly deserve all the success it brings them.
Heres looking forward to album 16!!!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Better Half, 17 Oct 2008
This review is from: Happiness Is the Road, Vol. 2: The Hard Shoulder (Audio CD)
The Hard Shoulder is the second disc of Marillion's Happiness Is The Road double album, and if forced to choose between the two this is the better purchase. As a whole, the complete Happiness Is The Road album feels like a culmination of the band's gradual development into a sort of progressive 'space jazz' sound over the last decade. At it's best it makes Marillion sound unique and contemporary (such as on most of the sublime 'Somewhere Else' set last year). But at weaker points (e.g. The Only Unforgiveable Thing, Angelina, Thankyou Whoever You Are) it can sound little more than MOR begging for airplay, albeit sometimes with more complicated musical structures to the songs. Thankfully, The Hard Shoulder (unlike its companion piece) comprises mainly examples of the former. Highlights? 'Thunder Fly' simply rocks; 'Whatever Is Wrong With You' rivals far younger, trendier outfits with it's driving hook; 'Real Tears For Sale' is touching and relevant; and 'Throw Me Out' is fresh and innovative with bags of musical ideas. But highlight is the outstanding 'The Man From Planet Marzipan' which exemplifies all the reasons why Marillion remain the most under-rated band in the UK.

There are a couple of better Marillion albums than The Hard Shoulder, but this is by no means their worst. Park up and enjoy!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compose your own one 5-star cd from this overall 3-star double cd., 11 Dec 2008
By 
Bart Rietveld - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Happiness Is the Road, Vol. 2: The Hard Shoulder (Audio CD)
I review Marillion's latest as a double cd and I've waited a while to review this since the band uses to make "growth" cd's. A personal exemple is "Afraid of Sunlight" which took almost a year for me to appreciate fully and has become one of my favourite post Fish Marillion cd's of all time.

So back to Happiness Is the Road. I've been listening to this album for 2 months now and still have mixed feelings about it. About half of the album is brilliant and would make a 5-star cd, the other half however....
I would like to make a food comparesment: it's like all the ingrediences are there but the balance is wrong, too much of one and not enough from the others. H for exemple has a heavenly voice when he sings quiet, but starts to annoy me when he goes "over the top" to often and that is what is happening in about half of the songs. It seems like he is trying to compensate for the lack of some ingrediences. One of them is Steve Rothery who seems to have gone in hibernation after "Marbles". He does what he has to do but I'm missing the emotion in his play and where have his solos gone?
The other one is Ian Mosley. He drums like he's going on autopilot and if you listen closely he almost plays the same pattern over and over again in every song.
The only one who gets 2 thumbs up is Pete Trewavas, he plays inspired as always. "Somewhere else" dissapointed and maybe my hopes where to high since this is a double cd and I was expecting a new "Marbles".

So overall, there's one brilliant cd in "Happiness...", the rest goes in the bin.
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