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on 18 September 2012
Twenty three years ago I was 19 years old. I was doing a job i enjoyed in retail and was interested in football, computer games, and that was about it. Fast forward 23 years I bare no resemblance to that person, much older, hopefully wiser and the interests I had then are nothing like what I have now. I am now much more socially aware, better travelled and more mature - I had evolved.
Why am I telling you this? 23 years ago Steve Hogarth joined Marillion. And like me, they have grown. They started off with Seasons End which still had some hallmarks of the 'old' Marillion. It even had the jesters hat on the cover! Like me, they had to find their new identity, struggled a bit, toying with commerciality of Holidays in Eden. Then the return to prog type with (the wonderful) Brave and through a fight against themselves with (the equally brilliant in a different way)Radiation. Then, just like me, they started to feel happy in their own skin and ignored pretty much everything else, the record company, the charts, the urge to 'be big' and began to evolve into the majestic beast of a band their loyal fanbase respect so much, with the release of a series of sublime material, Afraid of Sunlight, This Strange Engine, Marbles, being the highlights, at least for me.

So where are we now? Well I'm thinning on top, thickening around the waist a bit yet still wait expectantly for the next installment of the Marillion journey. On release days, I feel like a kid again, the waiting for Amazon to deliver akin to days of yore waiting for your parents to let you into the front room to see if Santa has been on Christmas morning.

Many people have described each track so I wont bother. I will just give my opinions and hope you feel the same way. With Sounds that cant be made, Marillion have delivered (yet another) set of highly emotional, evocative, beautiful pieces of music. The highlights for me? The sprawling 17 minute Gaza, a clash of ideology, religions, set against a beautiful backdrop in violent times.

Sounds that cant be made - the song, insistant beat awash with soundscapes and melody that Marillion turn out in their sleep, and thats not an insult, the ability to create tidal waves of emotion seem so natural to the band.

Montreal, the journal of the band on tour miles from home yet so connected by the love of the fans, and the bond of home, that sprawls across 14 minutes of pure bliss.

And then the cherry on this most best of cakes The Sky above the Rain - a stark and candid view of a stalling stale relationship that hits very hard, very low, and brought a genuine tear to the eye of this world weary 42 year old.

Marillion have been with me since my teens, I was a kid when Market Square Heroes jolted me from teenage angst. I was there when Fish and Co blasted out Kayleigh to 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in the 80's. I too felt the unease at Fish's departure and then the relief around the time of Brave when I realised that the band had chosen so wisely in H and that we were in safe hands. I too marvelled at King, supported the band as they used the internet to establish a viable alternative to the traditional press. I too sent my money in to buy an album they hadnt even written yet.
We've been there through thick and thin, and how are we rewarded? With music of the utmost quality, that will travel with me the next 23 years. My only hope is that Marillion are there to provide the soundtrack.

Thanks guys, I really mean it...
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on 3 February 2014
This may well be the best album Marillion have, or will ever, make. On first listen it doesn't grab you by the throat, it just gently and insidiously draws you in. Repeated listens bring rich rewards. It just grows and grows. Listening to H sing you begin to realise that he is probably one of rocks best vocalists. He doesn't indulge in vocal pyrotechnics he simply sings from the heart and involves the listener in the emotion of the song.
For me the highlight is opening song Gaza. It's an amazing, courageous song. It builds gently to a wonderful crescendo with Steve Rothery's guitar providing the perfect counterpoint to H's heartfelt repeated refrain of 'it just ain't right'.
This album is chockfull of highlights. The band are absolutely in sync as musicians. No-one puts a foot wrong. How will they ever top this?
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on 10 February 2013
This is my first taste of Marillion - a fabulous album, deeply modern, and emotionally authentic. I played it to my wife - without revealing who it was - and she loved it. "Is it the new David Bowie?" But Bowie can't offer match the emotional literacy of the lyrics, or the musical development each song offers.

Music of immense restraint and power, and great beauty, by skilled songwriters.
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on 18 September 2012
A bit of as gap between studio albums has worked wonders for Marillion. 'Sounds That Can't be Made' is a wonderful set of tunes which drags the listener through just about every human emotion imaginable. Their music has always had the ability to do that, and they do it with some gusto here.
Opening track 'Gaza' is a juggernaut. 17 minutes plus of atmosphere, power, emotion and savagery which deals with growing up in the area and the politics involved. It isn't a slant on Israel. It's a balanced argument that makes the listener aware of what's going on there and of how unacceptable the situation is in the 21st century. This track will become a standout Marillion piece for years to come.
The title track is glorious. A synth driven rocker with lots of dreamy keyboards and the Marillion patented Steve Rothery guitar solo and rousing finale. It's my favourite track on the album.
'Pour My Love' is a nice mid-paced ballad with a Prince feel to it somehow. A good song to chill out to.
'Power' is the song that the band showcased first through YouTube and again, it's vintage Hogarth era Marillion; dark, moody and brooding with a big release in the chorus, plenty of Rothery guitar and big finale. A powerhouse of a track if you'll pardon the pun.
Next track 'Montreal' is another epic. Lyrically, it's pretty much a diary style trawl through a band visit to the city and the delights that are savoured whilst there. Ironically, the vocals and lyrics on 'Montreal' are probably the weaker elements of the song. Musically it's just stunning. Lush, dreamy keyboard soundscapes, a variety of guitar sounds that would have Steve Hackett salivating and a lazy rhythm section make 'Montreal' a song that you can drift off to.
'Invisible Ink' is a slightly shorter song, built around a fairly simple chorus. It's instantly catchy and a genuinely pleasant track.
'Lucky Man' starts slowly but builds nicely into an accessible rocker with a good, rowdy, singalonga-style chorus.
Closing track 'The Sky Above The Rain' is a stunning piece of music. Lyrically, dealing with a couple who, despite their love for one another, are drifting apart due to a lack of physical desire. The relationship has gone stale. There is a level of optimism though, as talking things through openly and honestly with passion may just yet save them. It's yet another wonderfully emotive, bitter-sweet track.
Marillion have found their niche with this music. 'Afraid of Sunlight', 'Marbles' and 'Happiness is the Road' are definitive masterworks of the Hogarth era, and anyone who loved those albums will delight at 'Sounds That Can't Be Made'.
I've always said that the aforementioned 'Marbles' is the 'Dark Side of the Moon' of its time. I'll go further and say that 'Sounds That Can't Be Made' is the 'Wish You Were Here' for a new generation.
It really is that good, so stop mucking about and buy a copy.
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on 29 September 2012
4 years after the last studio album, finally I'm listening to some new music from my favorite band. Being av Marillionista since the "good old days" with Fish at the the throne, Steve H has certainly rised to the occasion and quite frankly I rather listen to the "new stuff" rather than the 82-87 stuff; by all means, I do go down memory lane occasionally to lend an ear to the Fish era as well

So, is the 4 years of anticipation worth the wait; the answer is YES YES YES. Sounds That Can't Be Made has everything needed to become a top 3 classic in the Marillion catalogue, even though they don't make it easy for their fans. Had to listen through the whole record 4-5 times until I got it, but suddenly it hit me and boy did it hit me hard. It's been a long time since the guys have produced such a diverse record, and you would maybe expect that you would get some weaker songs on a 75 minute record; sorry mate, you just don't.

Starting of with Gaza, it's by far the most "difficult" song on the record. However giving it time, it's a highlight and shows 5 musicians at their very peak performance. The title song is classical Marillion as we know them as is Pour Your Love. Strangly many have pointed out Power as the weaker song, I totally disagree after having the pleasure of experiencing it live in Oslo in July: magical. Montreal is a 14 minute stunner describing life on the road, lots of nice work from mr Rothery here. Invisible Ink and Lucky Man is maybe the 2 "weakest" songs on the album (the latter a bit to hard), but again most other bands would kill for these. This incredible album finishes of with The Sky Above The Rain which must be the one of the finest songs ever made describing the tristesse / agony of a couple struggling to save a relationship which seems to be doomed, but maybe the last part of the song gives them a ray of hope in the end; one must have a serious mental issue not to be moved by this wonderful piece of music and lyrics.

Bottom line, if you want to treat yourself to 75 minutes of storytelling wrapped in music from one of UK's finest bands the last 2,5 decades then buy this piece of gold; I promise you it will all be worth while.

Enjoy !!
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on 18 November 2013
With most Marillion albums they take time to absorb and you need to listen to them loud. If you give it time and volume you will soon find that this is simply a brilliant album from the beginning with Gaza right to the end with Sky Above the Rain. There are no filler tracks and Steve Hogarth is amazing as usual. Steve Rothery's guitar playing remains incredible. The whole band deserve great credit for producing another masterpiece.

Stand outs are the for me personally the title track, Montreal, Sky Above the Rain, Power and Gaza but like I say they are all killer tracks. Buy this album and give it a go. Best album of 2012 by some distance.

This re-release has a bonus disc with live and acoustic tracks - well worth a purchase if you didn't the first time around.
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on 25 July 2014
I used to enjoy Marillion back in the mid 80's and when Fish left the band I thought well that's that. Well, I recently read a couple of reviews of Sounds That Can't Be Made, on the strength of those reviews I bought a copy. Wow, what a great record, I was amazed by the quality of this album, most bands do tend to steadily drop off in quality of output over the years but this is one great album. On the strength of it I also bought Marbles and Brave and have bought tickets for their gig in Manchester that is planned for December. That's quite an impact. I can't think of one weak track off the album, Sounds, Pour my Love, Lucky Man and The Sky above the Rain are probably my favorite's but it is superb throughout.
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on 27 September 2012
I have been a music fan for many years now. To my shame I disregarded Marillion on the basis of hearing the singles Lavender and Kayleigh back in the 80's. Having been a Genesis fan from the mid 70's I felt these offerings were a poor imitation of a classic band who I felt Marillion were trying to emulate.

About two years ago I was listening to the radio when a fantastic track came on that caught my attention. Eagerly awaiting to find out who the band were I was amazed to hear the track was Neverland by Marillion. That chance event has opened up a new avenue in my musical enjoyment. I am just sorry it did not happen earlier. Since that time I have eagerly purchased a large number of Marillion's back catalogue and consider Marbles, Brave and Afraid of Sunlight to be brilliant. Several others are not far behind IMHO.

So what of the new offering from this much underrated and neglected band? Well for me it is too early to truly understand exactly how good this album is compared to some of their others as I really find it takes time for Marillion's music to soak in and really grab you. However after only a few listens it is clear to me that this music is so far superior to the vast majority of non descript stuff that is churned out these days and adored by many. Hence I feel that the five star rating is warranted. My early feelings are that Gaza is quite a difficult listen - yes I know some fans already think this is a classic song and it may well prove that I grow to love it but my current view is that it is just a bit too disjointed to be unconditionally enjoyed. I understand that changes of pace, melody etc mid track are a bit of a Marillion trade mark but this seems to lack a certain continuity for me. It is however clearly emotive and heart felt. Thereafter the rest of this new music is growing on me and is full of emotion, beautiful instrumentation and musicianship with production of the highest quality such that it rewards the listener richly if played on a good music system. Yet another reason to praise this band.

Marillion are clearly a unique band. Yes they have been around for a relatively long time but what they have done is evolve over time to remain fresh and relevant in today's world without losing their identity. People talk about them being the best kept musical secret and in terms of monetary riches it is possibly a shame for the band themselves that they have not reached the level of stardom they deserve. However as one reviewer stated, I am also quite glad that they are appreciated by a select following as many of the best things in life are only appreciated by people who want something with more substance and more than something that is an instant fix.

(Re)discovering Marillion has been fantastic for me and I am now a firm fan. They would definately make it onto my desert island disc selection.
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on 26 September 2012
Marillion have been the soundtrack to my life since Seasons End. I was never really a 'Fish' man, and didn't really assimilate with all the Jesters in the 80s - it was all a little too avante garde for me. So when Steve Hogarth joined the band I discovered a mature and quite remarkable band. H has penned some of THE most exquisite soundscapes that evoke every emotion possible across some truly remarkable records - Brave, Afraid of Sunlight, Marbles, Happiness is the Road - these are the stand out albums of course.

If Marillion were Coldplay then they'd have received Ivor Novello and Grammy awards by the bucketload. But I'm so glad they are not. Every Marillion fan feels part of the band, inclusive in the recording process of new albums, and to that end they are indeed a part of us. Marillion is ours, and no band can come close to that kind of relationship. I hope they remain the music industry's best kept secret (for the past 23 years!) and keep on pushing the boundaries of their musical capabilities.

Sounds That Can't Be Made is another incredible album. It's taken longer than previous albums to release, but I'm glad they took their time. H may have had a 'creative wobble' during the writing process, but the outcome is absolutely sublime. Gaza, Power, STCBM and Montreal can stand shoulder to shoulder with previous classics Afraid of Sunlight, The Great Escape, This Strange Engine and Ocean Cloud. It's a fantastic piece of craftsmanship that they can be extremely proud of.

The new songs raise the roof when played live (I was at the Forum for about the 20th time), so I hope they when they return from their world tour they will play another few dates in the UK. I, for one, want to hear 'Montreal'.

Get this album, and immerse yourself in what they have created. They can be the soundtrack to your life too.
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on 22 September 2012
Others have already said it...Its been a long wait for a new studio album, but wow, has it been worth it! I admit it, I do love marillion, but recent albums have been a little dissapointing for me. Sure there are a few stand out tracks on Happiness is The Road, and yes, Less is More is interesting and presents a different take on familiar tunes, but really, I have to say, the last 5 star item they did as far as I'm concerned was Brave, still a much treasured album to me. This however , IMHO, tops everything. Its a definitive statement by a band on stunning creative form. If you're one of those people who stopped listening to marillion when Fish left, give this a listen. Its not the same band, H isnt Fish, but his voice, his writing, his on stage personality are equally as great as the Big Fella, just different, thats all. Dont judge one era against the other. And thats a plea from the heart folks. This Marillion are truly one of the most astonishing, most creative forces ever unleashed in the rock world, and they're unique. There is nothing else like them. Give them a chance, buy this album, you wont regret it. Oh, and this album is the confirmation that we've been waiting for that finally establishes Steve Rothery's standing as one of the finest and most imaginitive lead guitarists ever produced by this country !
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