9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Deserves a serious listen!,
This review is from: Happiness Is The Road (Audio CD)
A two-disc set from Marillion which really deserves a serious listen:
This disc exceeded all expectations. It is constructed on an evolving, pulsing, ebbing and flowing musical base and contains real musical innovation at its core, as it shifts from ambient jams to epic climaxes.
There are so many musical ideas in the 45 minute journey of tracks 1-10. The music continually evolves within every track, never sitting back on simple verse/chorus. Every verse has evolved from the last, every chorus has extra bits in. Some absolutely wonderful tunes appear just a single time. This fits beautifully with the concept of the album - that you have to live for the moment and try to catch the spark in life. By far the best example is in 'Wrapped up in Time', where the beautiful 'Echo of You' section comes and then is gone - an evanescent moment. Any other band would have flayed a tune this good to death.
Choosing stand-out moments is near impossible, but 'State of Mind' is perhaps the best individual 'song', 'Essence' would be the track which best represents the spirit and vibe of the whole CD, and the musical climax in 'Woke Up' was the bit that got me spinning round the room and singing my heart out.
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 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.