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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 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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The 17-minute opener is quite something, but it's songs like the title track and the orgasmic Lucky Man that show Marillion at their intense, yet carefully crafted best. Whenever I play this album, I never cherry-pick tracks but listen to the whole thing.
It's some ride.
There's a rich, multi-layered quality to the songs, and they sound like a real band who enjoy playing together. Odd as it might sound, they often remind me ~ at least on this album ~ of Crowded House.
Along with Marbles, this is the very best of the more recent, post-Fish era band, and I recommend it to anyone who loves what rock can do given a brilliant singer {Steve Hogarth is heroically good, and sounds, aptly if uncannily, like Neil Finn, and even Blue Nile's Paul Buchanan at times}, a stunning, tasty guitarist {Steve Rothery is superb all the way through} and a cohesive band who sound inspired and ready for anything.

A very fine album.
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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 17 September 2012
Sounds that can't me made....Or rather, great sounds that can be made. This is a real cracker of an album. Marillion releases can sometimes take a few listens to get into but this one had that 'arrest of first listen' thing which is often the sign of something special.

Every track is strong. Four highlights for me would be:
Montreal - tells a story wonderfully, really engaging and one to play over and over
Lucky man - An awesome power rock track, a real highlight of the album and one that would probably be blistering in the concert. A song that will mean something to everyone.
Pour your love - really soulful song, has a clear nod to 'Fantastic Place', possibly the finest song in the entire marillion catalogue
Sky above the rain - a wonderful emotional track, perfect finish to the album, best song on the album

Forget whether you already do or don't like marillion. If you want to just add a new release great rock album to your collection, your search starts here.

The band have got better and better with age. This is right up there with marbles and brave. Easily an equal, perhaps even better.
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on 21 July 2016
The last marillion album I bought was Misplaced childhood back in the eighties, I also saw them live at the same time. A lot of reviewers on here put them down as a Genesis tribute band, I would say more of a Genesis inspired band and fish suited them at the time so well. I left when fish did, but thought I would see what they're doing now, and what I hear is not a Genesis inspired band, but a mature progressive rock band producing music for the 21st century, and probably inspiring new bands themselves. It's truly superb and I will definitely be buying their new one, Fear, on release. One last point, that I'm sure the hardcore fans will agree with, they have a vocalist and lead guitarist to die for.
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on 3 July 2016
The news of a new Marillion album release was always music to my ears. Unfortunately this is no longer the case. Freed of record company deadlines and buoyed by a few quid in the bank from hardcore fan pre-orders, the band is now free to twat around in the studio until something/anything happens. This has not been good overall for the band's collective mojo. I'm led to believe that there were creative tensions throughout the making of this album, and I can probably understand why. Really there is only one great tune here, the magnificent 'Power'. That track in itself is a fantastic advertisement for what the band are now only occasionally capable of. The songs are for the most part deadly dull, lazy rewrites of earlier classics (see 'Lucky Man' as a prime example). Even the much-hyped 'Gaza' is a faintly horrific cut & paste job, something which mars several of their other, more expansive pieces. Oh and the less said about the truly awful 'Montreal', the better. Plus points? Occasionally H produces a truly great lyrical moment, such as on the clever 'Invisible Ink'. However, invariably the music & vocal performances let the words down. Otherwise, Steven Rothery turns in some of his finest ever playing. Perhaps he should jettison the mothership and strike out on his own, full time.
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on 19 September 2012
I've been a fan since I heard He Knows You Know way back when and bought Script on the strength of it. I'm getting on and felt the band were well past their best. The 2 disc Marbles set for me was a masterpiece probably my favourite album of the last 20 years. What they've done since I've bought but it's fell short. Somewhere Else, Happiness and Less is More have all been poor with only the odd stand out track, yes I know LiM was an unplugged type of album but for me it did nothing.

So I thought last chance lads. After the first few plays it is good, so after a lot who knows. I just hope it's a grower.

Edit well after a fortnight I still think it's good I'm still playing it but it's not grown anymore either. What has got to me though is H's vocals. Quite a few times I find myself wishing he didn't strain and sound out of breath and harsh. If he can't get there anymore then don't do it. It's no Marbles but it's still the best album of the year.
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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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