Album Reviews

Issue 2007-020: Marillion - Somewhere Else - Round Table Review

Round Table Review


Marillion – Somewhere Else
Country of Origin:UK
Record Label:Townsend Records
Catalogue #:-
Year of Release:2007
Samples:Click here

Tracklist: The Other Half (4:24), See It Like A Baby (4:29), Thankyou Whoever You Are (4:42), Most Toys (2:44), Somewhere Else (7:46), A Voice From The Past (6:12), No Such Thing (3:58), The Wound (7:11), The Last Century For Man (5:26), Faith (4:09)

Tom De Val's Review

Well, after months of the now customary pre-release hype, the new Marillion album is finally upon us. What to expect this time? Looking back at my review of Marbles, it was certainly very favourable, and whilst in hindsight I was perhaps a little over-generous with my rating of a 9.5, I still maintain that it’s a very fine album, and undoubtedly their best since one of their career highlights, Afraid Of Sunlight. So, with the band in a rich vein of form, surely it was a given that the next album would be another excellent effort? Well not necessarily – remember in the three years following Afraid… Marillion produced the rather patchy This Strange Engine and the frankly poor (and definite career lowlight) Radiation. So, have they delivered with Somewhere Else – or not? Well, after many listens and differing thoughts about the various songs on offer, I think I’m finally ready to offer a few opinions on the ten tracks included within. One things for sure though – this has not been an easy album to review!

The album kicks off with The Other Half, with the mid-paced opening dominated by Steve Rothery’s Eastern-tinged, psychedelically flavoured guitar sound – one that has distinct echoes of The BeatlesTomorrow Never Knows (not the last time this album nods in the direction of Revolver / Sergeant Pepper era Beatles). The first half of the track has a spacey, relaxed feel, emphasised by Steve Hogarth’s mellow delivery. At the mid-point the song suddenly changes direction, with a jazzy piano break leading into a typically impassioned mid-90’s style Marillion ballad, with Rothery providing one of his best solo’s on the album, a lengthy, blues-tinged affair with echoes of David Gilmour’s style. This track is definitely a grower – it initially seemed a rather weak way to open up an album but has become one of my favourites.

See It Like A Baby again has some slightly psychedelic phrasing on the guitars, with the rather spare verse leading to what I imagine is intended to be an anthemic chorus, although to be honest the delivery is too laid back to make much of an impact. Its perhaps not so surprising that this was chosen as the lead-off single, as the band are clearly still (misguidedly in my opinion) trying to appeal to the mainstream stadium rock audience who don’t look far beyond the likes of Keane and Coldplay for their musical entertainment, and it has definite echoes of those band’s style.

Much better is Thankyou Whoever You Are, and emotion-drenched ballad with some great piano work from Mark Kelly, a typically impassioned Hogarth vocal and a big, orchestra-assisted chorus. It’s in the same vein (if not quite in the same league) as one of the highlights from Marbles, Some Fantastic Place. Rothery’s solo is also worth mentioning, as its one of the few occasions where he really employs what you could call his signature style.

Most Toys seems bound to arouse controversy amongst the fan-base, as it’s an almost throwaway garage-style rocker that’s bound to annoy the diehards. Personally I find the guitar sound a bit jarring, but the verse section is quite catchy. Not sure the track really fits in with the albums flow though.

The title track is a real highlight, although as with The Other Half it required a number of listens for me to properly appreciate it. The song starts as a nicely ethereal-sounding ballad, with Kelly’s piano leading the way, and with Hogarth’s voice at its most fragile. On the chorus Hogarth’s voice seems stretched rather too high for his (or the listener’s) comfort, although it does fit the song for it to go in this direction. A spacey solo from Rothery bumps the song up a gear, as it starts marching along to an orchestrated rhythm that bears distinct similarities to The Beatles’ A Day In The Life. Rothery’s brief solo at the end of this section fades abruptly to be replaced by Kelly’s tingling keys which signal the start of one of those rousing, impassioned conclusions to songs Marillion have proved so good at over the years (think Seasons End, Splintering Heart or Afraid Of Sunlight for similar examples). Hogarth’s voice is put through various devices before his natural one is introduced, along with a storming Rothery solo which heralds a heavier final passage. A fine track.

The introduction to A Voice From The Past, with the innate sadness suggested by the sequence of notes played by Kelly on the piano framed by Hogarth’s regret-tinged vocals, sets a rather haunting, melancholic feel which is skilfully maintained throughout the song’s length. With organ and what sounds like an oboe (although I stand to be corrected) filling out the instrumental palette, it gradually builds in momentum and power, again assisted by an orchestral feel as Hogarth’s vocals reach a crescendo. Rothery’s solo is nice, though short and in something of an Eric Clapton vein, whereas a clean, more emotion-drenched solo in his trademark style would in my opinion have been a better fit. Overall it’s a good, almost great, track, but there’s a nagging feeling that despite the strong build up the song never quite reaches its destination, and in the end just kind of peters out.

Unfortunately the next track No Such Thing is a real dud which almost kills the album’s momentum stone dead. Based around a boring, repetitive blues-flavoured guitar figure from Rothery, and with Hogarth’s lazy delivery giving the impression he’s as bored by this as the listener is, this goes nowhere and does nothing. A definite mis-step.

The Wound at least sees the album back on track with some purpose, going for a big arena-rock feel on a song which wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Holidays In Eden – although perhaps it requires a slicker and fuller production in order to fully work. There’s some forceful power-chords on the chorus, but ultimately The Wound perhaps lacks the punch and purpose to really make an impact. Notable is the darkly atmospheric final section of the song, which features some spine-tingling keyboard work from Kelly, and strongly recalls the Season’s End track Berlin.

Penultimate track The Last Century For Man is another of those songs which completely washed over me on initial listens, but which began to make more of an impact on subsequent ones. The rhythm has a lazy, almost waltz-like feel to it, and there’s a definite ‘end of a long evening in a bar’ vibe about the song, not least in Hogarth’s voice, which has a ‘tired and emotional’ feel to it as he slurs (assumedly ironic?) lines such as “God bless America, I Mean It” on the chorus. Some well-placed orchestral embellishments effectively powers the song along for a while in its latter stages.

Faith is, for the most part, a fairly simple acoustic ballad, on which Hogarth’s vocal (intentional or otherwise) sounds distinctly strained and ravaged. Rather bizarrely the middle section, where the drums come in, the song seems to morph into a cover of the Genesis' Lamb Lies Down… track Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist – at least musically. This soon finishes abruptly, as the song ends as sparsely as it began. In terms of the big finale with which the band usually end their albums, this falls rather flat, although it’s not a bad track in itself.

Believe me, that review was not an easy one to write! The basic reason is that I’ve been though varying different feelings whilst listening to Somewhere Else. Initially it was very disappointing, with everything sounding rather mid-paced and dull, and nothing particularly grabbing the attention. At a later listening however, on a warm sunny day sitting in my garden, something clicked, and I started to enjoy, if not the whole album, then significant parts of it. But then, on another occasion when I put it on, the disc once again left me rather unmoved. I’ve got to the stage where I think I’ve got the measure of the album, but have the feeling that, a couple of months down the line, my opinion might change again…

OK, to the conclusion. Negative things first. This album certainly doesn’t rank as high in my affections as Marbles. There’s too many songs which, despite containing strong elements, just don’t seem well enough constructed, and seem to gradually fade from view, rather than really reaching a crescendo. The completely tedious No Such Thing is one of the worst songs they’ve put on an album. The album doesn’t really flow as well as I would have liked. Lastly (and it pains me to say it as a big fan of his voice), Hogarth’s vocals are not at their best here. On a number of occasions his voice sounds somewhat spent, and there’s too many times where he tries to hit notes which are far higher than he seems comfortable with. I would qualify this statement by saying that Hogarth certainly puts in some strong performances in on a number of the tracks here, but overall doesn’t shine as he has done in the past.

However, there are plenty of positive things to say about the album. Three of the tracks – The Other Half, Thankyou Whoever You Are and Somewhere Else – are excellent, whilst the likes of A Voice From The Past and The Last Century For Man, whilst perhaps flawed, certainly have their moments. I like some of the new elements Marillion have introduced here, particularly the psychedelic, Beatles-y flavour that permeates a number of the songs. Furthermore, although not really apparent on initial listens, there is actually quite a bit of variety on show here, certainly more than the likes of Keane would put on an album. Ok, its’ perhaps disappointing that the sense of adventure shown on Marbles is lacking, but this far from a one-dimensional album, and this will hopefully put to rest comments that the band are merely trying to ape some of their younger, more commercially-successful peers.

I imagine that this album will generate a variety of different opinions from Marillion’s famously loyal and passionate fanbase. Personally, I feel that its’ neither a classic or a stinker, but instead an enjoyable, if somewhat flawed, addition to their catalogue. OK as I’ve said its’ no Marbles, but neither is it another Radiation. I would emphasise that its’ an album that you need to spend some time in order to appreciate, and I think that the majority of those that really listen to Somewhere Else will certainly find at least something to their liking.

Christos Ampatzis' Review

The promotion associated with the release of Somewhere Else was something that initially made me quite nervous. 14th album, that's one more than The Beatles. So what? It looked like Marillion again set out seeking ways to sell themselves, in a never-ending futile journey to get new fans, a new audience. Which is like the story of Sisyphus: never worked then, it won't work now. Anyway, this album will not give them any new fans, cause it's pretty standard Marillion material. They didn't succeed with the highly risky Radiation, nor with .com or Anoraknophobia (their worst releases for me - in that order). They couldn't get it with Marbles either. And Marbles had everything: new ideas, shine, freshness. It was to me the resurrection of a band I considered dead. And more than that: an almost perfect record that I learned to appreciate more and more with time - my current Marillion favourite record. Marillion of Somewhere Else seem to be trying to pursue a bit the road they paved with Marbles. However, the river of inspiration seems to be running dry. The dam keeping the band dry since Afraid Of Sunlight, broke in 2003, but now the water is out and gone. Somewhere Else is not a bad album: it's just rather uninspired and slightly indifferent, yielding a lukewarm feeling similar to what This Strange Engine gave me.

The two -by far- worst tracks in this record (Most Toys and Last Century For Man) have quite a political feel. The first is quite aggressive and excluding Ian's quite inventive drumming, is totally not interesting. The second is rather bluesy but boring, reminiscent a bit of the equally boring One Fine Day. I mean spicy lyrics and all accusing the leaders of the world for what has become of it, but the song itself is unjustifiable. The other bad track here is Thank You Whoever You Are. Looks like it's dedicated to the fans who keep on faithfully following Marillion in these fast changing times, to quote the lyrics a bit. Now Marillion seems to claim they are a very adaptive band: "Marillion are not what you think they are. No, really, they're not." My personal opinion is that they are great when they stick to things they can do well, they (mostly) suck when they try to sound modern (see their 1997-2002 era). The single See It Like A Baby is a cute song in the vein of You're Gone, an appropriate single I guess, definitely not a super track but rather enjoyable even though extremely repetitive. Same goes for The Other Half which is not groundbreaking songwriting but nice.

The album's peak is cleverly around the middle: Somewhere Else. Featuring some very delicate and innovative vocals by h, it's an immediate Marillion classic. In every aspect - guitar work, changes, emotion, lyrics. Reminds me slightly of parts of Ocean Cloud. The only place in this release where one can find all she/he possibly seeks from Marillion. More specifically, one of the very few solo's in the album. Which brings me to saying that I'm a bit disappointed with Rothery's guitar work this time. Clearly an autobiographical song by Hogarth - is h tired of it all? "Look at myself, And I've seen enough, Everyone I love lives somewhere else"... However personal this track may be, the interplay between Steve and Rothery is breathtaking and moving. Sheer beauty. No Such Thing is my other album favourite. Simple and deprived of solos or ups and downs, it's a very tender ambient tune, allowing the Talk Talk influences to come again to surface. The dark mood can also be found in A Voice From The Past, which is a long and hypnotic down tempo track significantly contributing to whatever is very good in this record. Notice the high level lyrics in this one, humanistic but not too overt. Concerning The Wound, it's an interesting track that could have been better. Kicks off greatly but then disappoints me a bit by switching between a rather sad and a louder riff helped by a "happy" contribution of Kelly that doesn't fit very well. The end is a bit reminiscent of Gazpacho's ending (especially the vocal lines), and the dreamy keyboards do a pretty good job. Just like A Voice From The Past, this could and should have been shorter - but then the album would not exceed 45 minutes. Anyway, it's a pity the whole ambience is spoiled by The Last Century For Man. I would prefer the crescendo to fade directly with the hopeful Faith: a clear allusion to Made Again. Beautiful song, but I honestly doubt it can radiate the emotion and warmth of the closing track of Brave.

Are you a Marillion fan? Meaning that you always followed them? Then go out and buy it: no discussion. Are you new to Marillion? Go buy Marbles. Are you critical against Marillion? You can live without Somewhere Else. As for me, not believing much in this band anymore, but still knowing that they can always surprise me like they did with Marbles, I am glad because this album is not their swan song: Spring 2008 will see the release of their 15th album. They can do much better, even if they didn't do that bad.

Ed Sander's Review

I've been following Marillion fanatically for the last 22 years. A long period with ups and downs, with masterpieces and only one album I really disliked (Radiation). I have to add though that my dislike for Radiation is mainly based on the arrangements and production. I've come to appreciate a few of the songs when played in different renditions, e.g. the wonderful acoustic version of The Answering Machine. Most of the other albums always had good songs with the occasional bummer. As a matter of fact, I seem to be one of the few people that really like the album. It might not be the most adventurous thing the band has done but it's got good tunes. I was however disappointed by the 2CD version of Marbles, which to my opinion could be summed up as 'overpromised and underdelivered'; it might have made a good 1CD album but even that version had too much below par material on it.

And now, no less than three years after Marbles they bring us their new album which must be the biggest disappointment in their whole career. It's amazing that a band that has so much creative freedom and three years of time can't come up with anything better than this. The overall feel of the album is a continuation of the previous two albums, but whereas these albums still had their good moments, most of Somewhere Else can be summed up in one word: uninspired. It's uninspired in many areas. Several songs have choruses in which the song title is simply repeated over and over again, like in the daft attempt of writing another hit single, See It Like A Baby (which will confirm the general public's opinion that Marillion are a bunch of has-beens), Most Toys or the ballad Thank You Whoever You Are. A large chunk of the album is made up of dragging, boring pieces that lack the smallest grain of energy. And when the band does have some energy the result is an awful track like the noisy Most Toys; probably one of the worst songs the band has ever written. A shame because the lyrical content regarding the uselessness of materialism could have made a good song. I'll settle for Rich instead ...

The only person that seems to have any motivation for innovation seems to be Ian Mosley, who at least tries out some new rhythms that we haven't heard him play before (e.g. the Nick Mason-like patters in No Such Thing and the Beatlesque drum rolls in The Other Half). Talking about the Beatles, Faith was Marillion's answer to Blackbird and a lovely little song of the Marbles sessions. It appeared on the Before First Light DVD but was not included on Marbles because it was considered 'unfinished'. Well, they sure finished it off for this album. It now has a rather pointless break in the middle and Beatlesque organ/fairground effects at the end that certainly aren't an improvement to what was once a fragile little gem.

After the noisy orgasm of Most Toys the album goes into snooze mode with most songs being laid back, repetitive and dragging pieces that don't really seem to be going anywhere, with only The Wound being a bit of a return to something more uptempo. The title track of the album is one of the few moments when a bit of that old Marillion atmosphere can be detected. On the other hand it could have come straight from the Anoraknophobia album since it features some of the same effects as in When I Meet God, so nothing extremely new under the sun here. Also, Hogarth changing between mumbling and high-pitched singing doesn't help understanding what the song is about. Neither do those annoying effects that have been put on the vocals (think the 'don't do that' section of When I Meet God). The same effects are all over the track No Such Thing, while the whining way of singing in the nagging Last Century For Men gets on my nerves as well. The guitar work on most of this new album can also be compared best to Rothery's style on Anoraknophobia, which I don't consider to be his best work.

When Marillion played five of the new songs at this year's marvellous convention in Port Zélande the only song that made a bit of an impression on me was The Wound, and then mainly the atmospheric second half of it. Musically it's still one of the better moments of the album but Hogarth going back into 'mumbling mode' doesn't really help ... The Other Half, one of the few uptempo and adventurous pieces, includes a break with a rather simplistic piano melody that feels very much out of place. Well, at least in the online promo that Marillion made available there's the voice saying "You are listening to an advance promotional copy of Marillion's new album Somewhere Else, please do not upload it onto the Internet" before the short guitar solo starts. I think I'm going to miss that bit when I receive the actual album which I (unfortunately?) pre-ordered.

The songs I like best on the album are Faith, The Other Half, Somewhere Else and The Wound. But these are still a far cry from the level of quality that we would expect from Marillion. And they have the same weakness as some of the better tunes on Marbles and Anoraknophobia; whenever the band finds something good they'll simply let it drag itself to death.

After Marbles I was wishing for something else, but we got Somewhere Else. Maybe this whole independence thing isn't as good after all. Marillion seems to lack the will and inspiration of coming up with a decent record and take years to write and record new album. In the meantime they rather spend time on milking their catalogue and designing new merchandise items that will pay the bills until that next album has finally been squeezed through the mixing desk. Marillion might be able to throw a fun party (like this year's convention), but they have turned into a band who's own tunes are probably the least interesting tunes you'll hear at that party. And when they are played it's either to clear out the house or get everybody ready for a good night of sleep. Prog Rock had become Valium Rock.

Geoff Feakes' Review

It seems like Marillion have been around forever although to be honest I have lost touch with their activities in recent times. For the record my personal favourites from the bands back catalogue are Misplaced Childhood, Clutching At Straws, Seasons End and Brave. The last one I really listened to in its entirety (and enjoyed) was This Strange Engine which leaves me with about ten years of catching up to do. That’s not strictly true as I have dipped in and out of the more recent releases although to be fair nothing has really encouraged me to dig deeper. Somewhere Else therefore is an opportunity to reacquaint myself with the bands music. By my reckoning this is their ninth official studio album since Hogarth replaced Fish as the frontman in 1988. That doesn’t of course include a plethora of best of collections, live albums, Christmas specials, DVD’s and goodness what else the band has showered upon its loyal fan base.

It’s encouraging that the line up of Steve Rothery, Mark Kelly, Peter Trewavas and Ian Mosley has remained intact since Steve Hogarth came on board. Musically however they’ve moved on since Seasons End and on the evidence of this album I’m not entirely sure it’s for the best. The Other Half is one of the better songs and a promising opener. It drives along at an urgent pace with busy bass and drums propelling the almost psychedelic sounding guitar. At the half way mark it turns into a different song that sounds like a majestic slice of vintage Marillion playing out with delicate piano. See It Like A Baby is the current single with the bass line dominating the sparse arrangement before bursting into the energetic chorus. I’m not convinced it will carry them in to the charts however with an over repetitive guitar line and vocal chant that quickly loses its charm.

A restrained piano and drum pattern is a hesitant start to the otherwise excellent Thankyou Whoever You Are with its measured vocal and string setting. It really kicks up its heels in the second half with a blistering and welcome guitar solo. Most Toys is a solid piece of driving rock dominated by a punchy snare sound and an aggressive riff. The repetitive chorus drags after awhile but at less than three minutes it doesn’t outstay its welcome. The title song Somewhere Else is the albums longest cut and finds the band in relaxed mood with uncomplicated piano once again to the fore. A fuzz guitar break is placed low in the mix to maintain the mood. Pulsating strings punctuate the atmosphere joined by one of the more melodic albeit brief guitar lines on the album. A lengthy spaced out section sets up the stirring ending with the band firing on all cylinders racing to a majestic close. More of this please guys!

At the half way mark in spite of some entertaining moments so far nothing has really leaped out and grabbed my attention. The bands sound seems leaner these days which does at least allow Mosley’s drums and Trewavas’ bass to cut through the mix. The keyboards are far more economical with Kelly allowing piano to take the lead for the most part. Unsurprisingly it’s the guitar of Rothery that stands out although of late the style is less elaborate and has a grittier tone. The vocals from Hogarth are as emotive as ever and his often sensitive lyrics retain their refreshing lack of ambiguity. Just occasionally they do have a tendency to be simplistic and overstate the point as in the case of Most Toys. See It Like A Baby on the other hand demonstrates his ability to see things from a woman’s perspective which was so fundamental to the concept of Brave.

A Voice From The Past begins at a languid pace with a simple repeated piano motif underscoring the reflective vocal with spacey guitar effects. It eventually breaks into life around the halfway mark with urgent vocals and a biting but all too short guitar break before receding back to where it started. No Such Thing contains some outdated and unnecessary vocal distortion that gives the impression that Hogarth is performing under water. This also moves at a dirge like pace before briefly rising in tempo and quickly subsiding again. Following the two previous tracks The Wound has a welcome urgency. Animated drums, ringing guitars and an expansive organ sound support the memorable chorus. At over seven minutes however it does seem to run out of ideas way before the end.

The Last Century For Man seems to find the band sleep walking again before waking up for the solid chorus. In the latter part dramatic strings and atmospheric guitar colourings rise to a stirring crescendo which is very effective and one of the albums few instrumental highs. It also contains the memorable line “If your not outraged you haven’t been paying attention” which is Hogarth’s take on current world events. The tranquil acoustic guitar driven Faith is an unexpected closer compete with 60’s style twangy electric guitar and a lazy rhythm. The low key brass and strings adds a touch of nostalgia to end. At this point I found myself looking at the CD player expecting more but that was it.

To be perfectly honest although this is not an especially long album on occasions I really found it hard going. The band seems short of ideas with many of the songs following the same predictable pattern. And as much as I enjoy Hogarth’s singing I found the whole thing far too wordy. The vocals are everywhere giving the instruments very little space to breath. These are also some of the weakest songs I’ve heard from Marillion. Whilst I made it obvious at the start of this review where my preferences lie there isn’t anything here to compare favourably with more recent songs like Neverland. In terms of previous highs this is a band running on empty. As such Somewhere Else is not likely to find its way back into my CD player too often. It’s appropriate however that this is Easter weekend because there is a certain Marillion classic that I will be definitely playing this holiday!

Guillermo Palladino's Review

Over the last 20 years I’ve been listening to all the releases made by one of the most important progressive rock bands in the history of music, and as a matter of fact, one of my favourites since I was a child. With a major line-up change when first singer Fish was replaced by Steve Hogarth on 1987, Marillion has actually reached another musical level and are established as one of the most respected progressive rock acts from UK.

After Steve Hogarth joined Marillion, many of the fans were divided into an eternal dilemma of which period is the most relevant for the band and blah blah blah. I actually think that there is no such difference, it is only a matter of being innovative, of a constant reinvention and principally of musical evolution. As a result of this we have important highlights in the history of the band, such as Misplaced Childhood, Seasons End, Brave, This Strange Engine and more recently Marbles.

Three years have passed by since Marbles was released, and Somewhere Else comes with the huge responsibility of trying to be more successful than its predecessors which have the best Marillion songs in its history: Ocean Cloud and for me is the best Marillion album of its musical career. I’ll try to make my analysis based on the great music that this band has brought to us over the years rather than being comparative with other bands or musical influences.

As an overall the musical style of Somewhere Else is a mix between progressive rock, with psychedelic and some rock’n’roll-esque elements, that immediately reminds me of .com and Anoraknophobia. There are no NeoProg influences at all now and I miss much of the sounds and keyboard solos performed by Mark Kelly on albums like Brave, Afraid Of Sunlight or This Strange Engine.

The Other Half is an average opening for this album, too psychedelic for me and immediately .com came to my mind. A powerful rhythmical drumming made by Ian Mosley and some jazzy sounds on piano and a few little guitar solos by Steve Rothery makes this song a little weak to be the first of this album. See It Like A Baby is the first single from this album, however things are still psychedelic, but turning more interesting for me - a much more atmospheric song where the sounds made by Kelly-Rothery make it a more spacey song. The voice of H is in a good shape but still there is no real highlight from the vocal point of view. Finally though we reach the first highlight of Somewhere Else: Thank You Whoever You Are is the kind of ballad that is a brand of the band, and immediately Marbles came to my mind. Great keyboard work done by Kelly and the kind of song where H's voice turns more intense, a powerful song instead of being a ballad, not the melancholic style of songs like Beautiful, The Great Escape or Afraid Of Sunrise.

With Most Toys all my illusions of being in front of a powerful Marillion work, fade away with this bombastic, rock'n'roll-esque song; too simple for me and far away from the musical standards of the band - the track I most dislike on this album. After this the song that gives its name to this album starts and quickly washes away the disappointment made by Most Toys. In Somewhere Else we move again into that slow but very powerful melodic spacey style. The guitars have much in common with the music of Brave and Marbles taking the main role, making this one of the highlights of the album. In A Voice From The Past the band is still in this relaxed mood, with a song where the piano and the keyboards take the advantage. Probably this song should have been a part of previous track, Somewhere Else and perhaps resulted in a more outstanding song. No Such Thing remains in this melancholic style, but in this case, boring, with an eternal guitar riff looping again and again with a strange singing.

In The Wound we awake with a much more animated song, with a huge organ riff in the background, powerful drumming in the .com style. Many of you will agree with us, we needed this song after that extremely slow middle section of the album - sadly the end this song becomes a little bit weak. The Last Century Of Man takes us back into slow motion again and there is not much more to say after we've heard similar things in at least three or four songs already, the difference here is that The Last Century becomes more catchy towards the end and prepares us for the finale of this album, although I really hate that “God Bless…” thing in the chorus. Finally we have Faith, an acoustic song, weak, un-powerful as a finale for Somewhere Else, like a lo-profile reminder of great songs like Made Again.

I don’t know what to say, so for now I’ve got to have the faith that the next album will be great. Sadly I felt a little bit disappointed about this release because it has not fulfilled my expectations, the more so, after a very awesome album like Marbles was, and after Marbles, Marbles Live, Smoke, Mirrors. Overall it is a weak album, too much melancholy, I don’t mind if the whole disc is a continuum ballad, but the band have serious problems and appears are running out of ideas or their brains have blown out in the making of the outstanding Marbles. It is not a matter of being passionate or loyal like my team-mates said on their reviews, but being objective, and I have to say that even though Marillon are one of my favourite bands, this is not the best work by them ...

Highlights: Thankyou Whoever You Are, Somewhere Else, The Wound, See It Like A Baby...

Lowlights: Most Toys, Faith...

The Worst: No Such Thing...


TOM DE VAL : 7 out of 10
ED SANDER : 6 out of 10
GEOFF FEAKES : 7 out of 10

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