Tag Archives: neo-progressive rock

“Less Is More” by Marillion

Artist: Marillion
Title: “Less Is More”
Label: Eagle Records
Release Date: 10/28/2009
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 3/5

Simply put “Less Is More” amounts to Marillion coming off as an Easy Listening artist since its content finds the band taking a number of their tunes and minimizing them to the bare bones by not only slowing them down, reworking the melodies and delivering them acoustically as well. Based on this, it becomes an album that only a few choice fans of the group will be interested in giving a listen to. Before I continue on I must declare to the world that I am a long time Marillion fan and have been supporting them for a couple of decades now but lately their releases are making it harder and harder for me to do this based on how much distance they keep putting between the legacy listener and their own musical adventuring. The band originally formed in 1979 and had had singer Steve Hogarth at the helm since 1988. Over these past thirty years they have slowly morphed from an intensely lyrically visual Prog-Rock band into something more like Atmospheric Experimental Rock and as result lose fans from the past while making some new ones that would not have liked the old stuff anyways. Hearing these compositions acoustically is “nice” at best for me, but this is based on my wanting to be set straight by the group once again after the ill-received “Happiness Is The Road” double album that they last gave us. That release lost me, and I had hoped that its follow up would get back on track like they showed us could be done with “Marbles”. They followed that release with “Somewhere Else” which was uhm…..let’s move on shall we.
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“Vol. 1 – Happiness Is The Road: The Essence” by Marillion

Artist: Marillion
Title: “Happiness Is The Road, Volume 1: The Essence
Label: MVD Audio
Release Date: 10/28/2008
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 3/5

Marillion is definitely proving themselves to be a band that not only continually keeps their fans in releases but also by being a band that confuses these same listeners with the apparent on and off strength of the material they choose to dish out. I say this not as a “Fish Head” even though I loved those years, but as someone who chose to maintain course with the band as Hogarth joined in and delivered a number of amazing but different sounding albums. It was clear from his beginnings in the group that a different direction was being taken and for the most part these early albums were incredible. Steam was lost several years ago with “Radiation” and “Marillion.com” and it seemed to be business as usual with the incredible “Marbles”. Then came “Somewhere Else” and to say that this placid and tedious album was boring would be an understatement. The bands follow up would have to impress me quite a bit I felt and I anxiously awaited the release which came to the listeners this time as two distinct CD’s; Part One being “Essence” and Part Two being “The Hard Shoulder”. My copies were not together like some editions are so I adventured into them one at a time. Here goes nothing.
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