“Somewhere Else” by Marillion

Artist: Marillion
Title: “Somewhere Else”
Label: MVD Entertainment
Release Date: 4/24/2007
Genre: Progressive Rock

With the release of “Marbles” a couple of years ago, Marillion showed their fans that the band was still a vibrant and intriguing source of Progressive Rock music and this album touched upon the elements of Pink Floyd as well as their own past to offer up some unique material once again. The album itself was praised high and low as the band’s return as a force to be reckoned with as far as the genre was concerned. “Somewhere Else” finds them taking a little bit of a risk with the re-establishing that they achieved on “Marbles” because after the first few numbers you are left wondering about the band and curious as to what plans they have for us in the future. The opener of “The Other Half” is interesting enough with its atmospheric vibe and unique guitar styling ala Steve Rothery and while “Most Toys” is a solid enough number it seems as though it could have been written for Peter Gabriel. “Thank You Whoever You Are” is a reflective ballad that comes in far too early and would have served best as the albums closer and to me this felt as that they were aiming for the crowd that listens to the likes of Coldplay or Radiohead as opposed to their core listener base.

Marillion fans have stood steadfast with the group through numerous style modifications and changes and while there is a certain level of appeal to the release it is nowhere near the level of quality that we were again finding on “Marbles”. With “Somewhere Else” we are finding them more in tune with the sounds they did on questionable releases such as “Radiation” and “Marillion.com”. I admit that I found a track or two on each of those albums of some interest and with “Somewhere Else” I also liked a couple, but it took me too long to appreciate what they are doing here and I really feel the larger fan base will tend to agree with me here. Lyrically it seems like a strong release and Hogarth’s voice is superb but it is everywhere as opposed to offering the chance for the musicians to shine. We do find some nice piano work by Kelly but there is nothing stellar going on drum wise that would kick it up a notch and perhaps raise the level of excitement. The band has succeeded if they are attempting to delve into the Commercial Rock genre but I fear at the same time they might be distancing themselves from the long-established fan base that they have worked so hard to maintain. While this is a decent listen at best – Marillion needs to focus once again on the type of music that made them so special in the first place. To do otherwise might find this fan base going “Somewhere Else”.

Track Listing:
1. The Other Half
2. See It Like A Baby
3. Thank You Whoever You Are
4. Most Toys
5. Somewhere Else
6. A Voice From The Past
7. No Such Thing
8. The Wound
9. The Last Century For Man
10. Faith

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