It's finally here... the new Marillion album Somewhere Else. Before I first listened to it, I had already read a number of reviews and in the most part, they were lukewarm.
It seems this has always been the case since Clutching at Straws, a few albums (Brave - Marbles) perhaps being a bit better received by the press. For myself, I have never understood this. Every post-Fish albums Marillion have put out I have enjoyed. Some more (again Brave and Marbles but also Anoraknophobia, Afraid of Sunlight...) and others less (Season's End, Marillion.com), but on every album I have found enough great songs to give it two thumbs up.
Somewhere Else I would rank as perhaps the mellowest Marillion album ever. Think of the quieter pieces on Marbles as a good reference. They do crank it up some on a few tracks, but it always does remain pretty much in control. Nice solos, some crunchy guitar passages... but always smoooooth.
Good music though, in fact very good music. All the qualities of recent Marillion are present on Somewhere Else . Emotional singing by Hogarth, nice guitar solos, creative drumming... not once am I tempted to skip a track, the record flows naturally from one to the other.
Considering Marbles and Somewhere Else my conclusion is that Marillion is a band at it's peak, even though they had some very bright flashes in the past. Great stuff!!! Long live Marillion. Thanks guys... please keep it up.