Friday, June 8, 2007

Somewhere Else with Marillion

I didn't want too much time to go by before I mentioned Marillion's new CD Somewhere Else. Released in April, this CD has gotten a little lost amongst the highly anticipated and more aggressively executed Porcupine Tree CD Fear Of A Blank Planet and the much higher profile Snakes & Arrows by Rush. Somewhere Else seems a bit more understated than it's recent competition, but it would be an injustice if it was ignored. Much better than the recent Rush offering (more on that later), Somewhere Else is a powerhouse of subtlety and lyrical inspiration.

The CD is awash in sonic surprises that don't always make an impression right off the bat. Lots of creative sound effects and electronic flourishes make for rewarding repeated listenings. Some have said that a lower mastering level has made this CD sound inferior, but I disagree. Just turn it up a bit and it's all there. The guitar solos are some of Steve Rothery's best ever, and keyboardist Mark Kelly uses a very large variety of sounds, as well as more acoustic piano than usual.

The most political Marillion CD to date, Somewhere Else is eloquent, tasteful and never overbearing. The message is simple. Marillion wants us to notice things.

From "See it Like a Baby":

Look at it as though you've never seen it before
Try and forget it
So you can see it

And from "A Voice From the Past":

Give me a smile
Hold out your hand
I don't want your money
I don't want your land

I want you to wake up
And do something strange
I want you to listen
I want you to feel
Someone else's pain

Wake up. Listen. Feel.

Sometimes it's good to notice things.