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    Tue, 05 Oct 2004 18:02:23

    Album Reviews: Marbles by Marillion

    Marbles is a simply mahhvelous 13th album from Marillion, a band that continues to evolve after more than 20 years. This is the second album that Marillion funded by asking their loyal fans, or "Freaks," to buy in advance of its writing and recording. Free of external pressures from the record industry, what results is an exquisite work featuring often-understated performances.

    Marillion's music increasingly defies categorization, drawing freely from the band's progressive roots along with Beatle-esque melodies and jazz- and trance-inspired grooves. In songs ranging from 2-minute interludes to 12-minute suites, Steve Hogarth's expressive voice gently caresses melodies, while Steve Rothery's lyrical lead guitar passages are reminiscent of David Gilmour and Steve Hackett. And while it’s rare to single out a bass player for props, Pete Trewavas deserves special note for providing the glue and energy that allows for Marillion’s seamless genre-hopping.

    Marbles would be an excellent discovery for fans of Radiohead, U2, or R.E.M.. The strong melodic elements make it Marillion's most accessible album of late, but it is also rich in subtle details. If you allow it to, it will draw you in with its warm colors and textures, then send you soaring over dynamic landscapes. - Chris Allen

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