Marillion: Somewhere ElseMarillion seems to be appealing to a commercially-oriented buying demographic with this album. There are parts of this record you'll love, and there are parts ... you might not. The band's work in the Hogarth era is marked by its variability - or some might say inconsistency. Although there have been some dud CDs, arguably including Radiation, Anoraknophobia and marillion.com, each of those records had some excellent songs. Similarly, the great albums had songs that were less than stellar. So it's generally safer to think of Marillion's work in terms of the songs rather than the CDs. Having said that, though - Somewhere Else probably fits somewhere between Marbles and marillion.com stylistically, and it's closer to .com in terms of quality.
In 2004, Marillion released one of their strongest albums in years with Marbles. Thealbum relied more on atmosphere and was rather mellow in comparison to itspredecessor Anoraknophobia. In 2007, they bring us Somewhere Else, whichstylistically is somewhere in the middle of the rockiness of Anoraknophobia and therelaxing atmospheres of Marbles. It can be said quite easily that this isn't theMarillion of old trying to rehash old ideas and call it an album. No, this album isquite different from its previous albums and shows the band going into a differentdirection musically. This album focuses more on songwriting and melodies rather thancreating long pieces and trying to be considered "progressive" (a term that the bandtries to steer clear of, despite their obvious affiliation to the term). In the end,this collection of songs is filled with catchy hooks, opinionated and meaningfullyrics, and a general focus that drives the album along through its 50 or so minutesof playing time.Songs like The Other Half and Most Toys are rocking pieces that really show how theband can write faster numbers (the first one is one of my favorites on the album andfrom first listen it really showed me that this album would be something enjoyable),while the middle pieces like Somewhere Else and Voice From the Past take the listenerthrough more atmospheric and gentle atmospheres. H's vocals aren't as good as onprevious albums, but he still manages to perform well even if his voice is showingaging (not unlike Fish, whose voice has completely changed over time). The album alsotakes a political stance with songs like The Last Century For Man, which has anoblique lyrical theme and a chorus that has sarcasm and sincerity all in one fellswoop. The concluding piece to the album, Faith, has been played by the band for manyyears prior to the release of this album, and it's gentle acoustics and fragile vocalperformance from Hogarth really act as a fitting conclusion to the album.Musically, the band is more focused on songwriting than soloing at this point.Rothery still cuts loose on a few key moments on the album, but his playing is morerestrained and focused on creating stellar atmospheres (something he's always bequite proficient at). Mark Kelly also has a prominent role on this album, his quirkykeyboards often compliment Rothery's guitar work quite well and add anotherimpressionable element to the music. The rhythm unit of Mosley and Trewavas don't letup either, both offer well conceived and integral performances at just the righttime. In all, instrumentally this album is a perfect example of a band working as ateam in trying to create cohesive and melodic/catchy songs. In this department,Marillion rarely fails.In conclusion, Somewhere Else isn't the masterpiece Marillion fans were hoping forafter nearly 3 years of waiting. It's filled with some great moments, but at the sametime one can't help but feel somewhat underwhelmed by some of the songs presented. Sure, Most Toysmight be a fine song, but in the context of the album, it could have been morefleshed out and might have used a bit more refinement (in my opinion, at least). It'salso a bit disheartening seeing that there are no truly "progressive" pieces on thealbum (unlike Marbles, which had a fair share of stellar prog songs), but in spite ofthat, Marillion have created something here that has enough substance and style tosatisfy any fan of the band (with Hogarth, Fish purists will probably not find muchto enjoy with this album). I'd rate it somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars, so I'llround it up to a deserved 4/5 social review comments | Review PermalinkPosted Tuesday, April 24, 2007 | Review this album | Report (Review #119528)
What HappensAsha arrives at Ten Towers, the castle of her uncle, Lord Rodrik Harlaw, and contemplates how few allies are gathered here with her. She finds out that Lord Rodrik is in the Book Tower, and also that Lord Tristifer Botley is here, and reflects that meeting Tris again will be awkward. She thinks of her mother Alannys, broken and grieving elsewhere in the castle, and decides to put off giving her the news that Theon is dead as well. She instructs the steward to take good care of her crew, and of the captives, especially Lady Glover and the children. She warns that it would be a very bad idea to let the baby in particular die. 2b1af7f3a8