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Old 06-19-2013, 05:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
Trollheart
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Artiste: Marillion
Album: Radiation
Released: 1998
Label: Castle Communications
Producer: Marillion and Stuart Every

Brief intro: Marillion's tenth album, and sixth with Steve Hogarth, continued the metamorphosis of the band from neo-progressive rock leaders to generic rock verging into pop band. The previous album, "This strange engine", had included a samba-style track but did have the requisite epic in the fifteen-minute title track, and while this has its progressive moments, it's mostly a straightahead rock album. Doesn't mean it's any worse than previous Marillion efforts, but it definitely shows a trend away from traditional prog rock, a path Marillion are now slowly coming back towards. This album is regarded as one of their weaker, but as you'll see from the number of 8s and 9s in the ratings below, I don't agree.

1. Costa del Slough

Written by: Steve Hogarth (lyric) Marillion (Music)
Length: 1:27
Style: Sort of troubador style mixed with a 20s feel and a little blues
Lyric: Forget about the dangers of the world, just enjoy yourself
Rating: 3
Main melody: Acoustic Guitar
Notes: The track is preceded by some samples from other songs on the album, most notably the ending of "Cathedral wall". It appears to be recorded in mono, or gives the effect of having been.

2. Under the sun


Written by: Steve Hogarth (lyric) Marillion (Music)
Length: 4:10
Style: Fast rocker with boogie overtones
Lyric: Ecological concerns
Rating: 5
Main melody: Rock Guitar and Keys
Notes: This track sort of continues the theme explored in the opener. It also contains the title of the album in the lyric.

3. The answering machine

Written by:
Steve Hogarth (lyric) Marillion (Music)
Length: 3:48
Style: Hard rocker
Lyric: A man comes to talk to the lover he left, but is unable to face her and leaves messages on her answering machine instead.
Rating: 6
Main melody: Rock Guitar


4. Three minute boy

Written by:
Steve Hogarth (lyric) Marillion (Music)
Length: 5:59
Style: Ballad but with an upswing later into a harder song
Lyric: How fame can destroy you when you think it holds all the answers
Rating: 8
Main melody: Acoustic Guitar and Piano
Notes: Kind of harks back to the exploration of fame on "King" and "Gazpacho", both on the album "Afraid of sunlight".

5. Now she'll never know

Written by: Steve Hogarth (lyric) Marillion (Music)
Length: 4:59
Style: Ballad
Lyric: End of a love affair; possible death
Rating: 9
Main melody: Acoustic Guitar


6. These chains

Written by: Steve Hogarth (lyric) Marillion (Music)
Length: 4:40
Style: Ballad, getting more intense as it goes on
Lyric: Lost chances, failing to seize the day
Rating: 9
Main melody: Acoustic Guitar and Piano


7. Born to run

Written by: Steve Hogarth (lyric) Marillion (Music)
Length: 5:12
Style: Ballad sort of in a slow blues style
Lyric: Life is hard and cruel
Rating: 9
Main melody: Organ and Electric Guitar


8. Cathedral wall

Written by:
Steve Hogarth (lyric) Marillion (Music)
Length: 7:12
Style: Hard rocker
Lyric: I really don't know what this is about!
Rating: 9
Main melody: Keyboards


9. A few words for the dead

Written by: Steve Hogarth (lyric) Marillion (Music)
Length: 10:32
Style: Slowburner; ballad-style for most of its run then at the end turns into a more intense song.
Lyric: Make a better world for your children
Rating: 9
Main melody: Keyboards and Guitar, though it's pretty epic and there are a lot of instruments in there, including a sitar I think!

Closing comments:

Up until "Somewhere else" came out there was not one Marillion album I didn't like, and while this is in parts weaker than some I still love it. I think the ballads in particular are very strong, and if there are any weak tracks they're in the first two or three, other than that it's quality all the way through.

Course, I would say that as a fanatical Marillion head, wouldn't I?

Final Rating: 9/10
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