2016 Album of the Year


And my album of the year, as one of two people have already correctly guessed, is Marillion’s majestic F. E. A, R. Or to give its full title, “F*** Everyone And Run”. It’s an album that sums up the despair of 2016

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what The Guardian had to say

F. E. A. R. continues a late-career renaissance that began with 2004’s Marbles. It’s a totally uncompromising record; 68 minutes made up of just five lengthy songs with no obvious radio-friendly singles. Politically charged lyrics alternate between sadness and anger, and rich, layered instrumentation references common Marillion touchstones such as Pink Floyd and late-period Talk Talk, with the occasional hints of Van der Graaf Generator at their most grandiose and menacing. Keyboardist Mark Kelly is all over this record, going from electric piano runs to doom-laden organ, while Steve Rothery is also on top form with his evocative and lyrical guitar, exemplified by a wonderful solo on El Dorado. Things come to a climax with the The New Kings, which has singer Steve Hogarth railing at the state of the world and its corrupt, self-serving elites, all set to dark, intense music that’s as good as anything they have done. Quite possibly their best album in two decades.

Although in this case The Guardian’s reviewer was actually me.

The comments against the review make interesting reading. The vast majority are overwhelmingly positive, although you’ve got to laugh at the numpty who declared that five-star reviews “should be reserved for all time classic albums, not bands that slipped into musical irrelevance over 20 years ago” along with “And it’s not even a proper Guardian reviewer anyway” before compounding his idiocy by insisting that he didn’t need to listen to an album to know it can’t possibly be worth five stars. Sadly this is the sort of closed-minded prejudice bands like Marillion have fighting for decades.

Meanwhile I’m now getting blamed for their Royal Albert Hall gig selling out in minutes.

This entry was posted in Record Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 2016 Album of the Year

  1. Chris Hall says:

    Great album and a great review :-)

  2. Synthetase says:

    “Meanwhile I’m now getting blamed for their Royal Albert Hall gig selling out in minutes.”

    I’d take that any day of the week :)

  3. Steve says:

    2016 has been a good year for albums. I’ve not yet heard the new Marillion one. I’ve read some great reviews (like here) and also seen it slaughtered by Marillion fans. I don’t know if its generally regarded by their fans as an album that divides the fanbase. I guess I’ll just have to listen to it. The album reviews on here are the ones I take most notice of.

    I still need to buy the Mantra Vega one. I like the I Am Snow album, and I still have to pre-order the Mostly Autumn one. There has been a bit of a barrage of pre-orders in the second half of this year. Not easy to keep up with it all. But I do think its important to support independent musicians with their pre-orders.

    The best 2016 album I have heard is Monica Heldal’s “The One In The Sun”, the so-called difficult second album. Monica’s prog influences coming to the fore on this one and one of the best albums I’ve heard in years. Secrets For September made an excellent debut album, Erja Lyytinen and Heikki Silvennoinen made a very good CD/DVD live album of new/old/covers. And canadian harp guitar player, Jamie Dupuis, has just released a new album of originals. He’s an awesome player. And scottish guitarist, Chris Adams, is an exciting find with his new album, “Otherside Of The Sky”

    But the most interesting, and totally unexpected, release of the year was the debut album by the elusive and mysterious parisienne guitarist, Juliette Valduriez. She now uses the name Juliette Jade (her middle name). After seemingly disappearing off the face of the earth (causing all sorts of rumours) since the early summer of 2013, Juliette suddenly announced the release of her album a couple of days before christmas. All originals, she plays all the instruments, and does all the vocals.