Title - 'Songs That Can't Be Made: Special Edition'
Artist - Marillion
OK, I have to admit that I'm a HUGE fan of Marillion! Sure I'm more of a Fish-led era fan, but these 15 years or so with Steve "H" Hogarth on vocals has been a good ride too.
With a core line-up that features the one sole 'pre-Fish' original band re: Steve Rothery (lead guitar), this modern day Marillion still know how to construct a fantastic musical cinemascape, that's for sure.
And so with Sounds That Can't Be Made being Marillion's 17th studio album having been released back on September 17th, 2012, the band have decided to now brings us the same album with an extra disc of Bonus Tracks.
As soulful and as powerful as ever, this new special edition provides us 6 songs that are either live cuts (recorded whilst on tour in Holand in 2013), Radio Sessions tracks, and even a Demo Arrangement on one.
Having been originally recorded at Racket studio in England, the actual original album really comes across layered, a sound that continually settles within all Marllion musical foundations.
The opening track is the 17+ minute politically-opinionated 'Gaza,' a cut so epic I cannot honestly recall the last time I heard an album have such a long work of musical art open the show! What starts oh-so quietly soon encounters Hogarth's hushed vocals before the thrashing drums and roaring guitars begin to back him thereafter. The title track is next and contains a gentle 'Come With Me' re: Gozilla (1998) back beat re: Jimmy Page & Puff Daddy (listen carefully, you'll hear it, trust me) before their version of a love song, 'Pour My Love.'
Still making some rather relevant music, comparable with many contemporary artists out there today, Marillion (Hogarth – vocals, keyboards; Mark Kelly - keyboards, backing vocals; Ian Mosley - drums, backing vocals; the aforementioned Steve Rothery - guitars, backing vocals; and Pete Trewavas - bass guitar, backing vocals, guitars) next bring us 'Power,' a track that talks of Mushroom Clouds, thunder and lightning and things being ready to blow.
That slow burn rock subsides greatly for the beautifully elegant 14 minute 'Montreal.' A cut that is lyrically to-what-I-can-imagine a canny perspective, an emotional assessment of that very same city and the people that reside there, it is backed by the classic Marillion gentle pop lyric vibe of 'Invisible Ink.'
That driving prog rock combined with a lush tempo that, every now and again reminds me of early Genesis, next brings us 'Lucky Man,' before the highly-emotional, soaring final track (on disc one of this new two disc set) 'The Sky Above The Rain' is brought forth.
Sure, Marillion has largely veered away from the guitar-driven stuff, in favor of more ambient keyboard and bass stuff, much to Mr. Rothery's consternation - so it has been said many times before! But this new set does seem to include more guitar work for him than usual.
The second relatively acoustic bare bones set contained on the bonus disc first brings us 'Wrapped Up In Time (Radio Session),' a track that is actually introduced by Hogarth himself and is lyrically very self-explanatory. Then comes both 'Power (Radio Session)' and 'Pour My Love (Radio Session),' before a 'Lucky Man (Demo Arrangement).' The second bonus disc is then rounded off by two live tracks (although you'd never know until the rapturous applause at each's end) 'Sounds That Can't Be Made (Live In Holland 2013)' and 'Invisible Ink (Live In Holland 2013).'
In closing, I guess for the casual fans, the ones that remember Marillion as that band that had that song 'Kayleigh' (1989), the version of the band has obviously gone in a wholly different musical direction. That might have a lot to do with their new singer and his viewpoints, but here on Sounds That Can't Be Made while there are elements of the band you once knew, please believe me.
Oh, and in case it caught your eye, the cover was designed by Simon Ward. The artwork for the booklet was designed by five different artists, photographers and designers: Antonio Seijas, Simon Ward, Andy Wright, Marc Bessant and Carl Glover.
And finally, if you were further wondering re: the cover, the binary data shown on said cover - and the image on the box of the Deluxe Campaign Edition - is taken from the Arecibo message.