Marillion
Misplaced Childhood


5.0
classic

Review

by Toronto USER (3 Reviews)
July 13th, 2015 | 33 replies


Release Date: 1985 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A stone-cold classic

The year was 1984 and Marillion were on top of the world; everything was going marvelously for the group and the Orwellian nightmare proposed in 1949 was but an utter jest to the newly triumphant troop. Their latest album, Fugazi, even managed to hit gold in the U.K and witnessed the debut of exemplary drummer Ian Mosley to replace the juvenile Mick Pointer. But apart from Mosley filling the last jigsaw piece of the roster, the quintet also managed to find the perfect balance between their shorter balladesque tracks and the longer compositions more typical of the band’s debut record. The band truly surprised the prog world with the brilliance of Fugazi, especially considering that the genre was a decade past its prime. But alas, Marillion, like everyone else in music, needed to move forward or risked drowning in self foisted stagnation. But what road to take? What direction to go? Unbelievably enough, the United Nations prophetically announced 1985 to be “International Youth Year”; completely oblivious to the fact that a certain group of musicians would record the most incredible concept album ever exploring the essence of childhood. An album telling tales of depression, heartbreak, and reminiscing of the facets of boyhood in all their forms. The name of that album is Misplaced Childhood.

On the tour promoting the record, Marillion vocalist Fish would often start the evening by saying “ Now there is time for one more track, the name of the track is Misplaced Childhood”, followed by the album played in orderly succession. The remark, only meant as a light witticism, encapsulates the album experience briefly and splendidly nonetheless. The band bridges all the individual songs together using light instrumental transitions and childhood-esque themes, thus circulating the album into a singular unified escapade. Much like how a river often thinly connects two much greater masses of water , lightly veiling two otherwise distant entities into a single flow of movement.

The record begins with a faint tune known as Pseudo Silk Kimono, quickly introducing the listener to the wonderful prose of Fish, whilst suggesting some of the darker themes rampant through much of the LP. But alas! Pseudo Silk Kimono is only a mere glimpse of what is yet to unravel. The following piece, Kayleigh, is, for lack of a better description, pop perfection. Kayleigh begins with a bittersweet melodic guitar lick melded with ethereal mellophone-esque instrumentation before breaking out into the nostalgic remembrances of heartbreak crafted by Fish.

Do you remember, chalk hearts melting on a playground wall?

Do you remember, dawn escapes from moon washed college halls?

Do you remember, the cherry blossoms in the market square?

Do you remember, I thought it was confetti in her hair?
……..
Kayleigh, is it too late to say I'm sorry?
……
Do you remember, barefoot on the lawn with shooting stars?


The lyrics stay true to the spirit of childhood; childhood is, of course , a phase of human life in which very few damns are given. A time where one can bask in the simplicity and carelessness sanctioned by lack of fiscal responsibility; a time where one can enjoy the simple pleasures in life to their fullest extent. A time in which every grown-up recalls in morose longing. For those reasons, Fish abandons any aim of lyrical complexity and directs his attention to creating the most wistful and visceral lyrics imaginable; purposefully trying to incarnate the quintessence of childhood into lyrical form. Each and every song recalls youth into the listener’s heart. Whether it be through the affectionate simplicity of the piano-led Lavender or the saccharinely resolving Childhood’s End?. The album varies substantially on the emotional spectrum, as the lyrical contents can be as scatterbrained as the LSD-trip in which they were initially conceived. One often finds themselves wiping away tears of joy with a palm already damp from tears of anguish.

Due to the heavy emphasis on vocals, the instrumentalists are somewhat felt to be pushed to the side. Especially for the usual wank-filled norms of prog. Even the nearly ten minute epic, Blind Curve, places true marvels such as Peter Trewavas secondary to penmanship, something quite unheard of in a prog rock epic; but one must remember, this is an album made to commemorate a time where simplicity reigns. Getting caught up in the complexities and excesses of prog would be a fatal contradiction to what this album stands for. But of course, none of this is to say that the other members of the group don’t have any immense individual moments. The guitarist, Steve Rothery, even manages to scatter a few otherworldly solos throughout the record, most remarkably the one about two minutes into Blind Curve, where he plays with an elegant and heartfelt passion unparalleled by most others of its kind.

Ah, Misplaced Childhood. A piece of music that someone may dismiss as a victim of the vanished and tacky sound of the eighties decade. But one can rest assured that that “someone” simply has never experienced the delight of juvenescence.


user ratings (229)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
JungWooTie (5)
If this album were a tree, it'd be a Xmas tree, with many gifts underneath....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Torontonian
July 13th 2015


2464 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Epitome of a fanboy review and perhaps a bit melodramatic but oh well. Feedback welcome.

Digging: Ashra - New Age of Earth

Titan
July 13th 2015


9179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ok, here we go Toronto. The review is mostly great, however, I thought it ended rather abruptly in the context of which you were writing. Your summary seems more suitable for Jester's Tear than it does for this record as well. It is very well written, and for that, enjoy a pos.



For me, I rank this as 3rd best Marillion.

Torontonian
July 13th 2015


2464 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks titan! i agree on all points made.



This pretty much tied Clutching at straws for me while i was reviewing it tbh, not that there was much seperating them before.

Jethro42
July 13th 2015


13080 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My favorite Marillion album right here. Great from A to Z. Script is my second, Fugazi then Clutching. All the Fish era albums are classic anyway. Hope your review will get flagged.

Torontonian
July 13th 2015


2464 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Much thanks Jethro! what does flagged mean?

Titan
July 13th 2015


9179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the featured review

Torontonian
July 13th 2015


2464 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ah, i'm flattered Jethro but i doubt it!

Jethro42
July 13th 2015


13080 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You amply deserve it, my friend. Maybe you should ask to a mod through the forums somewhere, to tell them your review is of a better quality than the other one. I think it's the way to go.

Onirium
July 13th 2015


2735 Comments


Great review! I've always had trouble getting into Marillion, that 80s vibe gets absolutely intolerable for me after only a few songs. I probably have never experienced the delight of juvenescence. But then again, it's quite a tacky sound.

Digging: Eluvium - Copia

Cygnatti
July 13th 2015


26382 Comments


i dig fugazi

Digging: Elysia Crampton - American Drift

Jethro42
July 13th 2015


13080 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Onirium, Script for a Jester's Tear sounds more like the 70s.

Onirium
July 13th 2015


2735 Comments


Yeah I appreciate Script for a Jester's Tears much more, or at least my memory of it. I've always had mixed feeling toward neo-prog (and by that I speak of most prog from the 80s and 90s exclusively); it just feels to me that bands had sacrificed many of the ideas that made the genre so interesting in the first place. And I have nothing to say against the quality of their blending of prog with more accessible music; it is done brilliantly in most cases. But in the end I guess it's just not what interests me, what attracts me to prog personally.

facupm
July 13th 2015


10000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is pretty good i love it

LepreCon
July 14th 2015


4822 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album is bitchin

Jethro42
July 14th 2015


13080 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh I remember Toronto when Mylo went down

And we sat and cried on the phone

I never felt so alone

He was the first of our own

Jethro42
July 14th 2015


13080 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Also gotcha Onirium. Neo prog is the black sheep of prog, for their pop approach and their over-use of modern synthesizers. I think Marillion is an exception though. We can almost call them classic prog rockers (Fish era)

argonaut
July 14th 2015


791 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome for this to get a new review. I absolutely love this album, maybe I'll give it a listen today.

Torontonian
July 14th 2015


2464 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@oni thanks. i thought u said this album was a 4 for u?

@argo u definetly should

Onirium
July 14th 2015


2735 Comments


@Jethro yeah, they didn't abuse of synths at least. I think it's just the production trends of the era that I can't stand. Because, in fact, I don't mind the moderate use of electronics and synths in modern prog of the "third wave", let's say.

@Torontonian did I? I remember I 4'd Brave though, which strangely impressed me much more than Marillion's proclaimed classics.

Onirium
July 14th 2015


2735 Comments


"Misplaced Childhood is like a 4.2-4.3 for me at the moment"

Oh well, apparently I did say that... That's weird; I'll give it another listen, although the main thing I remember is a sound that appeared to me as cheesy and overly polished. I thought I had a pretty consistent taste in music... whatever ;)



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy