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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Fish

Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors

Review by Tim Jones

Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors is Fish's first solo project after leaving Marillion. The singer-poet gets off to a great start. The music, although a little less progressive than what Marillion had been doing, is very good. And the lyrics are some of the best Fish has ever written.

Having listened to the rest of Fish's solo work, I can safely say that this is the best. It's one of my favorite progressive rock albums; the music's not as complex as most progressive rock, but it's good, strong music, and the lyrics and vocal emotions are excellent. This is highly recommended.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Vigil
One of the best songs Fish has ever done, this is haunting, vivid and demanding. About loss of innocence and such; it could easily have found a home on Misplaced Childhood. It begins quietly, and Fish soon enters with his unique vocals. The music slowly builds, and, after a few minutes, it's full power, with electric guitars, drums, and Fish's angry, hungry vocals.
Big Wedge
A song about American consumerism and greed. A bit of brass accompanies the drums, guitars, keys, and Fish. This is a very sarcastic number. Not one of the strengths of the album, this isn't a bad song either.
State of Mind
A political follow-up to "Vigil,” this never reaches the intensity of that one, but it's a good song. Again, we get great vocals and great lyrics.
The Company
This sounds more like Marillion than any other song here, and is another outstanding track. In fact, it's one of the best on the album. Violin and accordion add to the sweeping orchestration.
A Gentleman's Excuse Me
Here we have a whimsical love song. "I'm tired of dancing,” Fish sings, and he wants to move the relationship to the next stage. Built on soft, simple music, this is beautiful. Strings and horns accompany prominent keyboards. It's another first-rate track.
The Voyeur (I Like to Watch)
A powerful commentary on TV addiction, tt's a bit like "Big Wedge” and not one of my favorites here, but it's not a bad song. There is not as much melody and Fish distorts his voice a bit to take the role of a perverted low-life loser.
Family Business
A sad, moving song about physical and emotional (and possibly sexual) abuse within a family, the story is told by a worried neighbor. The song begins with soft keyboards, and progresses into a slightly harder, guitar-driven sound before closing softly. It's another excellent track.
View From a Hill
This song laments a friend who is captivated by consumerism and loses everything else. The song starts softly but gets quite hard - great stuff.
Cliché
Another keyboard driven track, this is one of my favorite love songs. Fish shows once more that he can do more than angry political songs. Some great electrical guitars come in to add just the right bit of atmosphere.
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