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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Fish

Internal Exile

Review by G. W. Hill

The lineup on this album is Fish(Derek W. Dick), Mickey Simmonds, Robin Boult, Frank Usher, David Paton, Ethan Johns, Ted McKenna and assorted side-musicians. Internal Exile was released in 1992. Emotion seems to permeate Fish`s lyrics and vocals. That is the most powerful element of this album. In fact, the vocals and lyrics were always my favorite features of old Marillion, and Fish is my favorite lyricist.

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Track by Track Review
Shadowplay
This song is somewhat in the style of Marillion, with a harder edge than. In fact, this one could almost fit onto the Clutching at Straws album. A good solid progressive rock tune, featuring a crunchy texture, and some quite emotional and insightful lyrics, a Fish trademark. The arrangement here is quite quirky and creative, at times solemn and at times powerful. In fact, the build up just before the conclusion has an extremely passionate and majestic texture to it.
Credo
Credo is another song which would have made a good Marillion track (more from the Misplaced Childhood era). This one is a bit more basic, but still contains a very solid progressive arrangement, and many of what one could call "Marillion trademarks". Old Genesis leanings, in the form of Marillion`s take on them are present here.
Just Good Friends(Close)
More of ballad, but, again, with solid Marillion leanings, this is a song which asks "what would you do if I, opened up my heart to you, would just be another who`s wasting his time, darling are we just good friends?" Although somewhat sedate with it`s balladic nature, there are still moments of solid progressive bombast to be found here.
Favourite Stranger
This is a very nice track, which shows progressive rock, jazz and world leanings. Featuring some wonderfully toned bass guitar, Favourite Stranger has a very contemplative and somewhat melancholy feel to it, and.
Lucky
Lucky is a nice solid rocker with good progressive leanings, and just a hint of a Celtic texture.
Dear Friend
Another song in the balladic Marillion sort of mode, this is one of my favorite cuts on this album. It is a number which really touches one`s soul. The lyrics here seem to lament the falling to the wayside of friends and old ways due to becoming "a family man". However, the narrator here is happy with his choice, but somewhat regretful of the things that have been lost in the choice. "I`ll write you at Christmas, or I`ll send you a card, And if you pass by you`re welcome to drop in, And see me cos it`s unlikely, I`ll be round your way, cos I`m happy to be, Where I am, living life as a family man."
Tongues
Featuring a hard-edged guitar sound, this is a very strong track. One can see this piece as Marillion with a bit more of a cutting edge from time to time. The backing vocals to this one lend a lot to the track, especially during headphone listening.
Internal Exile
This is an energetic and fun progressive piece based heavily on Celtic tradition. The song features quite a bit of traditional Celtic instrumentation and stylings, and a nicely energetic jig based concluding jam.
Something in the Air
An interesting version of the Thunderclap Newman classic, this features a rather techno percussion track and some interesting guitar stylings. This is a great reworking of a wonderfully fun old song. Also featured here moments of Celtic sounds.
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