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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Fish

Yang

Review by Gary Hill

Part of a 2 CD combination of "Yin" and "Yang", this disc is a collection of Fish rarities and alternate takes. The reworks of Marillion tracks are some of the highlights of the album, but really it is all quite interesting. The only complaint here is that sometimes the arrangements tend to get just a little bit "over the top".

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Track by Track Review
Lucky
Originally from the "Internal Exile" album, this is a very solid and high-energy prog rocker with Celtic leanings. The version presented here does not feel that much different than the original.
Big Wedge
Horns a-plenty, this one comes in screaming in a killer jazzy jam. As the verse comes in the arrangement is less stripped down, but the energy level remains high. This one gets a slight Peter Gabriel "Big Time" feel, but that's probably more due to the chorus than anything else.
Lady Let It Lie
This one is a balladic cut with some strong evocative textures, but it just doesn't really stand out.
Lavender
A remake of the version Fish cut during his tenure in Marillion, this is a more mainstream rendition. The song works fairly well in this format.
Credo
This is a very strong rocker with killer textures.
A Gentleman's Excuse Me
Beginning sedate and string arranged, this one is a mellow ballad based around piano and voice. It has a string arrangement that seems a bit over the top at times, but Fish's emotional vocal performance saves the cut from banality.
Kayleigh
The classic Marillion number, Fish's band plays it fairly straight, but this rendition feels just a bit more mainstream pop oriented than the original.
State of Mind
A fairly straightforward rocker, this one is a good one and has a defiant attitude that really serves it well.
Somebody Special
This one does a good job of pulling off a dichotomous nature. On the one hand it's pretty straightforward and mainstream. Yet, overall the texture feels a bit off-kilter.
Sugar Mice
Another Marillion reworking, this time from the "Clutching At Straws" album, this one comes across here as the powerful melancholic ballad that it is. It works very well in this formation. It does however, feel a bit slow at times, though, and the strings get a big heavy-handed.
Punch and Judy
This time reaching into the earlier portions of Marillion's musical library, this rocker comes across quite strong here, making for one of the most potent pieces on the album. The version doesn't steer far from the original, but why tinker with near perfection.
Fortunes of War
This one is slow building, evocative and pretty - all in all quite nice!
Internal Exile
Taking another stab at this number from his solo career, the rendition here has a stronger Celtic air to it. It is fun, as always, and quite effective in this format.
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