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This Strange Engine Import

3.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Vinyl, Import, May 3, 2013
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Man of a Thousand Faces
  2. One Fine Day
  3. 80 Days

Disc: 2

  1. Estonia
  2. Memory of Water
  3. An Accidental Man

Disc: 3

  1. Hope for the Future
  2. Estonia Live in Montreal

Disc: 4

  1. This Strange Engine


Product Details

  • Vinyl (May 3, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Snapper Import
  • ASIN: B0094AYQVG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #665,820 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Justin G. TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This Strange Engine is quite simply one of the most beautiful albums I've ever heard. I understand that Marillion is one of the most highly regarded bands in the progressive/art rock genre, and that their back catalogue contains some truly exceptional albums, but This Strange Engine is in a class all its own and remains my favorite Marillion album.

This is an album that may not fall into the traditional progressive mold, in that aside from the title track there is not much in the way of showy instrumental passages or lengthy epics. Instead the band opts for a sound that appeals more to emotion and a sense of beauty. Much of this appeal comes from the performance of vocalist Steve Hogarth.

When original vocalist Fish left the band, it marked a turning point for Marillion's sound. Fish's fey, almost otherworldly delivery was replaced by Steve Hogarth's more earnest and (to my ears) emotional style. I know that many purists greatly prefer the Fish era albums, and that is quite understandable, as they are truly works of art, but I tend to enjoy the Hogarth albums more. They just seem to resonate more and connect with me on a more emotional level.

This Strange Engine is, so far, the best of those albums. All of the songs are excellent, but Man of a Thousand Faces, Estonia, and An Accidental Man are truly exceptional. This album is emotional, powerful, and beautiful, and I highly recommend it.
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Format: Audio CD
Most die-hard Marillion fans' least favorite Marillion records are This Strange Engine and Holidays in Eden. After having owned most of what is domstically available by Marillion, the only two I presently own are the two must-haves, This Strange Engine and Holidays in Eden. "Estonia" and "This Strange Engine" are easily the two best tracks, but moreso because of how incredible they are, not because the rest of the album is lacking. I'll also admit that at first I had a hard time getting past how much "One Fine Day" musically reminded me of Aerosmith's "Dream On" but after a few listens, I was very much over it. I don't know what pressings Amazon.com sells, but some domestic copies come with 2 unlisted bonus tracks, the Positive Light remix of "Estonia" and the acoustic version of "80 days." If you can find a TSE with those two extra tracks, they make the album even better, but either way, this comes highly recommended...
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Format: Audio CD
This album is a bit awkward. It starts off with a great song, man of 1000 faces. This song is easily one of the three best on this albums. I don't really know what they're doing on Accidental man, Memory of water or Hope for the future though. These songs all sound a bit uninspired. BUT! The title track is EASILY the best thing they ever recorded. Especially the last 6 minutes of the song are pure emotion, and if you don't own this record, you're sure to be missing something in your life.
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Format: Audio CD
For my general views on the "new" Marillion (that is, Marillion without their erstwhile lead singer, Fish), please read my review of "Afraid of Sunlight".
I shan't repeat everything hear. Suffice it to say that "Afraid" took me by surprise, becoming one of my favorite albums in spite of the fact that I bought it on a whim and was totally prepared - even perhaps looking forward - to disliking every second of it.
"Engine" is, in many ways, similar to "Afraid". If you like the one, you should like the other (and, yes, and you should like the one AND the other; they're both excellent!) However, there are a few points which should be made.
Firstly, "Engine" is not as homogenous as "Afraid". The title track of "Engine", for example, lasts about 16 minutes and is utterly wonderfull; set against this, however, are the quite staid world music inclinations of Hope for the Future, which in comparison seem quite innocuous.
Having said that, though, I've run out of steam. I simply can't fault the rest of the album. It's not world-shattering, it's nothing like (for example) the sheer, determinedly vituoso performances of King Crimson. But why should it be? This isn't a rehash of Crimson, or Yes, or even Genesis, the group Marillion obviously felt bound to during their first years.
This is Marillion, the "new" Marilion. And they're to be enjoyed and liked. And admired.
Like "Afraid", "Engine" is a great album. Thought-provoking, beautiful, reflective and occasionally intense, it is worth every penny you spend on it.
Buy this album!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Coming down" from Afraid of Sunlight, one of my favorite all-time albums, This Strange Engine is good, but leaves a bit to be desired. Songs are quieter, often less ambitious and diverse, and the album misses an element of cohesion found in Brave and Afraid of Sunlight. The epic title track is missing an integral musical theme to hold it together. This is no Afraid of Sunlight.
Given time, I realized that it didn't matter. There's some great work here, some of the band's best writing, I'd say. "Man of a Thousand Faces" is one of their best album openers ever, I think -- quite simply a GREAT song. Driven by acoustic guitar and piano flourishes, think "King of Sunset Town" with acoustic guitars and you're close. Actually, Rothery uses lots of acoustic on this album. "80 Days" and "Estonia" are wonderful songs both anchored in acoustic guitar melodies.
The title track in particular is totally beautiful. Quite simply, it is a progressive songwriting showcase of huge proportions, and certainly one of my favorites of theirs. Rothery's slow, sparkling guitar solo near the end is gorgeous, with sonic grandiosity and innovative arrangements building up to it. The song reads in at a little over 30 minutes, but in reality there is only about 16 minutes of music. This is followed by a long moment of silence before some piano chords chime in and there's some creepy laughter. Did they think it was funny tricking us like that? It was mean, very mean! That's the most progressive thing on the album, although "Estonia" is fairly reminiscent of the "classic" Marillion sound, as well.
I always find myself liking songs no one else enjoys.
Read more ›
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