Marillion's twelfth studio album. The production costs were financed by the band offering fans the chance to pre-order the album, for which they all received a two-disc set (the second disc being a bonus track, some remixes, and recording videos,) and the band got the chance to shop for a label and be largely freed from pressure to make their music a certain way.

It's quite a complex album, really. In some ways it's quite a bit different than their previous work--moving into some late-90's styles (dub, say, as well as some more ambient takes) while still being quintessentially Marillion. Many of the songs are over 8 minutes, and while at first listen you may think that's too long, the trick is to let yourself go and trust what the band are doing. They're continually re-evoking musical and lyrical themes, building layers and taking them down again, pulling you and pushing you through the music. Very few artists could pull that off. There's even a radio-friendly single in Map Of The World, co-written by Cutting Crew singer Nick van Eede.

And Separated Out contains excerpts of the 1932 movie Freaks. Fitting since that's what fans of the band call themselves.


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