Release Date: 1987

Track Listing
1)  Hotel Hobbies
2)  Warm Wet Circles
3)  That Time Of The Night (The Short Straw)
4)  Just For The Record
5)  White Russian
6)  Incommunicado
7)  Torch Song
8)  Slainte Mhate
9)  Sugar Mice
10)  The Last Straw

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Member: Chuck AzEee! (Profile) (All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
Date: 5/4/2003
Format: CD (Album)

The British neo-progressive band, Marillion, fresh off a US Top fifty album (No. 2 in the UK), the opus Misplaced Childhood set the precedent for all of the progressive rock albums of its time. So when the band was heading into the studio to record their fourth album, Clutching At Straws clearly the pressure was on the band to produce another hit, notably to hearken on the success that the band was building in the US.

Enter Clutching At Straws, an album which like the three albums before it, is a cryptic and maniacal themed album, in which lead singer/lyricist Fish embarks on his personal life issues within each song as the band growing in confidence, supply memorable music to each song.

Within Europe, Clutching At Straws was a major hit, reaching the Top 10 again, but barely missing the Top 100 album chart in the US. Clutching At Straws, spawned three more Top Thirty singles, the first single, "Warm Wet Circles", "Incommunicado" and the gothic-like "Sugar Mice".

It is during these sessions, that the growing dissension between Fish and the band came to an all time high. Fish's increasing abuse and heavy-handedness, became too much for the band, with both splitting ways acrimoniously after the album's tour.

Clutching At Straws is every bit as great as the albums that preceded it, but what makes this album so special, is that the band, which sadly because of their frontman had tried in vain, to shake the "Genesis" albatross that loomed over them, and it was not till this album did they finally exorcised that moniker and forged a name for themselves amongst progressive rock annals.

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Member: Constable Napweed
Date: 6/6/2003

Sadly this was the album that saw Marillion at their most creative peak of strong songs and moving away from the hearts and flowers of Fish's earlier lyrics....sadly because this was to be the last album with Fish at the Mic. The lyrics of Fish took on a more oblique sense of being and in plenty of places not so obvious...although when he did lay his soul bare for everyone to understand, you could not but help to share his pain. The whole band are on form with great atmospheres which are underpinned by Fish's angst laden lyrics of drunken-ness, loneliness and a sense of being a social commentator ("White Russian") something he had not done since the title track of Fugazi For Clutching at Straws think of Floyd's The Wall but the big difference being, whereas Roger Waters seemed to be wallowing in self pity, Fish was fighting back. My favourite Marilion album and one can only hazard a guess at what might have been???

All the best
The Constable
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