Monday, June 9, 2008

Fish

13th Star (Chocolate Frog Records)

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  Some of rock’s most memorable albums have been recorded by artists in the midst of grief and despair. While 13th Star, a poignant reflection on love by the recently heartbroken Derek Dick—better known as Fish, former frontman of the seminal British progressive-rock band Marillion—may not go down as one of the greatest albums ever, it does rank among Fish’s finest work.

  At age 50 and sounding as wise and weathered as Peter Gabriel, Fish has been on a creative roll of late, releasing five albums of new studio and live material since 2004. Many of the tracks on 13th Star begin with a subtle eeriness, gradually incorporating such indie-rock standards as drum loops and sampling with the kind of accessible art rock Marillion used to make so well. The result is an engaging experience for both younger listeners who’ve never heard of Fish and aging progheads who still listen to Misplaced Childhood on vinyl.

  Fish is touring the United States for the first time in 10 years and will perform at Shank Hall on Saturday, June 14.