Clutching at Straws

Clutching at Straws

by Marillion
5.0 1


$11.39 $11.99 Save 5% Current price is $11.39, Original price is $11.99. You Save 5%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Get it by Monday, October 23 , Order now and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.


Clutching at Straws

Written and conceived during a period of inner-band turmoil, Clutching at Straws would prove to be Fish's swan song, and perhaps Marillion's most unheralded masterpiece. Teaming up once again with producer Chris Kimsey, Clutching at Straws showcases some of the band's most satisfying compositions, including the magnificent "Warm Wet Circles" and "That Time of the Night (The Short Straw)." Bookended by Fish's disgust with not only himself, "Torch Song," but also with the burgeoning neo-Nazi uprising in Europe, "White Russian," the great Scot delivers an inspired condemnation. The commercial pomp and circumstance of "Incommunicado" also gives way to a self-parodying confessional inspired by Fish's inability to see himself as a bona fide rock star and celebrity ("I want to do adverts for American Express cards, talk shows on prime time T.V."). Tour opener "Slainte Mhath" is simple and elegant, building to its dramatic crescendo only to be upstaged by "Sugar Mice" -- quite simply, one of Marillion's best commercial singles ever. The album's stunning closer, "The Last Straw," is Fish's self-realization that yes, the band is not only over, but that in his mind, it's null and void ("and if you ever come across us, don't give us your sympathy"). Steve Rothery's blinding guitar solo brings the whole thing down to a crashing finish (prophetically, announcing his arrival as the band's true musical instigator on subsequent Fish-less records).

Product Details

Release Date: 02/19/2001
Label: Emi Europe Generic
UPC: 0724352711727
catalogNumber: 5271172

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Clutching at Straws 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If Marillion’s lead singer Fish used previous album Misplaced Childhood as a catharsis for his relationship turmoils, then he attempted to exorcise his substance abuse demons with Straws. The conclusion for this concept album isn’t as sunny as its predecessor; a fact which makes this a somewhat more realistic and concrete album. The album was preceded by leadoff single “Incommunicado” which with its nauseatingly fast pace is not only the weakest song on the album, but one of the lesser tunes of the entire Marillion catalog. The slower tempo “Sugar Mice” was the best bet for a single (eventually released as the third single) with its memorably aching peak into the mind of a man who leaves his family because he can’t beat the bottle. However, the strongest and most interesting song on the album is “Warm Wet Circles.” This intriguing choice as a second single opens with the lines “On promenades where drunks propose to lonely arcade mannequins/Where ceremonies pause at the jeweler’s shop display/Feigning casual silence in strained romantic interludes/Till they commit themselves to the muted journey home.” Not exactly your average toe-tapper. As if the lyrics weren’t powerful enough, the song is stuffed with “warm wet circle” imagery, including a wedding ring, the sweat left behind by a glass, and a bullet wound. Like Childhood, this album plays very autobiographically. One senses that the success of that album was a blessing and a curse; the added stress of extra touring pushed Fish to alcohol abuse and a sense that maybe there aren’t answers to everything after all. The latter message is bleakly painted by album closer “The Last Straw:” “We’re clutching at straws/I’m still drowning.” In the same song, he sings “Those problems seem to arise/The ones you never really thought of/The feeling you get is similar to something like drowning.” He also proclaims, “We’re terminal cases that keep taking medicine/Pretending the end isn’t quite that near.” The lines were eerie foreshadowing to the end of an era; it would be Fish’s last album with the band.