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Released: Oct. 2, 2009

Rating: 3.375 out of 4 ratings

Genre: rock > neo-progressive

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Go! [5:02] MC
  2. Interior Lulu [7:32] MC
  3. Out of This World [5:08] AS
  4. Wrapped Up in Time [3:40] HR
  5. The Space… [4:52] SE
  6. Hard As Love [4:58] BR
  7. Quartz [5:48] AN
  8. If My Heart Were a Ball, It Would Roll Uphill [5:12] AN
  9. It’s Not Your Fault [3:33]
  10. Memory of Water [2:37] TS
  11. This Is the 21st Century [5:40] AN
  12. Cannibal Surfer Babe (unlisted) [3:27]

Tracks originally appeared on the following albums:

SE Seasons End (1989)
BR Brave (1994)
AS Afraid of Sunlight (1995)
TS This Strange Engine (1997)
MC (1999)
AN Anoraknophobia (2001)
HR Happiness Is the Road (2008)

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart --

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • --

Notes: --

Less Is More
“The dread that falls over a fan when they hear their favorite band is about to release a live album or an umpteenth greatest hits compilation is palpable…Those releases often signal a way out of a contract, a quick fill in order to move on with the messy business and start looking for a new label or, worse, a way of shuttering a career.” DD

“And now, the acoustic album has fallen into that same chilly subgenre, the filler album category.” DD For the 16th studio album from the veteran British progressive rock group, “Marillion have re-worked 11 of their own favorite…tracks” AZ from the Steve Hogarth era, 1989 to present. There’s also one new song (It’s Not Your Fault). The new twist on the songs is that Marillion decided on “limiting themselves to acoustic instruments and reducing the arrangements to the bare essentials.” AZ

“One can’t help but feel this is a group who has been forced to wait for their muse and have made this album in the interim. Does it work on its own merits? Sort of. The new arrangements certainly are more sedate, specifically with tracks taken from the Anoraknophobia album, an experiment that tried to infuse their sound with Massive Attack styled trip-hop elements. Some of the group’s longtime fans rebelled against that release, feeling it strayed too far from the preconceived notion of what the band was, so it’s no surprise that Less Is More recasts three tracks from it, If My Heart Were a Ball, It Would Roll Uphill, Quartz and This Is The 21st Century.” DD

The result can be songs that “miss the energy of the original versions” DD and “the melodic build most of these songs once had, as these recordings all have a very linear mood cutting across them. The original version of Go! from built slowly through atmospheres from electric guitar and synth to finish with a satisfying full band coda. With the new edition, the song hasn’t changed, but that ‘oomph’ just isn’t there.” DD

“It doesn’t make the release a failure and sets it aside as a nice chilled-out reflection of the group’s work for the last twenty years, but there is a blankness about it that begs the question of whether this is a denouement of sorts. Marillion has shown over the years that they still are capable of bringing the good stuff to the table.” DD Hopefully, “Less Is More is just a recharging period and not a winding down.” DD

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Link(s):

previous album: Happiness Is the Road (2008)

Hard As Love (audio only)

Memory of Water (photo montage)

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Last updated March 10, 2011.