This latest offering from the former Marillion frontman draws inspiration from the famed movie maker Frederico Fellini and realizes a project that Fish had wanted to create for some time. With the help of guitarist/songwriter John Wesley, keyboardist John Young, bassist Steve Vantsis, and drummer Dave Stewart, Fish has put together a commendable collection of songs that shows him once again moving off in different directions.
Kicking off with the haunting, nine-minute "3D", it becomes apparent immediately that the voice of the singer is not what it once was. Gone is the powerful angst of the past, now replaced by a gentle and charming whisper. Those looking for the strong, passionate vocals ever present on Sunsets on Empire, or even Clutching at Straws, might be in for a shock. Sadly, what once helped Fish have a unique sound now puts him in the category of the rather ordinary, vocally at least. However, what he lacks these days in one aspect he more than makes up in another. Lyrically, this is a well rounded and diverse batch of songs that run the gamut of many styles. From the tender ballad "Our Smile", to the commercial rock appeal of "So Fellini", to the ominous and dark "Clock Moves Sideways", there is much variety to be had. As always, Fish manages to slip in what could be some personal life experiences in these songs, which gives the tone a somewhat darker sense, especially if you are familiar at all with the singers life story. Guitarist Wesley is a welcome addition to the band, and adds a more hard rock approach to the Fish attack, especially on "Long Cold Day."
Fellini Days is an enjoyable work from a legend in the genre of progressive rock. While it can be argued whether the music of Fish is really prog anymore, there is no denying the mans' talents. Unfortunately, as with Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull, his vocal abilities have regressed significantly over the years even as his creative side continues to grow. As long as you can accept this, Fellini Days is a winner.