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Genesis - Foxtrot CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.60 | 3331 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Foxtrot is the follow up to Genesis' superb Nursery Cryme. It's the second to feature the classic lineup, and the pressure was on to deliver. Foxtrot shows the band's maturation and thheir coming of age. As always, the musicians combine their instruments into a beautiful whole yet still create independent rythmns and melodies.

"Watcher of the Skies" opens the album. Immense praise has been heaped on this album, but I think it's pretty overrated. It takes almost two and a half minutes to get going. That can be tolerable if yuo're listening to an epic, but if the song is 7 minutes long, that's a lot of time wasted. Once it gets going, however, the song is a classic, dealing with aliens landing on Earth only to find animals as humanity has finally destroyed itself with war. Some of Peter's most serious lyrics along with The Knife, another anti-war song.

"Time Table" bores me stiff. It's beautiful, but it doesn't move me. To be fair, I'm a fan of the heavy bleak stuff (Opeth, Ayreon, Operation Mindcrime) so perhaps I'm not the best person to evaluate this track.

"Get 'Em Out By Friday" redeems the last track with the tale of a greedy land developer who mercilessly ejects the residents of a small town. Peter masterfully plays several roles. Mr. Pebble (the owner of Styx Enterprises) and Ms. Barrow (the lady who is willing to pay double rent to stay in her home) stand out, the fromer's coldness and the latter's desperation are the pillars of the song. Peter intended for the song to be set in the future, but I can imagine such an even happening then or now (of course, now is the future from Peter's view then; if you can follow what I just said, congradulations;). The brilliance of the multiple roles later resulted in the praised Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, though it would be blown up to a huge scale and Peter wouldn't keep it together, but that's for another review.

"Can-Utility And The Coastliners" is the sleeper hit of the album. It crams as many twists and turns in less than six minutes as Supper's Ready does in 23. Mike's bass is the centerpiece of this song, leading the rythmn as the rest of the band follows his direction.

"Horizons" is a brief acoustic interlude leading into the highlight of the album. Steve's solo piece is simple yet moving and beautiful.

"Supper's Ready" is Genesis' signature song. It is 23 minutes of pure perfection. It sets itself apart from just about every other epic ever written because it begins with vocals. Every epic I've ever listened to has at least 2 minutes of instrumental lead-in (or, in the case of Pink Floyd, annoying near silence). This alone grabbed my attention the first time I heard it. Peter's vocals on this song I would say are his finest; he is all over the place, imbuing the song with emotion. His lyrics switch from serious to witty in an instant. Each section offers something new. The ending is one of the most beautiful pieces in rock.

Overall, this album is very strong, but it isn't a masterpiece. Watcher takes too long to start and Time Table is filler. Still, no collection of symphonic prog is even basic without this record. Owners of the original vinyl have complained of the poor sound quality. Let me explain why that is. Foxtrot is an exceptionally long album for LP. The more space that is taken up on vinyl, the less the quality of the recording. I recommend buying the CD remasters of Genesis' catalogue.

Grade: B+

1800iareyay | 4/5 |


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