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Genesis - Trespass CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.15 | 2178 ratings

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3 stars A lovely, gentle, fragile album that continually fails to grip me. Apart from 'The Knife', that is.

The rating for this album is undoubtedly higher because it is part of the early GENESIS canon. In my view, excluding their un-Genesis debut album, this is the weakest album GENESIS issued - in any era. It simply doesn't contain the delightful melodies, the soaring, glorious moments and the sweet GENESIS vibe we all associate with the band in their prime. The musicians can all play their instruments, so musicianship isn't the problem here.

There are hints here of the strong musical force this group would become. At their best, GENESIS juxtapose gentle melodies with moments of drama and farce, with emphasis on voice (Peter Gabriel) and keyboard (Tony Banks). The guitars (Anthony Phillips here, Steve Hackett later) and rhythm section play less of a role than those familiar with recent progressive music are familiar with. The effect is to emphasise beauty rather than power. If that's not what you like in music, I suspect you'll wonder what all the fuss over GENESIS is about.

The problem with this record is two-fold: composition and production. There simply isn't enough dynamic variation in the first five songs: the balance of riotous fun, otherworldly drama and fantasy is obscured by muddy production (this album defines poor production, in my view) and a lack of risk-taking in composition. Too many of the tracks are pastoral, which is why 'The Knife' stands out.

Ah, 'The Knife'. Right up with the best thing they ever did. What a towering shame it couldn't have been recorded with the crisp production values of, say, 'Trick Of The Tail'.

To be honest, you could give this album a miss and not lose much from your GENESIS experience. Obviously you have to buy the group's key albums. Go ahead. But I don't think this is one.

russellk | 3/5 |


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