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Genesis - Foxtrot CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.60 | 3331 ratings

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5 stars What's wrong with this album? Only one thing: production. It simply wasn't possible in 1972 to squeeze 50 minutes of rock music on to vinyl without sonic compromises.

That's it. Everything else about 'Foxtrot' is indescribably right. The pacing of the album is right, from the opening mellotron to the closing fadeout of 'Supper's Ready', with moments gentle, achingly beautiful, comedic and dramatic in between. Ignore those who label certain tracks as 'filler': they are placed deliberately to separate the dense walls of sound.

The artistry here is unquestioned. I don't hear a mis-step anywhere. Lyrically, there could be a small question over 'Get 'em Out by Friday' and 'Willow Farm', both studded with PETER GABRIEL'S absurdist metaphorical poetry, so reminiscent of the margins of schoolboy notebooks. I don't mind it so much here, as it is reserved compared to 'Nursery Cryme'. Musically this album is GENESIS' finest moment in the GABRIEL era.

Are you tired of being told how marvellous 'Supper's Ready' is? Well, here we go again. A world-encompassing subject, the lyrics are summarised in a series of beautifully sculpted scenes. The song threads disparate fragments together, and from about halfway in builds inexorably to an unbearably bright climax. If you are a listener to music you'll be familiar with its cathartic power: 'Supper's Ready' is truly cathartic. The return to the main theme in the last section, after the furious 9/8 rhythm, is all the more majestic for the slightly slower tempo, adding an accent to the already familiar, so that even on first listen you know something spectacular is taking place. True drama, true theatre, entertainment beyond price.

There will be those, raised on a different sound and song structure, who will wonder what the fuss is all about. Sorry, I can't help you hear it. Music is subjective, after all. All I can tell you is what it's like for me. The earth moved, that's all there is to it. And it still does after all these years.

russellk | 5/5 |


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