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Genesis - Trespass CD (album) cover

TRESPASS

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.15 | 2223 ratings

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TheWillowFarmer
3 stars While this is a massive improvement over their sleep-inducing debut, Trespass is still quite clearly a transitional disc from a band still trying to find its feet, which means it's not really that great, but not bad either, there's actually a couple of great moments from this short-lived Genesis line-up. An important album for Genesis, sure, it paved the way for them to become one of prog rock's icons, but not the album that would win me over if I've never listened to anything by Genesis before trying this one.

Anyway, let's take a look at the tracks here...

Looking For Someone (7:04) - ★★★☆☆

This song... never really did much to me, to be honest. Aside from Peter Gabriel's great emotional vocal performance and the fantastic instrumental outro starting in 4:45 with a rather tasteful Anthony Philips solo and some nice flute pieces by Gabriel, I find this to be a largely unexciting track. John Mayhew's drumming in particular doesn't impress me much and both the acapella and the chorus sections never felt like they pack that big of a punch, but it's not a terrible track, I guess it opens the album decently enough nonetheless.

White Mountain (6:44) - ★★★★☆

Now that's much better, Tony Banks opens this track up with an atmospheric mellotron and drives it forward with Phillips' guitar and Mike Rutherford's bass complementing it flawlessly. This is also pretty much the first Genesis song with direct lyrical storytelling, about a wolf called Fang and his attempted escape from another wolf named One-Eye for trespassing his territory and seeing the crown of the king or something like that, it's kinda hard to explain actually. Anyway, Gabriel also does a very strong vocal performance the whole way through and the outro once again is fantastic, you can pretty much feel like you're in a snowy forest where some kind of battle just recently happened with it, a great song for sure.

Visions of Angels (6:50) - ★★☆☆☆

This one was largely written by Anthony Phillips, with lyrics about how he loves Peter Gabriel's then wife, and it's another one I never cared about. Maybe if it was at least 1 minute shorter I would give it a pass, because for a song with so little musical development and painfully repetitive structure, it sure as hell overstays its welcome, and once again, the drumming lacks any kind of impact, even more apparent now that the instrumental passage gives it a bigger focus.

Stagnation (8:46) - ★★★★☆

Somewhat of a hidden gem in Genesis' catalog, some great acoustic work, I love the organ sections, Gabriel shows his vocal prowess here once again, especially when the heavier section of the song kicks in and he ups the ante in the "I said I wanna sit down!" part, also this song has some of my favorite lyrical lines ever: "I want a drink - I want a drink/To take all the dust and the dirt from my throat". Lyrically, I believe it's about the life of a rich man who spent all of it living underground only to realize the world above him was destroyed and everyone died due to a nuclear fallout, this whole nuclear fallout thing was kinda popular between writers at the time, so this would be Genesis' take on it.

Dusk (4:10) - ★★☆☆☆

Meh, pretty run-off-the-mill acoustic track, nothing really impressive, but it feels like it was tacked on to fill the album and the only really memorable thing about it is Gabriel's flute section near the end.

The Knife (8:56) - ★★★★★

Definitely the strongest track from Trespass, even John Mayhew's otherwise flat drumming sounds powerful as hell here, Anthony Phillips rocks his heart out, Banks' organ sounds absolutely threatening and I only wish Mike's basslines wasn't so drowned in it, because it's very good either. This time, Gabriel sings about a violent Gandhi-inspired tale of a violent revolution at the hands of a dictator, the various effects on his voice and the different tones he take, the "Some of you are going to die" part being my favorite one of these, the chorus in its entirety is among my favorites of his vocal performances. This is by far one of the darkest and most aggressive Genesis tracks from the Peter Gabriel era and the best that came out of this lineup, if Trespass in its entirety sounded as strong as this, I would have given it a much higher rating.

As I said, Trespass is not really my favorite Genesis album, but it's good enough, I like a couple of tracks here despite not every single one of them pleasing me enough. Critics didn't like this album at the time, and I kinda see why, but I still think it has its moments and it's definitely a bit underrated, Genesis would probably never sound like they would do later on if it wasn't for Trespass, and for that, I'm really happy that this album exists.

TheWillowFarmer | 3/5 |

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