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Genesis - Foxtrot CD (album) cover

FOXTROT

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.61 | 2533 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Fight Club
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Wow. I don't even know where to start with this album. Genesis was just one of those bands that defined the glory days of prog. For classic proggers they are often the defining band. There were a few classic albums during the early 70's such as Thick as a Brick and Close To the Edge that would later be known as masterpieces for years to come and Foxtrot just happens to be one of those releases. Though some could argue that Genesis had stronger records such as Selling England By the Pound or The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway no one can deny the utter importance of Foxtrot. Foxtrot is what really jump-started Genesis' success. This was the the time in which Peter Gabriel started dressing up in bizarre outfits and began his trademark stage theatrics, something that would get the group just the amount of attention they needed to achieve the status of progressive rock gods.

The album is essentially a masterpiece of early symphonic style progressive rock, it can't be denied. So if you're into that (which you probably are or else you wouldn't be reading this) and haven't heard this album, get it right this instant. If you have heard it and haven't gotten into it, give it a few more listens, trust me. Surprisingly, Genesis is one of those bands that didn't instantly "click" with me. I put off listening to them for a while because I thought "wait, wasn't Phil Collins in Genesis? Why would I want to listen to him?" Sadly I missed out on some high quality music for a long time because of this. I will tell you right now, if you have ANY preconceptions about Genesis due to their 80s pop-rock, REMOVE THEM NOW. This is not the same band at all!

OK, I get it, Foxtrot is important, but why is it so good?

For a number of reasons of course. At the time Genesis was one of the most unique bands the world had ever seen. They were very complex without the complexing taking too much away from the overall songwriting quality. Some of the most powerful and majestic tunes ever written are to be found on here. Right at the beginning of the beautiful mellotron opening of "Watcher of the Skies" one can already tell he's in for something special. Speaking of "Watcher", this is one of the biggest prog classics you'll find. Many fans will cite this as one of their favorite Genesis songs and that's no surprise considering the intro, which is over 2 minutes of mellotron drenched bliss. From there it moves on to quite a tricky 6/4 rhythm. "Watcher of the Skies" is an odd track to me though, because I love it and hate it at the same time. It's beautiful, groovy, and compositionally excellent, but I find it to be extremely overrated. Honestly, it's really repetitive, using the same rhythm for the entire song with rarely any variation. It's still a great song though, just not as great as most people seem to say it is.

The rest of the album is much better in my opinion, actually. "Time Table", "Get 'Em Out by Friday", "Can-Utility", etc. are all great. "Can-Utility" is actually probably my favorite song on the album. Everything about the track is top-notch. If you've happened to read my review of Anglagard's Hybris, well, this is one of those songs that causes one of those near traffic collisions.

Anyways, there are great grooves, complex structures, and of course Peter Gabriel's divine voice, all here. Peter of ProgArchives once said "Peter Gabriel passionately addresses an obsolete God whose human creation has outpaced him, and no longer needs or acknowledges him as it extends its dominion to the stars." I couldn't agree more.

Also, who can deny the greatness of "Supper's Ready"? Even though I find the song is a little redundant at times and doesn't really flow that well, it's still an extraordinary track. Especially at the time! I'll save the spoilers though, this is simply one of those albums that can barely be described. You have to hear it yourself. This is timeless music that only gets better with repeated listens. After over a year of owning this album I am still discovering new things about it. It's not perfect, but still essential progressive rock music.

My rating: 9.5/10

Fight Club | 5/5 |

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