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Genesis - Invisible Touch CD (album) cover

INVISIBLE TOUCH

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

2.39 | 868 ratings

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The Doctor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars After Genesis released their self-titled album in 1983, I became an avid Genesis fan, and by the time they released Invisible Touch in 1986, I owned every album Genesis had made up to that point. Further, by that point I was deeply immersed in the progressive rock genre. My expectations were high that maybe there would be a return to their previous heights, or at the very least a continuation of where the band left off at the end of side 1 of their self-titled album. Sadly, I would be disappointed. Although only 8 songs appeared on the album, 11 songs were actually produced during the Invisible Touch sessions. For reasons which will become clear later, I can't really review the album, without at least briefly touching on the 3 additional tracks which were left off the album, and relegated to the fate of being a b-side. But first on to the album proper (or improper as the case may be):

Invisible Touch - This song has one truly redeeming quality about it. It is mercifully brief. Phil's chants of "she seems to have an inveesible touch, yeah" drove me to fits of despair upon first hearing it. The song is pure pop, but not the intelligent, fun pop the band had done previously with songs such as "That's All" and "Turn It On Again." This was pure drivel. Simplistic music, and trite lyrics.

Tonight, Tonight, Tonight - Much better. Phil's lyric regarding addiction is fairly decent and the music is entertaining enough. However, on every album, the band always included a "jam" song. This song, since there are no others on the album to fit the bill, must be it. The song starts off with a simple drum machine pattern and some minimalistic keyboards. This is fine during the song proper and fits the atmosphere of the song. But when they take off into the "jam" portion of the song, they never really do "take off." And you get the sense that they just extended the song out to 9 minutes, just for the sake of putting a lengthy instrumental on the album. Sadly, the instrumental section is not very inspired and although it's a decent enough song overall, it is also a disappointing song, because you know Genesis is capable of so much more.

Land of Confusion - Mike's political protest song. It's a lot more inspired than the title track and has a good guitar riff going with some fairly decent lyrics. But it's not a song that stands up to multiple listens. After hearing the song a few times, one soon finds themselves getting bored during this song, taking a restroom break, or grabbing a beer while the song is playing. Tony's Feeding the Fire was a much better protest song, and it's a shame it was not included on the album.

In Too Deep - Funny enough, the first line of the chorus to this song "You know I love you but I just can't take this" was a perfect summary of how I felt about Genesis after hearing this song. A cheesy piano ballad with whiny lyrics about losing a love. How original. Come on boys, you can do better than this.

Anything She Does - Ok. A decent song finally with some amusing lyrics from Banks about falling in love with a poster girl. The one saving grace on this album was Banks and he more than made up for the trite lyrics on Silver Rainbow on their previous effort. The song also has a rather rocking "horn" section going on, and although short, it is also a rather complex tune.

Domino - Ah, finally, a true Genesis classic, and the one song that really saves this CD from becoming a beer coaster. It's an extended piece at over 10 minutes, and Banks resurrects the idea behind Stagnation, for the lyrics to this song, i.e. the last man alive on Earth after a nuclear war. No extended instrumental section here, but the lyrics here are really the star of the show. This song, coupled with Anything She Does and Feeding the Fire restored my faith in Banks as a lyricist. The song starts off slowly, but picks up the pace halfway through to become a manic musical statement which reflects the madness and despair of the main character.

Throwing It All Away - One wished Genesis had thrown this song away in favor of something worthy of the Genesis name. A simple guitar riff over more whiny lyrics about lost love.

The Brazilian - Much better, and save Domino, the best on the album. A quirky instrumental mostly composed by Banks, using loops of Phil's drumming to make it sound nice and strange. The "chorus" here is particularly appealing. The one thing about this song though is that it sounds fairly similar to the two instrumentals on Banks' solo outing, the Fugitive. But this sounds better than the other two, IMO.

As I said at the beginning, I can't really talk about this album without mentioning the three B-Sides which were left off the album in favor of such tracks as "Throwing It All Away," "In Too Deep," and the title track. The three songs left off were far superior to these three tracks, and along with "Domino" and "The Brazilian" were part of the five best tracks from the sessions. "Feeding the Fire" is Banks' answer to "Land of Confusion" and is a much more compelling song and unlike Rutherford's tune, this one stands up to repeated listens. "I'd Rather Be You" sports a cynical Collins lyric over an old style rock n' roll backing. Lyrics such as "I'd rather be you than me, up there looking down, tell me what do you see" sure beats the. out of "she seems to have an inveesible touch yeah." Finally, there is "Do the Neurotic" which is an extended "jam" song, this time with no lyrics. But the music is so great, lyrics are not needed and would only hamper enjoyment of the song. The only reason that I can imagine for leaving these three superior songs off in favor of three rather awful songs, is that Genesis were hoping to turn Invisible Touch into some visible cash. They did succeed at that at least.

2 stars, but had they replaced the three awful songs with the three b-sides, we would be talking about a 3 1/2-4 star album. If you get this album, get it for Domino and The Brazilian. Otherwise, there are three tolerable/decent songs, and three terrible songs.

The Doctor | 2/5 |

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