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Genesis - A Trick of the Tail CD (album) cover

A TRICK OF THE TAIL

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 1825 ratings

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Moatilliatta
Prog Reviewer
3 stars A Trick of the Tail is quite a noble attempt to move on after the departure of Peter Gabriel. It certainly showed that he wasn't the only creative force in the band, but at the same time it showed that he had a lot to do with the band's identity. The album sounds like a Genesis record, sure, but some of the musical quirks, especially the vocal theatrics are missing. Phil Collins was given some time to sing on past records, and we all knew that his tracks were among the weaker ones, but now he is at the helm all record long. He sings well - his voice is clean and smooth as I'm sure we all knew - but he simply lacks the charisma and command of Gabriel. On the positive side, this album sounds shockingly better than all of their albums. The production is thick and the atmosphere is saturated. The sound is superb, even for a 70's record. I wish the band could have had this production on their past three records! And as another positive note, a lot of the instrumental passages are strong and the band always sounds good. It's mostly the vocals and the writing that hinder the quality of this record. The songs simply aren't as memorable. I'm not captivated by any of the parts I feel like are supposed to captivate me. Et cetera.

The start of this album is quite promising with "Dance on a Volcano." Phil's entrance on this disc is stellar, the way the music shifts and the particular music that is going on at the time provides a great start. Besides that the song ends up lacking that character and memorability of the previous releases - it is hard to match, to be fair - it is a good tune, and unfortunately it's mostly downhill from here. I would like to know who is responsible for the refrain of "Entangled." That has got to be the one of the most annoying choruses I've ever heard. The song is only slightly remdeemed by the instrumental part toward the end. The end is great, the first half is just that unpleasant. "Squonk," unlike the name, is not an awesome, fun song, but rather a slower and less good "Dance on a Volcano." "Mad Man Moon" is a highlight for me; there is good band interplay, melodies, structure, etc. "Robbery, Assault and Battery" is a pretty good one as well. "Ripples" is a bit dull. "A Trick of the Tail" has a great riff to start, one that would make a very good short, poppy song, but I think they didn't take the right direction with it. The instrumental closer, "Los Endos," shows some fusion creeping into the mix, as Phil was involved in the fusion group Brand X at the time. They peppered some themes from the album into the piece and everything. It's another highlight.

You can see that the band is not quite sure what to do and where to go now that Peter is gone, but the band tries to maintain their dignity and to a degree of sucess. We don't have to write them off yet. In fact, they will have one last stand with their next output before they collapse into mediocrity and worse. A Trick of the Tail is worth having if you find it in the bargain section of a used record store like I did, but don't pay full price for a new CD.

Moatilliatta | 3/5 |

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