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

A TRICK OF THE TAIL

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 1764 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Ace Face
4 stars Ah, the controversial first Post-Gabriel Genesis Outing. Everyone though Phil Collins wouldn't do well on the vocals, but I think he did a nice job on this album. Wind and Wuthering and Beyond is another story. The rest of the band are all superbly on target, with this being one of the more instrumentally focused albums the band has ever done. Banks throws in many moments of pure joy and beauty, Hackett adds his dulcet tones and shrieks, and Rutherford anchors it all down and adds some guitars of his own. not only that, but Collins hasn't stopped adding great drums underneath it all yet, which is, again, more than I can say for everything past this. However, bits of poppy future come in as they did on Selling England and Lamb Lies Down. This album overall has a fun, nostalgic feel to it, making it very similar to Selling England.

Dance on a Volcano: Emphasizes the funness of this album with its catchy rhythms and memorable hooks. The drums kick in well with the screaming guitar, and Collins sounds like a distant Gabriel singing. The verse sounds very dramatic and I love it. the last part of the song is probably the most intense instrumental section the band ever did, surpassing Los Endos and Moonlight Knight. Banks' Synth and Hackett's electric run side by side up some intense scalar runs, and it ends on an eerie note, leading nicely into...

Entangled: Possibly one of the most beautiful tracks the band, or any band, ever recorded. Everyone is on 12 string here except Collins, who of course has no guitar talent whatsoever. The overlapping notes echo round and round, making the perfect atmosphere for the dreamy vocals. the lyrics are also about sleep, which suits the music. The chorus is the epitome of catchy. the ending section contains some epic mellotron and synth work from banks, as well as some powerful bass notes from Rutherford on the pedals. This also segues nicely into the next song, the powerful...

Squonk: A powerful intro, with deep bass synth notes and some nice strumming. The main chord progression in this song is excellent, alternating between minor and major. Collins soars in with nice vocals, and the synth echoes him from far away. The lyrics are very image evoking, im not sure what theyre about, but theyre nice. The chorus is dramatic and beautiful at the same time. Collins does some of his best singing here, and the whole progression through everything is so long and complicated. The outro is tearjerking, seemingly sady regretful.

Mad Man Moon: Banks' moment to shine on the synth and grand piano. The intro is gorgeous, with piano augmented by a flute sound, making us think of Gabriel Days. The vocals are nice again, with the lyrics painting pictures of days long ago. when the piano kicks in, it is one of the best instrumental bridges, except this time more mellow instead of intense, like Dance. then the synth comes into play with the piano underlying it. When Collins comes in to sing over this, its a hard rocking genius moment, and the transfer back to the original melody is painstaking and perfect. My favorite song on the album.

Robbery, Assault and Battery: A nice upbeat start to side 2, with some great synth tones. the one and only storytelling song by Collins, with lyrics about a burglar and the cops chasing him. The bouncy drums add much to the song, and the synth adds a silly feel. Collins does some roleplaying, as a falsely accused man, the burglar, and the cops. the chorus is nice and hardrocking, but a little simple. The bridge, however, is in an impossible time signature with some equally impossible soloing by banks. the bass is also nice here, keeping time well. Hackett appears to be nonexistent.

Ripples: Nice acoustic intro, with some soft singing.there is some nice piano backing the verse. However, this song gets a little too sappy for me, and the chorus takes it over the top. it also gets repeated too much, killing it. The bridge, however, is excellent with heavy piano overlaid by some excellent Hackett and Banks soloing again. But the chorus is repeated as a fade away outro, making it bad again.

A Trick of the Tail: Following Ripples in the vein of being too poppy. it sounds a little like the Beatles, but Collins voice kills it. The piano and guitar following collins' voice is a little old at this point. The chorus is also a little too much.

Los Endos: Fortunately, the amazing, jazz/fusion, powerful instrumental outro saves the second half of this album from being entirely pop. The shimmering intro reminds us of Dance on a Volcano, but soon it becomes evident this is an entirely different song. After the opening chords have all been strummed, the drums kick in with a purpose. the blasting chords power their way through this salsa section, shared by synth and guitar, with the bass doing stellar runs in the background. As it slows down a bit, the high synth notes come in and take us into a slower, but no less powerful section. the bass hits it again, and the mellotron eeriely segues into the background. Then it picks up again and the synth flies towards the stratosphere. it slows down again as the drums go wild. the opening theme for the album is reintroduced at a slower tempo, and seems to end the song, but the mellotron hits a sharp note, and the drums bring us back up again for the dramatic reprisal of the Squonk chord progression and outro. There is an allusion all the way back to the end of Foxtrot, when Collins shouts in the distance: "theres an angel standing in the sun"

Overall, a great album, brought down a little by some shmaltzy tracks on side 2, but brought up from the genius of side 1 and the closer. Collins and Co. would soon try even less to make progressive rock as they would try to make commercial pop. the end of an era, with Gabriel recalled once or twice, but now completely gone. This album almost makes me cry because of what could have been done if Gabe had stayed for this one.

The Ace Face | 4/5 |

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