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




Symphonic Prog

4.28 | 2666 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I'll try to make it brief.

As opposed to the obscurity of its predecessor, "A Trick of The Tail" is a much warmer album, with much more accessible songs but still totally progressive. The departure of Peter Gabriel surely affected the band lyrically, but in general I think it was a healthy event for GENESIS. After "The Lamb Lies Down.", which pretty much felt like a Gabriel project with the best background musicians on the planet, I can't imagine what else the band could've done as a band if their legendary frontman would've stayed. With his leaving, the remaining members focused once again in the music, now deprived of their master lyricist, and gave the vocal duties to Phil Collins, who emerged as a decent replacement for Gabriel, even if he really got things going as a singer in later albums. Collins tries at moments to sound like Gabriel, and he succeeds, even though without the drama or theatricality of its predecessor. When Collins tries to sound like Collins, he shows he could be a very good vocalist.

A quick word about the songs:

Dance on a Volcano (9.5/10) An excellent track that assures that Gabriel's departure wasn't going to mean the end of GENESIS. Very progressive, full of different sections and rhythms. Collins here tries to emulate his predecessor.

Entangled (10/10) A masterpiece like only GENESIS could deliver. The melody is beautiful, and Collins sings it very well. The verse is s soft, so tender, and it becomes even more beautiful in the chorus, when the music reaches a climax of great perfection. A wonderful song.

Squonk (9.5/10) An unusually heavy track for GENESIS, Collins sings it in a more personal, less Gabriel-like style, and it fits the song very well. His drumming is also perfect. If not as complicated from a structural point of view, the song is still very progressive in its instrumentation and layering. The chorus-like section features some very inventive piano figure by Banks. The ending section is a welcome change of mood. A brilliant song.

Mad Man Moon (10/10) Few albums have a start like this one, with four fantastic tracks in a row. But this one takes the prize for being the best and most beautiful of the lot. The melody is just out of this earth. Collins emulates Gabriel one instant, and the next one he's sounding just like himself. The quiet, whisper-like section previous to the chorus is just magnificent in beauty. Halfway down Banks starts a more energetic section, with a solo that, once again, as in his insuperable intro to "Firth of Fifth" makes me call him the greatest keyboard player in rock's history. The song travels more stormy waters and then goes back to the utter paradise of the beginning. This track, alongside "Can Utility and The Coastliners" in "Foxtrot" is, without a doubt, the two best not-so-famous songs in GENESIS' catalogue, at least from a prog-rock fan's perspective, one that has listened "Supper's Ready" or "Firth of Fifth" countless times.

Robbery, Assault and Battery (9/10) This is a very humorous and progressive track where Collins gets to sing at his most theatrical. The song at first sounds like a joke, then it turns into a really progressive thing, with a very intriguing instrumental section.

Ripples (8.5/10) Another very soft and mellow start leads to quite a weird track, one that shows the first signs of the GENESIS that was to come. The chorus sounds very similar to what we would hear (and some, like me, enjoy) in albums like "And Then There Were Three" or "Duke". Near the end Hackett is given time to display his masterful art in creating atmospheres with the utmost simplicity. A very good song.

A Trick of the Tail (7.5/10) This song, like its predecessor, sounds like future GENESIS. The melody is good, as always. There have been few -if any- bands in all prog and rock in general that have had the talent for melodies that GENESIS had. The track gets weaker after the start, though, and constitutes the only less-than-very-good song in the whole record. But this same track would be quite an achievement for other lesser bands.

Los Endos (8.5/10) GENESIS leaves their great instrumental for last. This is an all-show-off track, with Rutherford never resting, Collins quite energetic, Banks in full control and Hackett, well, the only member who doesn't really explode in this track. Maybe his future was already starting to appear on his mind. A great instrumental.

All in all, another masterpiece by GENESIS and my second favorite album by the band. It can't top "Foxtrot", which stands as their highest glory, but I prefer it to "Nursery Cryme" which is less accessible and to "Selling England by The Pound" which has a couple less-than-great songs (even though it has the best song in GENESIS -and maybe rock's- history). As such, I'll give it 5 stars, the same rating I've given to these 3 albums I mentioned.

The T | 5/5 |


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