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Genesis - A Trick Of The Tail CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.28 | 2551 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars No trick of the ear

Genesis' first album without Peter Gabriel would find them walking of unfamiliar grounds in terms of direction and composition, yet somehow they managed to churn out something befitting of the ''classic'' Genesis sound. Everyone is still at the top of their game and Hackett seems to have turned the volume knob from 5 to 11 as he's much more dominant in this carnation of the band. Phil has taken on the vocal parts - but for all those nervous about how it sounds, don't be worried at the moment, since for this album and the next he'd be trying his best to sound just like Gabriel, and succeeding to a large degree. He still takes a proud seat behind the drums and proves that he's still a capable drummer, meaning that later album's drum machines would not yet be in use. There are tunes on the album that can rival some of the best that the band has released, and with their poppier side starting to shine through this album can very very accessible for those weary about more sophisticated works from the band like Selling England By The Pound.

What really makes this album great are the songs that have a perfect combination of the band's later and older sound. This album really is a transitional work, and though it has its feet set more firmly in the band's 70s works than the later stuff, it really does have a ''catchy'' feel to it. Likely the best example of this is the title track, A Trick of The Tail features a sing-along chorus and yet an incredibly ''progressive'' air to it with Hackett's superb playing and Bank's backing atmospheres and frontwards keys. Squonk shows the band in Led Zeppelin mode with a chunky riff and aggressive vocals - a side of Genesis not often seen. Robbery, Assault And Battery is another more upbeat tune with story-telling lyrics and some very impressive instrumental parts.

But the best had yet to be mentioned. Two songs on this album epitomize what Genesis does best, the opening Dance On A Volcano is a majestic powerhouse with an unforgettable intro from Hackett. A speedy pace brings back memories of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight and excellent keyboard solos from Banks in the middle and end really show off some ''classic'' Genesis. Los Endos is an amazing instrumental that ends the album by revisiting themes used throughout the record. Colins is on fire on this track, and listening to him go mad on the skins is almost enough to make any progger forget about what he was about to do to the band on their upcoming albums. Almost. This is one of Genesis' more speedy moments, and this song really rocks! Something you don't often hear about the band.

Other songs on the album are pleasant, if not as impressive. Most of them feature the same kind of playing that you'd expect from the band, and some very impressive solos. Still, these songs don't necessarily stand out above the rest, although a Genesis nut would tend to disagree with this statement. Entangled is a slow and pretty piece featuring a somewhat haunting chorus, and in a similar vein is the lengthy Ripples. While these songs are quite good, this album is a its best when the band is trying something new, not just sticking to what they know.

In the end this is still a classic Genesis, and indeed, a classic prog album. While it may not have quite the same punch as some of their other material, this album is undeniably great. 4 volcanoes out of 5 - the band would mature for the second (and last) album with this line-up, but this album is definitely worth investigating for any prog fan. An excellent addition to your collection.

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |


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