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Genesis - Trespass CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.16 | 2126 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Beginning of a Beautiful Journey

Genesis' first album of their classic period (excluding their poppish debut under producer Jonathan King up until Peter Gabriel's departure), Trespass sometimes gets mentioned only as a predecessor of what is to come. However, I feel this album truly has a lot to offer on its own, and is an album I often reach for when I want my Genesis fix.

Trespass is sadly the only classic-era album to feature one of the originators of the Genesis sound, guitarist Anthony Phillips. Successor Steve Hackett took the ideas to new heights on later albums, but the fundamental sound (including 12 string arpeggiation, thick melodic lead tone, classical sensibilities) came from Phillips and the parts were taught to Hackett by bassist/guitarist Michael Rutherford. While Phillips would use more traditional pentatonic / bluesy tones at times, and Hackett used advanced techniques such as tapping and sweeps, the role and place for the guitar in the music is nearly identical. Phillips does employ acoustic textures a little more frequently than Hackett, which gives this album more pastoral flavor than any of Genesis' later works.

Singer Peter Gabriel gives excellent emotional performances on this album, though the grandiosity of his songwriting has yet to reach its peak. In fact, the whole band still exudes a sense of freshness, energy, and youth that transforms in later albums to more seasoned perfection. But there are some elements in this album that never appear again, specifically slightly more straight folk-rock sections, the aforementioned bluesy leads, and band harmony vocals (later interplay between Collins and Gabriel had a much different flavor, and in fact was actually fairly weak. It would not be until the final classic album with Carpet Crawlers that this formula would flower).

Most of the other reviews discuss the proto-epic Knife which of course is one of Genesis' classic songs. But just as much I enjoy the opener, Waiting for Someone, the multi-timbred Stagnation, and the acoustic pastiche Dusk, which points back to the debut album. The Knife actually sticks out on the album, as it is so much more aggressive and dark. Phillips' work is great, Gabriel is beginning to emerge in his full dramatic glory, and the whole band is indeed rocking. The drums, to me, are still solid, though it is perhaps the limits of the percussion work here that led to the recruitment of the fantastic Phil Collins behind the kit for future albums.

In all, Trespass is a great album, and is still essential Genesis. Though not one of their trio of masterpieces, I highly recommend it for anyone expanding beyond the basic canon of prog.

Negoba | 4/5 |


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