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

A TRICK OF THE TAIL

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 1803 ratings

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The Runaway
3 stars Phil say what?!?

A Trick of the Tail is what is called by many the start of the Phil Collins era, but by others a continuance of Peter Gabriel's legacy. Genesis have not really changed their sound around the two first Collins albums (Trick of the Tail, WInd & Wuthering), but there are obvious hints of what might happen next. This album still carries the power of previous Gabriel era albums, and Collins' vocals even sound similar, as we've heard before on songs like The Raven (Lamb), For Absent Friends (Nursery), amongst others.

The first sounds of Hackett's guitar in the beginning is sure to ring a bell for the old days, or even the radio from a week ago. The song is one of the Genesis classics that are on this album. This is reminiscent and will most probably put joy in the hearts of the Foxtrot era fans. Phil's takeover has given him strength and now the drums are a much more important part than in previous Genesis albums. *cue obvious mention of synthesizers* Tony Banks provides heavy use of synthesizers on this track and the whole album in general, giving it a proggy yet poppy feel.

Entangled's opening is reminiscent of Nursery Cryme / Lamb Lies Down songs, with its keyboards and Phil Collins vocals. The sound of Hackett's guitar is fantastic on this album, and this one definitely shows it. The guitar sound and overall sound of this song can please fans of songs like Watcher of the Skies, and other songs featuring heavy use of effects on keyboards and guitars. This song is not reminiscent of following songs on this album and Genesis in general, so once you hear it, it's not gonna give you a good overall impression of the album.

Squonk is more of a song for the people who like the pop-80's "Genesis", "" intended. It features an 80's drum sound, 80's feel, and just plain 80's overall. It features Phil Collins' voice for many years to come, with all of his usual effects and sounds. There is a part where Banks brings in his Hammond for an old remniscing of the old days, but that's the only thing I think Gabirle-era fans only can enjoy. This album does not feature Collins' Gabriel imitating voice, unlike other albums, which in my opinion, has its upsides, but also its downsides. The upside is that you can reminisce of how great Genesis was when Gabriel was around and how he built the band's overall sound, but the downside is that Gabriel is not there any more, and you can't hear his voice, and when Collins uses the Gabriel accent for even a second, it reminds you he's not there any more.

Mad Man Moon's opening made me think of Looking for Someone on the Trespass album as soon as the first note rang. The drums come in and I immediately think of Nursery Cryme songs, and think I'm flipping through Genesis albums one by one. The mellotron comes in, and like earlier, I think of Foxtrot's Watcher of the Skies opening, with that beautiful string mellotron sound. This is a great reminiscing track, and as sad as I may be for saying such good things about Collins (no hard feelings, but it's not Genesis without Gabriel), but I think he really brings out the old days of Genesis on this track.

Robbery, Assault and Battery is what I like to call, the "cute" song of the album. It has this childish tune and sound, and the instrumentation is pretty childish, but not in a bad way! It is actually my favorite track from this album. Collins' drumming here is as excellent as he was back in his first Genesis apperance with Nursery Cryme, the popstar has not changed a bit in his drumming after all! The classic guitar line in the chorus is just, well, classic. I do not know if this was a hit or not, but this can be a fun song to dance to, sing to, or play to. This is the instrument show-caser on this album, great stuff!

Ripples starts out as a poppy(ier) song, but it's piano parts are amazing and remind me at some times of classic Genesis tracks, like Supper's Ready. When the whole band enters the song still sounds poppy, but with the obvious "You can hear it's prog!" Genesis sound. Banks is the guy on this track, with great piano work, and keyboards in general. If you like songs that are vocals piano, and can enjoy Collins' vocals, this is the song you should check out before getting this album. There is a reverse guitar solo by Hackett, but it's not as audible as I guess it should have been. The song is repeating itself, and except for the guitar solo, it isn't that diverse.

The title track sounds like a pop version of a song off The Lamb, or a cheap copy of Robbery, Assault & Battery. Harmonies are cheap and have been used many times before on other songs, a lot of them being pop songs. It sounds like one of the 80's Genesis tracks was written and recorded in 1976, somehow, using a very advanced inflatable-time- machine. One of the lamer songs on this album.

The final track is Los Endos, a classic which is played at most Genesis gigs ever since March or April 1976, when the Trick of the Tail tour got on the road. It is a fast paced song, sounding like Camel's debut at many parts, instrumentally and rhythmically. It then goes into a part which is one step closer to the Genesis I, and a "few" other people like. After 3 minutes of the latin rhythm, it sounds like the band is slowing down and Hackett's guitar plays a simple guitar part with a little delay, and a little reverb, and that's all it takes to make it sound beautiful, and that is one of the things I loke about Hackett.

This is the 1000th word of this review, and with that, I mark the end of it. The album is good, and even great at some parts, but the long and sometimes unnecessary make me give it, yes, a 3 out of 5. I'd have expected good words to come out my keyboard, but all the bad things I said started making sense to my ears, and I finally understood, with all the greatness in this album, there's some pretty bad stuff in it. So yep, 3/5.

The Runaway | 3/5 |

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