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Genesis - Foxtrot CD (album) cover

FOXTROT

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.61 | 2553 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars Can one think of a better way to celebrate September 8th with a review of one of Genesis's greatest masterpieces, Foxtrot? While much of the music, particularly the final epic, took me a while to fully appreciate, I eventually did, and I am happy to consider this album one of the cornerstones of progressive rock music.

"Watcher of the Skies" The opening of this song represents the power and presence of the lofty Mellotron, that airy analogue behemoth that served as both a staple of progressive rock music and a roadie's worst nightmare. Tony Banks's combination of that Mellotron and the regal organ, working through a majestic chord progression, quickly fades to give way to a rising, battering rhythm of bass, drums, and guitar. Phil Collins cements himself as a great drummer with this varied performance. Peter Gabriel maintains exceptional control of his voice, with gorgeous yet subtle inflections. The lyrics poetically describe a cosmic seer beholding planet Earth, the inhabitants of which have died or fled. The music after he vocals fades in and out, but soon explodes into a robust layer of keyboard-dominated sound. Soon, the music wanes, and Steve Hackett's guitar sings a few bittersweet notes before the splendid pieces ends.

"Time Tables" Lovely simplistic piano and thought-provoking lyrics make this an oft-ignored but wonderful piece with a compelling melody. I have wondered if the Christian song "Give Thanks," written by Henry Smith and recorded by Don Moen (first released in 1986), was partially inspired by this song, since the main theme that bridges the verses in the Genesis piece serves as the melody of the refrain of the religious song.

"Get 'Em Out by Friday" One of the most creative narratives of all time, with that well-orchestrated opening, this is a dystopian tale of how human height is genetically restricted in order to accommodate more people in apartments. I often feel Mike Rutherford is the star of this bizarre show. The music is varied and never gets stale- yet another brilliant work from an amazing (and amazingly wry) British band.

"Can-Utility and the Coastliners" This overlooked gem is a precious and sometimes unnoticed jewel in the career of Genesis. It tells the legend of King Knut, his moving the waters out of his way, and his sycophantic following. It is probably my son's favorite song (at the time of this writing, he is two), and it delights might heart to see his face when those first few, recognizable notes are played. In about five short minutes, it shows the breadth and depth of this wondrous quintet.

"Horizons" Hackett performs a calm and peaceful acoustic guitar solo.

"Supper's Ready" One of the great epics of classic progressive rock, with that heartfelt opening, "Supper's Ready" may not be the most coherent or comprehensible, but it stands out as what Genesis was capable of producing. My favorite part is "The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man" along with "As Sure as Eggs is Eggs," which is a glorious climactic interpretation of the former segment. Honestly, one of my least favorite parts is "Apocalypse in 9/8," but I feel it serves the overall theme of the song with its dissonance and relative complexity. "Willow Farm" is indeed humorous and witty, showing the almost Vaudevillian side of Gabriel. But I still remember where I was when I first registered those last lines: "Lord of lords, king of kings, has returned to lead his children home- to take them to the new Jerusalem." I almost felt I had to pull over to let it all sink in. Sometimes I still do. As sure as eggs is eggs, this album is marvelous.

Epignosis | 5/5 |

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