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Mike Rutherford - Smallcreep's Day CD (album) cover


Mike Rutherford


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3.72 | 189 ratings

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4 stars These early Genesis solo albums really speak volumes about the frame of mind of each band member and also their contribution to the band's sound. Tony's A Curious Feeling sounds like outtakes from "And Then There Were Three" with a generally more organic sound. The songs are filled with layers of keyboards, simple, but evocative guitar playing, and ultra pretentious and sometimes meaningless lyrics. The songs don't have an incredible amount of catchiness, but they are complex and involved enough to be of interest. Tony never really wrote in this direction again which leads to good (The Fugitive album and Strictly Inc) and bad (Soundtracks, whoa) things for him. Phil's debut shows a man obsessed with jazz and R&B. The music is the simplest and most direct any Genesis member has ever written, and the songs are heart breaking and heart felt. Phil really doesn't venture far outside of his paradigm during his solo career which is a good (lots of money, steady selection of hits, consistency) and bad (cheesiness, predictability, major loss of respectibility amongst fans and critics) thing. So it seems that Tony brought in the complexity and seriousness of Genesis while Phil brought in the heart and simplicity. What about Mike? Well, Smallcreep's Day shows a man smack dab in the middle. Mike's album sounds similar to Tony's in that it often sounds a lot like contemporary Genesis albums. However, his album is also much simpler than Tony's. Anthony Phillip's keyboard playing is interesting and intriguing, but nowhere near the levels of complexity and depth (literal depth) of Tony's. Mike drives his sound forward with hard driving acoustic guitars and catchy vocal melodies. The songs are simpler in structure than Tony's occasionally rambling pieces, but much richer in texture, melody, and harmony than Phil's occasionally simplistic tunes. Like Tony's A Curious Feeling, this album is driven by a literary source, but it never overwhelms the album. It is an ambitious album, but not pretentious. It has a comfortable feel, relaxed feel that not many Genesis albums, solo or otherwise, have. Phil might be simpler, but he's often overdramatic. Tony might try to write simpler songs, but he seems strained doing this. It seems to come easy to Mike, this direct complexity. If Tony is the brain, and Phil is the heart, maybe Mike is the muscles and sinew connecting the two, and the heart. His pop sensibilities on this album are sometimes as strong as Phil's, yet not as banal. Mike shows his number one contribution to Genesis was incredible songwriting.
SonicDeath10 | 4/5 |


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