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Anthony Phillips - The Geese And The Ghost CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips


Symphonic Prog

4.02 | 337 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Essential listening for Genesis fans. An object lesson in acoustic twelve-string playing, often by Anthony Phillips and Mike Rutherford together, and adorned with many other features.

To be honest I'm not too enamoured of the original A-side. The fake mediaevalism of the fourteen- minute "Henry: Portraits from Tudor Times" (an instrumental piece) is sandwiched between two briefer songs with vocals by Phil Collins. The songs themselves (strongly reminiscent of acoustic early Genesis) are pleasant enough, although they verge on the sentimental. But "Henry" can only be called fifty percent succesful. Its more lyrical passages, with loads of twelve string, are charming, but its opening fanfare and closing hymn sound terribly naive and its battle scene fails to pack a punch. I can't get rid of the impression that Steve Hackett is much better at expressing drama in music.

The B-side, on the other hand, is a different story. If the entire album were like this, I'd gladly award it four or perhaps even five stars. The title track is another extended piece, nearly sixteen minutes, and this time there's never a dull moment. Phillips does what he's really good at: creating dreamlike, mainly acoustic, neo-impressionist music, and as he doesn't try to force a narrative on us this time, the music simply flows and carries the listener along. The contributions by oboe, cor anglais and cello players are all delightful. I also love the brief song "Collections", with vocal by Phillips himself, and "Sleepfall", the utterly romantic instrumental that concludes the album.

Don't hesitate to get a copy of the two-disc Voiceprint re-release from 2008. This comes with a highly informative, well-designed twenty page booklet, and the original album now sounds clearer than ever: those gorgeous twelve string guitars really pour out of the speakers! The second disc is filled mainly with demos and basic tracks, but all Genesis fans will be cheered by the four minute "Silver Song", written in 1969 as a farewell to John Silver (Genesis' original drummer) but not recorded until 1973. It features Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins, and believe me - it's a thing of great beauty. Sort of like an honorary Genesis song!

fuxi | 3/5 |


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