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Genesis - Wind And Wuthering CD (album) cover

WIND AND WUTHERING

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 1393 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The "feminine" album is a big improvement over Trick

If memory serves, this is the album Rutherford called "their feminine album" and Banks called some of the most musically complex arrangements they ever did. It is easily the peak of the post-Gabriel years and much better than Trick of the Tail. I would describe it as a masterpiece of light melancholy with hope and heart set against the backdrop of ending seasons. The band had recorded abroad for the very first time for tax reasons. They booked time in Holland and locked themselves away from phones and family to force hard work. It paid off with one of the band's most fully realized and beautiful recordings, an album filled with confidence and great ambition. It may be their "feminine" album and it may be less aggressive/more introspective, but these are all attributes which work perfectly with the material on hand and the state of the band at the time.

This is what Genesis is all about. It sounds like the swan song it was. A goodbye to Steve Hackett and a goodbye to the dreamy, long-winded sound we took for granted would always be there. It is so consistent, so well-composed, and so beautifully arranged. It's an album that is amazingly unified, a musical story perfectly told. The previous album sounded like a bunch of individual tracks of varying quality that never got to this kind of cohesive place overall. While some people find the playing on Trick more dynamic I find just the opposite: Trick songs sound forced to me with the playing often heading into arbitrary fusion avenues, whereas on WaW the playing feels more genuinely emotional, more filled with substance of the heart over flash. "Wind" sounds thematically intentional and masterfully executed, an album of full of personality, mood, and color. It comes with the expected dynamic opener in "Eleventh Earl of Mar" and follows with the classic "One for the Vine," a one-two punch as good as any previous work. There are superb sections of tight jamming and there are some folksier acoustic moments, with a combination of somber recognitions but hopeful circle-of-life outlook. Banks uses lots of piano throughout the album and I think Wind features some of the best playing he ever did. Tons of enthusiastic runs of grand synth pleasures to contrast the fogscapes of the mellotron. I also think some of Collins' finest vocals can be found within. But it is the combination of mood with deliberate, solid song construction that is the strength of "Wind." Every track is packed with vast quantities of nuance and little aural treasures.

"All the great instrumental sounds from the Peter Gabriel era are here, but something else is in the mix as well: A rich lushness and a big improvement in overall engineering. The music is all top notch here...it harkens back and looks forward all at the same time. The melodies are a little more streamlined and it makes it all the more palatable. Instrumentally Tony Banks' keys are dense and multi-layered, something only hinted at on earlier releases. Lush layers of Mellotron, Hammond organ and synth abound. The guitar work is sublime. This was the last album to feature lead guitarist Steve Hackett and he is in excellent form here, turning in some of his best work during his tenure with the band. Both his electric chops and his excellent classical guitar work are a dominant force on Wind." -Sean, ProgressiveEars

I think it probably does deserve to be in the "top 5% club" which is what it takes to get 5 stars from me. The cherry on top is the ridiculously perfect cover art which needs to be viewed in gatefold with the back cover to be appreciated. Open it up and take a look and you can hear the first guitar strains of "One for the Vine" come straight out of the painting. What impact can come from such unassuming imagery, something many bands should take a lesson from! Along with Trespass and Selling England, "Wing and Wuthering" rounds out my top three Genesis favorites and it would be the last album of this level from the band.

Finnforest | 5/5 |

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