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Anthony Phillips - Wise After The Event CD (album) cover

WISE AFTER THE EVENT

Anthony Phillips

 

Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 142 ratings

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Proghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Second album by the former GENESIS guitarist. Unlike "The Geese & the Ghost", no GENESIS members are present (Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford), probably because GENESIS themselves were likely busy working on "...And Then There Were Three". "Wise After the Event" still is stuffed with familiar musicians. You have drummer Michael Giles, ex-KING CRIMSON, bassist John G. Perry, ex-CARAVAN, saxist Mel Collins, ex-KING CRIMSON and then a member of CAMEL, and Rupert Hine who was best known as a producer for such acts as The FIXX and SAGA. Names not familiar to me are Jeremy Gilbert and Robin Phillips.

Anthony Phillips handles all the vocals and while the album makes it sound like he don't handle the guitars, someone with the name of "The Vicar" is really Anthony Phillips (giving credit to ficticious characters, much like Ian Anderson trying to give credit to kid named Gerald Bostock on "Thick as a Brick" when in reality it was really Anderson himself), after all, the guitar style on this album is unmistakably him.

I find side one (that is if you own the vinyl album) much better than side two. Side two focuses way too much on orchestrated soft-rock ballads that do little for me, and it lacks the progressive edge of side one. Side one, on the other hand, sounds a whole lot like how GENESIS might have sounded like had Phillips stayed with them in the late '70s. "We're All As We Lie" is a wonderful opening, while "Birdsong" is unmistakably '70s, especially the guitar passages. "Moonshooter" is another one of those catchy songs, while the epic title track is without a doubt the highlight for me, especially with those dramatic guitar passages that unsurprisingly remind me of instrumental GENESIS (without Tony Banks' keyboards). Unsurprisingly a lot of side one reminds me of "A Trick of the Tail" or "Trespass", but without Phil Collins or Peter Gabriel handling the vocals.

Unfortunately I think Anthony Phillips really lost it on side two. Some of the music is downright boring, like the orchestrated "Regrets". "Greenhouse" has a more BEATLES-like feel. The rest pretty much escaped me. If the music on side two was on the same quality as side two, I'd give it a full five star rating and rate it as one of the finest solo albums to ever come from a GENESIS member. But still worth having for the first half.

Proghead | 4/5 |

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