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Genesis - A Trick of the Tail CD (album) cover

A TRICK OF THE TAIL

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 1772 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It wasn't death, but a new life what was in store for Genesis after Peter Gabriel's departure: despite the fact that Gabriel's input as a writer, frontman and sensibility was a major asset for the band's development and constant maturation, the four men who stayed managed to cherish the blessing in disguise and make the best out of it. which resulted on the conception and recording of yet another masterpiece in the band's résumé. The fantastic 'Dance on a Volcano' shows from step one that Banks, Collins, Hackett and Rutherford were capable of creating exciting and intelligent music and deliver it with craft and passion. Like this one, most of the tracks display the foursome's interest on increasing the instrumental expansion of the melodic motifs and enhance the jazz-oriented nuances that had somewhat been understated in the last Gabriel-era albums ("Selling England" found Genesis exploring their symphonic trend right to its deeper roots, while "The Lamb" went for rockier realms). Actually, you may notice an air of renewed enthusiasm in the way that all musicians interplay with each other and the energy displayed in Banks and Hackett's solos, as well as Collins' drumming. Yes, the musical genius was still there in spite of the loss of such a splendid source of theatrical charisma as the one provided by Gabriel. Now Genesis is more like an instrumental band that happens to have some lyrics in most of their compositions. The same goes for 'Squonk', 'Robbery, Assault & Battery' and the explosive closure 'Los Endos', which combines a series of assorted reprises of other albums tracks during its final passages right before the jazz-fusionesque tour de force that takes place in the core. I only wish that Hackett's riffs and leads were not so hidden behind the massive keyboard wall-of-sounds delivered by Banks: I guess that some things were meant to never change in Genesis recording and mixing sessions, Gabriel or nor Gabriel. But what can be heard is really fine - from the days of "Selling England" straight until his hot debut venture "Voyage of the Acolyte", Hackett had been making his way to the limelight as one of the most refined and inventive lead guitarists in the prog movement. But I don't want to say that this is a reborn Genesis out of an old life that hadn't left a print on their new one. On the contrary, the prototypical melancholic vibration that Genesis had been cultivating for years is still very present in tracks such as the majestic 'Mad Man Moon', the ethereal 'Entangled' - whose coda is a surreal exercise on creepy synth and mellotron layers - and the emotionally charged 'Ripples', a moving song about the passing of time and all the nostalgia around it. A special mention goes to the interlude (great dialogues between the guitar leads and the ARP synth textures over the grand piano arpeggios and bass pedals counterpoints) and the final set of repeated choruses of the latter song (the continuing guitar lead and the sound of bells add drama to Collins' singing). The title track is the least complex of all. Following a 'Penny Lane'-inspired piano basis and rhythm pattern, the song provides some sort of easy-going relief between the cathartic emotion of 'Ripples' and the intense energy of 'Los Endos' - by the way, Hackett's use of ultra-high notes for his leads is really chilling. As Collins himself proclaimed during the 'Los Endos' fade-out, Gabriel was free to get back home; so was Genesis, free to continue their instrumental development, and certainly they achieved what they were still capable of - creating a musical gem before the eyes of the world.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |

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