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




Symphonic Prog

4.28 | 2666 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Despite being the first one without Gabriel, this is the album that vies with 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' for the title of greatest work by the mighty Genesis, an astonishing achievement in every way.

A huge percentage of this recording captures something very special indeed - a timeless sound; not in terms of technical production quality, but rather in terms of the instrumentation and textures created by both old and new (at the time) sound technology. The numerous weavings of triple 12-string guitar such as on 'Entangled' and 'Ripples' simply sound magical, both ancient and intimate, and are like the ultimate form of the technique the band had been employing ever since 'Trespass'. Then there are the immaculate pianos of 'Mad Man Moon' and the title track, rich and earthy organs, synths and bass pedals, all embellished by the lyrical guitar overlays of master Steve Hackett, which are often like a voice unto themselves. But of course the true voice belongs to Phil Collins, here turning in perhaps his best performances when he was still in his completely innocent, gentle phase of vocal delivery, as opposed to his appalling 'cocky' phase ('Duke' - 'Genesis', particularly on stage) or later 'mature' phase ('Invisible Touch' - 'We Can't Dance'). He sings on this album like a sensitive, lost troubadour, full of emotion and honesty - the first verse of 'Mad Man Moon' alone typifies this, and the rest of the material showcases his range. The only truly outlandish sounds are to be found in the mindblowing synth soloing of 'Robbery, Assault & Battery' and 'Los Endos', which even themselves only serve to make things better.

Like all the best Genesis albums, 'A Trick Of The Tail' is far more than the sum of its parts; each theme explored in the separate tracks does unite into a story all its own, an omnibus of tales, reflections on human experiences and dreams. And unlike much progressive fare, this is far from loose - I fail to see how any of these songs could be described as mere fairy tales. If 'Squonk' is just about a furry creature, then 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is just about a mummy's boy and 'The Long And Winding Road' is just about some road. There is much more here, a reversal of the idea 'hunter becomes the hunted', metaphorical parallels between the creature that dies of loneliness and those that hunt them. The belief that the grass is always greener on the other side is contended with great poignancy and fantasy in 'Mad Man Moon', complete with desert imagery and a chorus that threatens to make you weep. This is the calibre of material that a listener will find on this wonderful LP, all audibly executed with feeling, conviction, and an excellent standard of musicianship.

Consider this essential for anyone serious about music.

ThulŽatan | 5/5 |


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