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Genesis - Trespass CD (album) cover

TRESPASS

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 1545 ratings

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Brendan
5 stars Most progressive rock is based around long instrumental sections, or at least will contain a lot. But there have been some embarrassments over the years, from long boring solo's to unending noodling around and over-zealous pomp. Even a lot of prog fans snicker at some of the more misguided moments.

However, when approaching Trespass, the instrumental sections are enthralling all the time; there are never moments of 'padding out'. The interplay between the Gabriels flute and Phillips' crying electric guitars toward the end of "Looking for Someone" or the build up to it (inclduing that rolling, tension building beat from Mayhew) are simply the pinnacle of rock music; a genre realising it's full potential. Many other examples can be found throughout this album, such as the pensive mellotron on "Stagnation", those eerie organ passages on "Visions of angels", or the roaring guitars on "The Knife"

However, another major point is that of emotion. ELP have been criticised for lacking any real emotional content in their music. Another band that struggles in this department is King Crimson. Virtually none of their songs have lyrics that are emotionally relatable, rather relying on a pure mental connection. Yes on the other hand, while being spiritually pleasing, almost like the Dalai Lama, it can also be emotionally laborious, like hearing a long tiresome political speech full of well-thought-out meaninglessness. There's an element of 'idealism' here. Although it can't be levelled at ELP, many of the British prog-rock acts were seen as representing, lets say 'young intellectuals' who were probably white and members of the middle-upper class. So emotional expression didn't really seem to fit in with the idiom.

But Gabriel, he's different (Battle of Eppind Forest not withstanding). He could be Al Green for all we know; the same emotional catharsis you can get on a soul-record, you can get with Genesis. And make no mistake, Gabriel can mix it with the best of them; Just listen to his pained, lonely pleas on "Looking for Someone", such as "Leave me, all that I have I will give" and "Chilly wind you pierce me like a dagger and it hurts me so".

The only real drawback is the thing is all very bleak, and perhaps one of the lighter-hearted songs like "Pacidy", "The Shepherd" or "Let us now make love", that were recorded around this time, could have varied the outlook up a bit.

Given those scene-setting acoustic guitars, that eerie chamber organ, vocal performances worthy of Shakespeare and what I consider highly illuminating, syncopated drumming, as well as some of the most painstakingly crafted Progressive Rock songs around, this could only ever be worthy of a high rating. Maybe not quite 5, but I'll round up anyway, it's really 4.something but, oh-well.

Brendan | 5/5 |

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