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Genesis - Paperlate picture 7'' CD (album) cover



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3 stars Ah, yes, the eighties. A time for modern America to take a long pensive glance at their glitter gloved, moon walking ancestors and wonder what pharmaceuticals exactly were in their hairspray. A time where Justin Hayward and John Lodge wore eyeliner to promote "The Other Side of Life". A time where Mark Knopler ripped the piss out of MTV and became a rich old fart, as a result. The dawn of feminine masculinity, denim jackets, Ataris, "Susussudio", and yes.... the picture disk, which is why I'm here to talk to you today, kiddies.

"Paperlate Picture 7'" aka "3 X 3" should not be banished to the land of embarrassing 80's cheese indulgence because well, Genesis, in my opinion, managed to skirt by on a thin, thin line in the 80's and this small rarities vinyl is hardly crappy at all either despite drum machines, Earth, Wind, and Fire horns, and the notorious "Phil to the Collins" of Miami Vice fame being prime features here. Thing is, Genesis was always just plain ol' rock oriented in the 80's rather than AOR or adult contemporary influenced that many would often link to Phil Collins "products" (or should I be a witty n' naughty reviewer and say "excrements".) Rutherford and Banks did a very good job of keeping Philly Phil on a leash so he didn't go and splurge their efforts with a plethora of synth horns or dance pop grilled cheese. Oh and they kept the melodies intact and the hooky hooks in good shape too.

"Paperlate" a single that pays lyrical homage to "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" for it's title features a R-E-A-L horn section in contrast to Phil's solo stuff with synth horns and while the song doesn't thrill me much as a whole, it still possesses some pretty deadly hooks that will envelop themselves in your brain and surprisingly, you won't be annoyed by this either. Yo and watch out for the great middle 8 section where the song suddenly goes from happy and carefree to desperate and dreary, how coolio, and real proof that Collins Genesis still understands subtlety too.

The other two songs are the real essential part of this mini record, "You Might Recall" is very interesting for a Collins era ballad, especially with it's reputation among fans and the media. Hailed as the only non-sappy ballad ever penned by 80's Genesis, (That's a lie actually, see the first half of Domino for further insight) "You Might Recall" is also of a very subtle melancholic beauty. The band calls it a tale of "unrequited love", and I can certainly see where they were going with that. I like that cutesy keyboard motive Banks plays at the beginning too, it's very perty.

Lastly, the true "Stetson" of the trio, "Me and Virgil" is heck of an oddball piece. A clunky but funny ripoff of The Band, that drunkenly stumbles through it's countrified verses and chorus but still manages to be strangely charming. Beats me to hell why I like it so much but maybe it's the cool, vicious guitar solo by Mister Mike Rutherford during the bridge, who never really flashed his guitar chops much, preferring to stick as the humble, inaudible bass player most of the time. Hey, it's also really cool that the band managed to churn out a late sixties sounding composition in the time period of spicy, syncopated syndrums, robotic synthesizer farts and "Never Gonna Give You Up".

Hmm, so should you purchase this dated eighties fad, (Picture disks, I mean, NOT Genesis, hee hee) you may or may not be asking me? Well, Tony Banks was having a bad day when they compiled "Genesis Archives 2", (Primarily, because he was one of the poor buggers responsible for the creation of "Calling All Stations", one of the most maligned crappers ever to slither into this reviewer's music collection) and decided to take his concentrated hatred out on the hapless "Me and Virgil" and leave it off the collection. Hmph, jerk. While not being "Greatest Hits" material, all three of these songs are pleasant with momentary flashes of goodness. If you have a creaky, old record player, buy it out of curiosity or because you're an OCD completionist of all Genesis fares good or bad.

Album Grade: B-

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Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010 | Review Permalink

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