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PLANET EARTH?

The Watch

Neo-Prog


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5 stars Let me be the first to review this cd. I can't remain objective when I review an album from The Watch simply because when I hear them, they tickle hidden memories from my youth. I grownt with the music of Genesis since "Nursery Crime" era, The Watch play that way but not simply cloning that kind of music. For me The Watch reached the top with the Vacuum album, this one is almost at the same level.There's nothing new here but I can't get tired to listen the album again and again. I can only mention track 6, the shorter, with the contribution of John Hackett on flute that makes the song like "I talk to the wind" meets the Genesis. Bought this cd two days ago at a concert from the Watch, listened a dozen of times, everytime is like the first time. Recommended for all Genesis Gabriel era fans who feel young in their hearts.
Report this review (#265106)
Posted Tuesday, February 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars I have always been a big fan of Genesis and, usually, I am also very indulgent in judging the work of the so-called Genesis's "clones". Nonetheless I think that this last effort from THE WATCH is a typical example of good packaging without content.

Yes, a first superficial listen to the new album PLANET EARTH? could also excite some fans of the classic symphonic prog rock. In reality, this album lacks completely of the creativity, emotion and musical virtuosity of the original model. These musicians are certainly talented guys, but without any inspiration. Even the singer, Simone Rossetti, is in my opinion a pale copy of Peter Gabriel. In appearance, he has a very similar tone of voice, but he surely doesn't have the same capacity of playing the role.

I have found the music on this album rather boring and monotonous. All the songs have a similar structure and there are no epics, no changes of rhythm, no improvisations at all, and this is very unusual for a symphonic prog album.

The problem with this band is that it sounds perfectly similar to Genesis but unfortunately it is not.

If you are a fan of Genesis and you are looking for a new, fresh and much more creative version of the good old symphonic prog rock, you should better aim to THE THOMAS TRACKS by the Netherlands' band 5BRIDGES.

Report this review (#266459)
Posted Monday, February 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Well, I know The Watch (and Night Watch) but Inever bother to write a review, not even for the so called ´classic´ Vaccum (which, by the way, I bought after reading the glowing reviews when I joined PA). It´s not that I don´t like them or similar minded outfits.The main problem with all the bands that try to emulate (or simply cloning) Gabriel era Genesis is the fact that they are all good to reproduce that group´s timbres, arrangements, voices and even manneirisms, but rarely their real soul that is their stunning songwriting skill. Worse, they tend to concentrade their interpretation on the more dense, obscure and complex side of Genesis (like most parts of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway) instead of their great melodic and creative approach of their best known numbers (Citizen Cane is a good exemple of how unfathomable and plain complex they can get by this route).

The Watch does not exactly fall in that trap. Their use of acoustic guitars, Banks sounding keyboards and Hackett-like electric guitar solos are very well done and reminds me of Genesis best in many ways. Unfortunatly they did not come up with a convincing bunch of songs to match their good intentions. Planet Earth? However shows an obvious improvemnt over their previous effords. Not only the production here is much superior to all they´ve had before but the first two tracks are probably the best I ever heard written by this italian outfit. It was almost like facing what would be if Peter Gabriel stayed on around the time of A Trick Of The Tail. The remaining songs are not so good and listenging to them soon made my initial enthusiasm fade. Each one a little weaker than the previous. Not bad, really, but a little let down after the electrifying start.

Obviously all the musicians involved are very skillful and all. Simone Rossetti sounds A LOT like Peter Gabriel. And I guess they are on the way to write better and more convincing tunes in near future. At least this is what I hope. They had developed and deserve consideration. So a 3 star rating seems just about right. Good, sometimes very good, but (still) non-essential.

Report this review (#268922)
Posted Sunday, February 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I believe I am an admirer of this band. So a review of their new album is in order.

It is impossible to listen to a The Watch album without even trying to guess which Genesis album this album is trying to copy. I can fully understand why half of their career is devoted to touring as a Genesis tribute band and the other half is devoted to their own material. In the case of other bands than The Watch, that is a negative thing. But in the case of The Watch; that's a positive thing. Genesis is dead, long live The Watch.

Which Genesis album does their new album sounds like ? Well, a hint of Foxtrot this time. But there is some subtle differences between Genesis and The Watch this time around. Listen to the best song from this album for example. It is called Something Wrong and it has a very strong Anekdoten vibe. No, this is not the end of the world. The Watch still sounds like Genesis. But there is more to them than just being a clone. First of all; their songwriting is excellent. Their songs is full of small details. Mainly from the guitars and the vintage keyboards. A song like Something Wrong stands proud on it's own feet. The rest of the songs too is excellent. This time, we also get an added Swedish mournful symphonic prog vibe in this material. Planet Earth is not a joyful album. Add some Italian Prog Rock vibes too and you get the full picture.

The Watch will never ever be able to shake of the Genesis clone tag. But there is more to this band than just being a clone. Deep down; The Watch is an excellent band in their own right. Planet Earth is another spectacular solid album from this band and one that keeps me transfixed. It is not a genre defining brilliant album. But I have no problems giving this album four stars.

4 stars

Report this review (#269143)
Posted Monday, March 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars With every new THE WATCH release it becomes more difficult to write something new; I mean for us both, for me as a reviewer and for them as a band ;) Simone and the guys have been floating in Gabriel's GENESIS waters almost for 15 years (beginning from THE NIGHT WATCH's debut), and it's simply unbelievable how they manage to create something new within such narrow borders of their self-proclaimed style. Some modern arrangements, some unexpected hints, some fresh vocal overtones thrown here and there, but to be fairly honest "Planet Earth?" is the first THE WATCH album that I didn't put on repeat after the first listen; I've returned to it few weeks later, and now I feel like it's really good and solid work. 3.5 stars rounded to 4!
Report this review (#272479)
Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Fourth time's a charm for Gabriel-era Genesis influenced The Watch (not counting the debut as The Night Watch), and on this one the melodies are a bit stronger, the chords a bit more instriguing, and the band a bit tighter than on their previous releases. For me personally, each cd is progressively a bit stronger than their last. A strong mood prevails throughout, that hits deepest in the quieter sections, and 'Something Wrong' is my favorite on this or any Watch album, especially the instrumental conclusion. In fact instrumental passages are the only thing lacking here and the biggest distinction from early Genesis, which revelled in instrumental sections. What few passages there are without vocals are wonderful, and given that the album is only 45 minutes long, an instrumental closing song would be most welcome. Still, I cant complain as the music is highly complex and intriguing and compositionally quite well done, even brilliant at times. For the uniniated, there are parallels to Genesis, but The Watch has their own sound as well. Since Genesis has a lot of variety in their albums, several bands could have a strong influence and sound nothing like each other. As to The Watch, I would say 'Get Em Out By Friday' is an example of the sound of Genesis that is followed, but the aforementioned 'Something Wrong' is like a more complex 'Entangled'. Overall there is a lot to digest, and subtleties abound, making this what will surely be one of the most interesting and satisfying cds of 2010.
Report this review (#275993)
Posted Friday, April 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I think this is the best thing they've done since "Vacuum". Now it's not as good as that particular album, but I do think it's worth 4 stars unlike their other two studio albums "Ghost" and "Primitive" both of which I gave 3 stars to respectively. The thing with "Vacuum" was the mellotron and the emotion that came with it.This new album doesn't have quite as much mellotron or emotion but enough to get me excited about this band again. And they use real mellotron unlike many modern bands.

"Welcome To Your Life" settles quickly with vocals then starts to pick up again after 1 1/2 minutes. I like the chorus.Mellotron before 5 1//2 minutes to end it. Nice. "Something Wrong" opens with acoustic guitar and reserved vocals. Electric guitar and a fuller sound before 2 minutes as these contrasts continue. Love when that electric guitar comes in. Flute after 4 minutes. This is a beautiful track. "Earth" has a powerful intro before vocals and an uptempo melody take over. Lots of keyboards and the tempo shifts often. Electric guitar after 4 minutes followed by mellotron.

"All The Lights In Town" opens with piano as pulsating organ, bass, drums and vocals take over. Guitar before 2 minutes then it calms right down. Not for long though. The mellotron, keys and vocals sound amazing 6 1/2 minutes in. "The World Inside" sounds so good with the vocals, keys and drums. It does get fuller as contrasts continue. Gorgeous track. "New Normal" is pastoral with flute. Reserved vocals join in. Mellotron too. "Tourist Trap" kicks in quickly with vocals. Nice bass too. It settles again as mellotron rolls in. The tempo continues to change. Lots of mellotron 5 1/2 minutes in.

My faith in this band has been rewarded. Sure this is GENESIS-101 but it's so good.

Report this review (#280834)
Posted Friday, May 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Is it a curse or blessing that one sounds like Peter Gabriel ? I don't mind it, I quite like this style, so this isn't a problem. I listened it album few weeks ago and after this listen, I was disappointed. So I concentrated on other work and left this album be while I returned recently to hear if I was wrong. Yeah, I was, I like it now.

For those who was disappointed that golden era of Genesis lasted just few albums (even regarded as masterpiece by Prog community), there is solution. There are bands that are considered by some as Gen-clone bands, that play (and sing) in "vein" of G. et cetera.

Why not I say, if it's influence, then it is OK. What is also important is to give "heart" to album making process, especially when it's Symphonic / Neo genre. I feel it here, it's present and it works. It's funny because when I was listening acoustic guitar solo in Something Wrong, I realized that I hear one part of "Supper's Ready", only polished, enhanced, upgraded. So I tried to find out if anyone feels the same way in previous reviews. Torodd's review shows that it's easy to guess which Gen album it may be. I wished it's Foxtrot and yeah, we are two. At least.

Earth on the other hand really reminds "Dance on a Volcano. We can continue like that for a long period of time, but it's not really that important.

As long as you don't mind it, you'll be OK. Because songs, tracks here, music in general is very good. With this strange feeling that you have heard it before. And you know even why.

4(-) should be balanced enough.

Report this review (#280946)
Posted Saturday, May 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's very difficult to say anything about The Watch that hasn't already been said in reviews of this album or previous ones for that matter. Understandably most people are going to immediately seize upon their uncanny resemblance to Genesis. This can't be denied and whether it's a good or bad thing is down to your own individual feelings about bands blatantly ripping off others to the point of being totally derivative. My own feelings on this is that we don't have Genesis anymore, never have in a prog sense for almost thirty years now and if we can't have them then this damn fine band will fill the spot nicely.

Whether The Watch sounded like Genesis or not there would be no getting away from the fact that vocalist Simone Rossetti is totally in the Peter Gabriel School of singers. Partly for this reason parallels are often drawn with the Gabriel Genesis era and quite rightly too. The instrumentation is very much of the early Genesis era too with Tony Banks styled piano, Mellotron and Hammond and guitars picked and strummed ala Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford. Even the rhythm section borrows though in a more simplified form. Musically though I would stretch the influences as far as early Collins fronted Genesis with parts here and there, particularly on Something Wrong having a Trick Of The Tail vibe. Entangled and Ripples anyone?

How The Watch get away with all this is simple. They write great songs and have produced an album with subtle melodies that admittedly take a few plays to get under the skin, but when they do you're hooked. They produce a lovely sound, low on the bombastic front steering a largely mellower course, but that's fine with me. It's a very consistent album, not a weak moment in sight, the seven compositions full of interest with plenty of subtle changes and pleasing authentic seventies sounding instrumental moments.

Whether you like this album or not is going to depend on how much you like Genesis. If you don't then it's not for you but if you're a fan and don't mind something derivative then Planet Earth? Is well worth a listen.

Report this review (#282492)
Posted Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I'm usually quite favourably disposed towards The Watch, because whilst they are an unabashed Genesis clone band they are at least able to present a skillful blend of the modern and the nostalgic, with their music resembling the classic Genesis sound with a sprinkling of more current touches. On Planet Earth, however, The Watch seem to have brushed those sprinkes aside in favour of more direct and (to my ears) unoriginal Genesis worship. It's all a pleasant enough listen, of course, but this time around the band seem to be low on inspiration - and that's never something I like to hear happening to a band I like, because who knows when they'll get it back?
Report this review (#744714)
Posted Thursday, April 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Greetings from Jakarta! Happy Eid Mubarak for those muslims who are progheads as well ..!

Hi there! How are you? Sorry for missing from this lovely prog site such a long long time even though I keep visiting this site at least once in a week....but I have not written anything prog at all so far even though I am still proggin' till now and forever till the end of the world, probably ... My BIG apologies for many of you who emailed me and sent me PM asking me to comeback revieing prog albums. Yeah .. I wanted to but I had other demanding commitments on other things that I had to manage. Trust me .. I always keep on proggin' ....and have been enjoying many new prog albums such as Spock's Beard, Steven Wilson, The Tangent, The Flower Kings, Pain of Salvation and many more. Some of them I realize that I have not written any word about it including this album by The Watch. Let me try again to write another prog album review and hope that I still remember how to write good review as I really busy with other things including something related to music, ie the rebirth of cassette tape as an excellent analog medium for vintage prog and rock music. In my country, cassette tape is now regaining its competitive edge as many music lovers are getting bored with the clean (too damn clean) of digital music while vinyl is too damn expensive to acquire to most people.

Let's now talk about this "Planet Earth?"...

First off, you may recall that I am a great fan of symphonic prog - so no wonder that I love Genesis, Yes, ELP and the like. Talking about Genesis, most of you might refer to the charismatic figure of Peter Gabriel with his powerful voice. I missed Gabriel voice after he left Genesis that's why when I had a CD of Citizen Cain where the voice of Cyrus was clearly emulating Gabriel's I was so happy. Later, I found the Italian band named as The Night Watch whom its vocalist sounded like Gabriel as well - I was very happy also. I don't mind people call this band as copy cat of Genesis Gabriel era. So what? That's what I want, so ... I kept listening the band which later changed the name to The Watch. The fact that the vocalist sounds like Gabriel is a plus point for me even though musically is not as complex as Genesis. Never mind, I still enjoy it.

This album came to me long time ago and by the time I'm writing this review I have spun the album for more than eight times in its entirety already - so it's about time to write a fair review about this. Overall, I still think this album represents what I expected from this band who has been in fact consistent with its music direction: emulating Gabriel voice and Genesis kind of music. So, I am very happy about it. As I keep spinning it I find that as far as music flow this album makes a tendency for the listeners to get bored with the music which is not quite enthusiastic or less energetic, I would say, after the first impressive track. Sometimes I could not stand to listen the album until the end because of there was not so much variations in terms of nuances and musical dynamics. It's too soft probably...and less melodious.

The first track "Welcome to your Life" (6:11) is really impressive and very energetic as a symphonic prog music. It's not as energetic as "Back in NYC" but it makes me smile and happy enjoying the music especially with the repeating riffs that form an excellent rhythm section. It's so wonderful and I don't hesitate to give this track as an excellent one with fice star rating! In fact, this track has become my prime motive to spin this album. It's really my favourite track from this album and probably one of the finest from The Watch.

Unfortunately the great dynamic created by the opening track is not maintained beautifully at the following track 2. "Something Wrong" (7:41) which seems like being positioned like Genesis' "Entangled" with similar segments sounding alike. Great guitar work actually. It's like a dream comes true: Gabriel sings at A trick of The Tail album. fabulous idea, right? Unfortunately this track lacks its soul and nuance so that it creates a drawback. Don't get me wrong, this is a good track - but not having enough soul, in my opinion.

The third track "Earth" (5:52) is more energetic and in the same vein as the opening track. I would imagine if this one should have been positioned right after the first track ends or it flows seamlessly. The reason is because they both are in the same vein. Even tjough it's not as energetic as the opening track but this one is energetic and has its soul. It has some mellotron breaks as well. "All the Lights in Town" (8:15) starts nicely with piano work followed with energetic music like Watcher of The Skies style, combined with Get tHem Out By Friday - listen to how the bass guitar is played. The closing track "Tourist Trap" (7:23) is another good track from this album. The composition is balanced combining the energetic as well as mellow part with very good guitar fills very specific like Genesis.

In summary, this is a very good album from The Watch and I want them continue with this kind of music they play. I think this one deserves a 3.5 star rating. Never mind being called as Genesis copy cat. It's an excellent copy cat band. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

*) Oh I forgot how to make Bold and Italic ....

Report this review (#1015876)
Posted Saturday, August 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars On this fourth The Watch studio-album entitled Planet Earth? we are treated on a sound that is obviously inspired by early Genesis, especially the 70-73 era, as The Watch did on previous albums. But this time it sounds like an ultimate tribute to that both legendary as unsurpassed early Genesis sound: Hammond and Mellotron waves in the vein of Tony Banks, very Gabrielesque vocals, the use of twanging acoustic guitars, the flute play and a very Hackett-like guitar sound. Even the way the songs are arranged comes mighty close to early Genesis. This results in wonderful symphonic rock, especially the moments in which Hammond and Mellotron are blended and moving electric guitar is supported by lush violin ? and choir-Mellotron. Like in the final parts of Something Wrong and The World Inside, goose bumps! The only track that slightly differs from the obvious early Genesis sound is the final composition Tourist Trap, here it's early IQ with a Mike Holmes guitar sound. The conclusion is great featuring majestic violin-Mellotron and a delicate synthesizer solo.

To me this album sounds as their most convincing and mature effort. But I would like to hear the wonderful native language, rather than English vocals. I am sure this will give the music an extra dimension, a bit more emotional undertone. Just listen to other fine early Genesis inspired fellow Italian band Sensitiva Immagine with their beautiful album E Tutto Comincio Cosi (a kind of 'Selling England By The Pound, side 3', with all respect).

My rating: 3,5 star.

Report this review (#1933040)
Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2018 | Review Permalink

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