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Anthony Phillips - Anthony Phillips & Richard Scott: Invisible Men CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips

Symphonic Prog

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is the most pop and rythmic one of Anthony PHILLIPS. The fresh songs have full of instruments quite well played. The singer sounds a bit like CAMEL's or CARAVAN's: his voice is outstanding.

Some songs sound a bit like the CAMEL of the 80's ("The Single Factor"), without the electric guitar solos. I like the catchy "Women Were Watching" and "Love In A Hot Air Balloon". But this album is not his best one, and the fan may be quite disappointed.

Report this review (#25965)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars It's not bad album. It's just not prog, or maybe it's pure 80s pop prog, so after so many prog albums I've listened, I feel I'm not good to understand it and even appreciate it. I'm just not into 80s pop. Rock maybe, it's still little bit listenable, but not only after prog, but also when comparing to his other works (Tarka, Slow Dance, Works...), this fails. Why ? Because this is different and is not trying to be normal. Well, this is not trying to be something better, while his other work is better. Strange paradox, but normal thing in prog music.

I probably don't have to say that tracks sounds one like each other, without any message it may have to say. Maybe it's because I don't know how to enjoy this, but maybe it's just bad album. Two stars, this does not deserves litanies.

Report this review (#236241)
Posted Tuesday, September 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars A greatly underrated album.At least in his top ten. Maybe many fans would be diapointed when the album went out just because of its "poppy" sound,but in fact his style ain't change that much.His romantic was still there.If he had moved out all modern sounds,this one could be another excellent early classical PP&P. Some of his later PP&Ps also used annoying synthesizer quite often and none of these grew on me except this one. All the tracks here are sweet and innocent,including the magical instrumental ones. As for me I like Golden Bodies,The Women Were Watching,Traces,Exocet,Love in a Hot Air Balloon,Going For Broke,Falling for Love,Sally,I Want Your Heart,Guru & Alex best. So if you want to know what his later albums such as A Catch At The Tables & Slow Waves, Soft Stars was mainly about.I suggest you take this one first because it's more listenable.It gives you a clear reflection of his work in the late eighties. (you can check out his Archive Collection II to find the similarity between instrumental demos of this album and his later works ) ,If you are a pop music listener and want to have a glance at prog music,then this one is a very good choice for you too.
Report this review (#276206)
Posted Saturday, April 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars I knew of two facets from this artist before this album (not speaking about his "Genesis" career).

The first one is the brain behind two very good albums: "Geese & Ghost" as well as "Private Parts II" which featured some wonderful symphonic and bombastic prog rock that should delight most of the symph lovers (to whom I belong).

The second one was the guitar player who released personal acoustic albums which are not essential ("Private Parts I" and "III").

The third facet appears dramatically on this "Invisible Men": the pop-rock artist. Although this could already be experienced during "Wise After The Event" or even "Sides". But it reaches another extent here. And I have to say that the result is not really good.

Most of these song are quite basic and sounds flat ("My Time Has Come"). The synthetic aspects from "1984"are present during "Golden Bodies". Some tracks are even new wave oriented like "Going For Broke"! The whole sounds very poppish and I agree that from time to time, it reminds the Camel from the late seventies or early eighties ("Sally"). But I never have considered this as being their best times.

So is this album: a succession of very average songs ("Exocet") and the disco-pop "Love In A Hot Air Balloon" which is a real pain to my ears. The nadir is being reached with "I Want Your Heart". But each track is almost ending to the same result.

Maybe that Anthony surfed on another wave during this period. Maybe that he tried to gain new fans and diversify his base. I don't know but the result is IMHHO quite disappointing. I am still wondering why I rate this with two stars.

Report this review (#313511)
Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Some interesting and even enigmatic phenomena may occur when a progster makes pop. Of course it was a great shame for the author of Back To The Pavilion to release Invisible Men. Everything is ugly on this album, starting with the cover design and finishing with lightminded, loutish and worthless music. As for the vocals... no, I'd better keep silence, OK? I remember some late 1980s interview with Banks, he told how Gabriel became a Genesis vocalist instead of Phillips who did the singing in their first days... well, in brief, Anthony Phillips is not Mario Lanza, no one would dispute this. But even this faulty album has its moments. I mean the aforesaid enigma of a progster falling into pop. Sometimes the result is impressive. Not Voyage Voyage of course, but... a pop cake with the icing on it. For example, Foreigner started as progsters in 1977, and ended up with Waiting For A Girl Like You and Girl On The Moon in 1981. Phillips pleased people with a lousy pop album in 1983, but it contains three really charming pop tracks, The Women Were Watching, Falling For Love and Guru. Maybe enough to acquit Invisible Men?
Report this review (#1057380)
Posted Thursday, October 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
1 stars Invisible Prog

Within Anthony Phillips' own discography the closest comparison for the present album is the first side of Sides. Other reference points are the solo albums by other Genesis members, like Tony Banks' The Fugitive for example, released the same year as Invisible Men. This album is also comparable to the very least adventurous and most commercial releases by the likes of Electric Light Orchestra (Discovery), Alan Parsons Project (Vulture Culture), Barclay James Harvest (Victims Of Circumstance), and the poppiest singles by Mike Oldfield.

Invisible Men is a Pop album made up of short vocally driven tunes dominated by thin synthesiser sounds and cheap drum machines. Guitars are rather scarce here, and some horrible brass instruments have crept in. There is not one trace of anything progressive to be found here.

There is however one good song here in The Women Were Watching, a folky Pop Rock song with a strong melody, a good anti-war lyric, and some nice flute (or something that sounds like a flute). Though, I'm sure that this song would have been even better had the drum machines been replaced by proper drums and the rigid, monotonic rhythm had been loosened up somewhat and the instruments had a more organic sound.

Hardly Anthony Phillips greatest achievement

Report this review (#1140142)
Posted Saturday, March 1, 2014 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars I don't know who Richard Scott is and which kind of music he makes, even if this album gives a clue. This is the most commercial album by Anthony Phillips and at least it contains some catchy tunes, very better than what his former bandmate were doing as singles and as band in the same period. But in any case there's nothing prog here.

There's a bit of influence from his recent collaboraton with CAMEL, as he featured on their worst album, "The Single Factor". At least this album hasMorris Pert, a Scottish composer and multi-instrumentist who worked for almost the whole British prog scene, from Caravan to the Oldfields, Brand X, Arthur Brown and so on.

Back to the album, it has some goods. In the same years we have seen vary failed attempts to commercial, disco, new wave from the monsters of the previous decade: The first part of the 80s has seen the worst efforts from EL&P, Renaissance, Caravan, Genesis to say some. Phillips, instead, is partially successful and there's at least one good track: "The Women Were Watching" that's catchy and not trivially commercial.

So, it's not a total waste. Forget The Geese and the Ghost or the Private Part and Pieces serie. If you have time for something light to listen to as background music in an office or inside an elevator, it's fine enough.

Report this review (#2786267)
Posted Tuesday, August 23, 2022 | Review Permalink

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