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Genesis - A Trick Of The Tail CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.28 | 2552 ratings

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4 stars This album was many things, but most importantly, it was a test. Simply: could they survive without Peter Gabriel? Gabriel's loss left a huge gap, and while the band would never quite be the same, musically as well as visually, they clearly had a lot left to give, and 'A Trick Of The Tail' offers plenty for any Genesis fan to chew on.

With drummer Phil Collins now doubling as lead vocalist, the new four-piece lineup launches into the panoramic "Dance On A Volcano", marked by a crystalline production job and a wide range of dynamics, from the frantic mid-section to the dreamlike layers on the chorus. While Phil fits in well as vocalist, I sometimes hear a kind of flimsiness in his voice throughout this and many other post-Gabriel Genesis albums. Excepting some moments when he takes initiative and projects himself strongly ("Dance On A Volcano", the mighty "Squonk"), he tends to drift in the background too much. This is appropriate on tracks like "Entangled" and "Ripples", but elsewhere it's a little frustrating. That's a minor point, because the music overtakes the attention, encompassing a rich array of sounds, recalling the best moments of their previous work while offering a few new avenues of expression, like the hyper "Los Endos" and the throbbing "Squonk". The album is sequenced well, giving you a laid-back track every other song ("Entangled", "Mad Man Moon" and "Ripples") in between the more energetic moments. And if the final section of "Entangled" isn't Tony Banks at his celestial best, I don't know what is. Every song has a certain well-rehearsed quality to it, as if they knew they were going to have to present something especially solid this time (and considering some of the members found 'The Lamb.' a little too ponderous, it's no surprise this album is a compact and tight 8 songs). It doesn't quite reach the heights of total perfection, as I've always found the title track to be nice-yet-forgettable, and Phil's silly Keystone-cop thing in "Robbery, Assault And Battery" ruins the excellent synergy running underneath, Hackett and Rutherford locking up especially well on this. It's not a perfect album, but it does represent yet another great Genesis album worth more listens than our short human life spans will allow.

slipperman | 4/5 |


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