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Anthony Phillips - Wise After The Event CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips


Symphonic Prog

3.79 | 194 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars By some quirk of fate, I owned this album before I ever owned a Genesis album. This second solo album by Anthony Phillips, Genesis' original lead guitarist, is easily the best of the 11 albums I've heard by him (the only one I bothered getting on CD), and one of my favorites of ALL the solo albums by Genesis members. Phillips and Mike Rutherford developed the dual 12-string sound that was a staple of Genesis' early albums, and he has a lovely, pastoral guitar sound. This album "rocks" more than any of his albums except "Sides", but it is still softer than any Genesis album. Phillips plays all the guitars and keyboards and sings lead vocals, and gets some able help from people like Michael Giles (King Crimson) and Mel Collins (Camel). The only real guitar solo is at the end of "Birdsong"--Phillips' interest is in textures rather than solos, using layers of acoustic and electric guitars to build the songs. "We're All As We Lie" has famous historic philosophers and theologians in a game of golf, while "Birdsong" uses the pastoral sound to create the musical equivalent of an idyll poem. "Pulling Faces" is perhaps the catchiest song, about an exile in outer space--it includes a hilarious drum solo by Giles, who flails at his kit wildly while the musicians play a bridge, but meets up with them in time for the final chorus. "Regrets" is a lovely ballad with orchestral backing, with the singer ruing his inability to return another's love. "Greenhouse" is a short piece that wouldn't sound out of place on "...and Then There Were Three". I'm not anti-hunting, but I love the album's anti-hunting closer and wide-screen show-stopper, "Now What", in which Phillips (in all humility) plays God, wondering at the fate of His creations ("Now what are they doing to my little friends?/I make everything and it all dies in the end"). "Squirrel", originally left off the album and used as the B-side of the "We're All As We Lie" single, reappears here; it's nothing special. Peter Cross' album cover is one of the best I've ever seen, with humorous takes on the lyrics of nearly every song. The CD booklet doesn't do it justice; you really need to see the LP cover.

| 5/5 |


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