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Brand X - Moroccan Roll CD (album) cover


Brand X


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.06 | 265 ratings

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5 stars Ha! MORROCAN ROLL ("More Rock 'n' Roll," get it?) from this excellent Phil Collins jazz-fusion side-project.

Despite the clever title, this is not rock and roll. I agree with an earlier reviewer who writes that this doesn't sound like Phil's solo work (and with inventive, virtuoso players like Jones, Goodsall, Pert and Lumley on board, how could it?), and I also second that critic's high opinion of this album, but I can't go along with the notion that it bears any real similarity to Genesis. Many of us may have originally tried Brand X because of Collins' involvement (hoping for something in the Genesis vein), only to find a much wilder, less-structured form of music. Is it really progressive rock? As I've said before, not by my definition of the term -- I file my Brand X with my jazz CDs, between (Jeff) Beck and Bruford. (In fact, if you like Bruford's earlier solo recordings, you should enjoy this, which is somewhat akin to his terrific ONE OF A KIND.)

Nit-picking over genres aside, this is excellent and challenging music. The disc opens with the brilliant, Eastern-flavoured "Sun in the Night," which -- though Phil sings on it -- bears absolutely no resemblance to such radio-friendly aural pap as "You Can't Hurry Love." (Firstly, the vocals are in ancient Sanskrit, and secondly, Brand X is the band!) After that relatively accessible ditty, it's goodbye vocals, hello weird and wonderful music. Don't buy Brand X CDs on the basis of an appreciation for classic Genesis, or a (lamentable) love of Collins' $olo "blue-eyed Motown" material. Buy them because you're musically open-minded, and because you'd like to hear some nonpareil musicians doing something completely different -- like jazz from another planet! Another great recording from a great band!

Peter | 5/5 |


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