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

WISE AFTER THE EVENT

Anthony Phillips

 

Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 191 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SonicDeath10
4 stars After the commercial indifference to his first album, Anthony Phillips decided to change his sound for his next album. Slightly. The acoustic guitars that were so present on the first album are still around on his second album, Wise After the Event. However, electric guitars, hard rock, heavy drums, bass, and a wide range of keyboards are present on the music. There is a long tradition in Genesis that states that every band member will eventually step up to the microphone for a full solo album. Anthony was the first to do this (besides Peter, but Peter was already an accomplished singer, so it's not like it was a big deal for him to sing on his first solo album). Anthony has a mid-range, pleasant voice that is expressive without being emotive. It works for this album.

What of the music? Well, the music on this album is harder edged than his first album. But so is Phil Collins first album! The joys of Anthony's first album was its soft and gentle nature. Though he played a ton of instruments on the album, it occasionally felt like it was just Anthony and his acoustic playing directly to you. On this album, there are a lot more instrumentalists and they thicken his sound up incredibly. This doesn't mean this is hard rock. It's a kind of soft rock that remains incredibly intricate without getting over worked. Another reviewer said "this is not prog rock, though it is intricate" and they were right. There is nothing on here that sounds like progressive rock. It is lighter, simpler, yet well composed and intricate.

It's also more song oriented. The first album consisted of a few songs surrounding the two intricate epics. This album has songs with verses, choruses, bridges and the works. And they're good! They aren't amongst the catchiest or most memorable songs anybody ever wrote, but the melodies stick. Try getting the chorus to "We Are As We Lie" out of your head. You can't! The songs can sound the same from time to time, but there is a good variety of music and approaches. Most importantly, the songs have emotion, reason, a point, and they show their emotion without wearing it on their sleeves. By this point, Anthony was competing with Peter and Steve Hackett with his solo albums. Peter remained uncompromising as did Steve. Anthony comes up with a unique and individualist album without compromise that should have sold a ton of copies. Unfortunately it didn't. Anthony would try a few more attempts at catching a large audience.

SonicDeath10 | 4/5 |

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