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Various Artists (Tributes) - The Fox Lies Down; A Tribute to Genesis CD (album) cover

THE FOX LIES DOWN; A TRIBUTE TO GENESIS

Various Artists (Tributes)

 

Various Genres

2.90 | 13 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
3 stars Last week I reviewed an excellent and ambitious Tribute to Genesis called The River of Constant Change, now is the turn for The Fox Lies Down, which is less fortunate than the previous, even when this time the album features recognized prog' artists like Patrick Moraz, John Wetton, The Flower Kings instead of unknown artists like in the first one.

Maybe that's the problem, the well known and respected artists have nothing to win with this tributes and sometimes don't give 100% of them, on the other hand the unknown bands hungry for fame give all they got in a Tribute album that represents for them the possibility of fame without having to invest a cent.

The Fox Lies Down is not bad really, it has some excellent songs and interpretations, but because of the shorter song list and the different level of performances is less solid than the previously commented tribute.

But lets go to check the songs:

Can Utility and the Coastliners was chosen by the fusion icon Brand X, a band in which Phil Collins played some years before, this time with Nick D'Virgilio on drums who would be a Genesis member in the later released CAS.

Great song and very good version, Brand X added the fusion spirit with a more complex fusion atmosphere that includes congas and a killer electric guitar, if all the bands would do the same and resist the easy path of simply cloning a well known track, this album would be excellent.

Carpet Crawlers is presented by John Ford (The Strawbs), the intro is promising with a beautiful rhythm guitar, but soon this beauty vanishes specially when the boring drum machine starts to play, the vocals are correct but I don't know what direction John takes, tries to be folksy (what's expected according to his background) but sounds almost as a Reggae version.

A monotone version of an already simple song that always found out of place in a complex album as The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, sounds very similar to the awfull Carpet Crawlers 99 (Without the interest to listen Gabriel and Collins back together) but strangely was released one year before than the Genesis version, mediocre track.

The Swiss keyboard virtuoso Patrick Moraz (Yes, Moody Blues, etc) with the aid of Ronnie Ciago on the drums plays an interesting version of Los Endos, somehow sounds like a version of this excellent instrumental played by Yes, respectful but innovative at the same time, sadly looses the mystery and darkness of the original version which is the most distinctive characteristic of this track, until this point is good even when not great, but whoever gave him the idea of adding part of the lyrics of Squonk at the end of the track, should be hanged, because it's terrible.

Your Own Special Way is IMHO one of the worst songs ever recorded by Genesis during their progressive years and I believed nobody could ever do a worst version than Phil Collins, but the veteran John Wetton achieves this discredit, he turns it into a whiny and mediocre ballad that would be ok for a karaoke contest like American Idol, but never for a tribute to a Progressive icon like Genesis.

Knowing the great vocal of John I expected much more from him, the worst track of the album.

Now, Mother Gong really knows how to make cover version of a simple song, In the Beginning is only an obscure and poppy track taken out of From Genesis to the Revelation.

Being evident that there's not very much to work with, they simply changed all the track into a psychedelic and hallucinating experience that sounds like taken from a Pink Floyd nightmare, strange but at least they did something absolutely innovative.

Daevid Allen (Soft Machine, Gong) and Solid Space perform a faithful version Visions of Angels even when the lead vocals are not comparable to Peter's in absolute, but the complex chorals that backup are really good.

As I said a good version but Allen and Solid Space don't offer us nothing new, only a correct performance that could have been done by any cover band, and that's not the job of a real artist who always have to give something from their own inspiration.

The next track is the legendary Return of the Giant Hogweed by Spirits Burning, another great version because they mix the Progressive atmosphere with elements of Hard Rock and a bit of Alternative or Indie, which sounds great Respectful and at the same time original version of this Genesis classic. Excellent guitar, keyboards and drum work, one of the best performances in the album.

Only to be absolutely honest, the production and engineering of this track sucks, the drum sounds almost as bad as in Nursery Cryme, but that's not the fault of the band or disqualifies Spirits Burning's excellent work, even when doesn't speaks well about the engineer and the guy in charge of the edition..

Dancing with a Moonlit Night is a very hard track to play, especially because nobody could do the "a capella" section with the same strength and soul as Peter Gabriel, so the Swedish band Darxtar suppressed the intro and play an electronic version, which for moments sounds like a dance mix. Even when it's not my cup of tea, I must admit it's adventurous and that means something.

The only weak point is the end, because the song stops abruptly as if the guys who produced the album were short of time, bad ending for a good track.

Please don't worry about Cinema Show by The Flower Kings, the instrumentation is not bad at all, but the vocals are horrendous, I thing this good band took the Tribute as a joke instead of as a challenge. Program your CD player to skip this song. Again the song has an abrupt ending (Two in a row is not casual, probably it's the edition guys fault).

Controlled Bleeding takes the listener by surprise with the strong entrance of Broadway Melody 1974, strange keyboards work but delightful at the same time, a bit repetitive and longer than the original, the vocals are well worked by the band, another good track.

The album ends with The Waiting Room by Architectural Metaphor, even when I don't like the original version, I think this kids went too far, the album should have ended in the previous track.

As I said before, the album is uneven, with excellent, good, mediocre and even awful versions all mixed, despite this fact I like the tribute and consider it worthy for Genesis fans who will quickly find which tracks to skip.

Rate this good album with 3 stars even when most bands that participate deserve. a higher rating, but because of two or three songs I can't give them more.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 3/5 |

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