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The Watch - Timeless CD (album) cover

TIMELESS

The Watch

Neo-Prog


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4 stars The Watch returns again with a new album.

This Italian band releases albums on an annually basis so this is no comeback. The band has been touring the world too with their Genesis material and show. Timeless is their fifth album with original material.

The Watch is known as the band most resembling the Peter Gabriel era Genesis. We all expect that The Watch releases original songs albums which can be confused with Foxtrot/ Nursery/Selling England studio outtakes. Timeless does not disappoint and that is really all I can say about the type music. We all know Genesis and that's it. Go figure.

The quality of the stuff here is as usual great from The Watch. What concerns me though is the three Genesis songs they have included here. For The Watch to include Genesis songs on a studio album backfires on The Watch. The problem here is that compared to Jesus Christ, even Mother Theresa comes up short. In plain speak; compared to Genesis, The Watch's material comes up short. The Watch has set themselves up for a fall here. Under a closer inspection and compared to their previous albums, Timeless is quality wise a step backwards. Not a big step, but still a step backwards. The cynics here will say the inclusion of Genesis songs is just a bandage put on a wobbly knee to support it. In short; to get better ratings by the critics like for example myself. In this respect; they have succeeded. Another danger by including these songs is that it is next to impossible to spot the difference in style between the Genesis and the The Watch songs here. Is the art of creation the same as imitation ? Well, you decide.

Despite of my gripes and a Genesis song being my favorite song here (the stunningly superb Stagnation), this album is still a great album and a suitable candidate for top ten anno 2011. But next album better not include three Genesis songs though.

4 stars

Report this review (#403335)
Posted Saturday, February 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 'Timeless' is a perfect name for an album that includes early Genesis songs and themes, and The Watch obviously have a deep love for Genesis, and just as Big Big Train gave the proper treatment to Anthony Phillips' 'Master of Time', making it great, so The Watch has given the treatment to 'In The Wilderness' turning a song written before Genesis' prime, into something magnificient, with added chord progressions, especially at the fade out, that equalled Banks at his best. 'Let Us Now Make Love' is also given the treatment, and turned into something stunning, and the Genesis song that was already perfect, Stagnation, is done very very well. The subtleties and nuances here are not lost. Chalk this one up as my favorite cover ever. I can't think of anything redone this well.

As to the original tracks here, they are compositionally very good as usual. If one likes the style of The Watch, they will not be disappointed. I laugh when I see someone gave this album one star. It's certainly not the music that's at fault. The compositions are subtle and well crafted. Emotion is at the forefront, and that's I think what some may just not hear. 'Soaring On' is a remake of the favorite from "Primitive' and I wasn't sure why they would need to redo it, until I heard it. The beautiful blending 12-strings dominate here a la early Phillips/Rutherford work, and again, flawlessly performed. 'One Day' (not the Genesis song) is another standout, this one not sounding at all like Genesis, but very cleverly written with time signature change riffs, showing another aspect to the Watch, that apart from their usual emotional sound, they can be quite technical too when they want. 'Exit' is the type of thing I'd like to hear more of, a beautiful piano dominated instrumental interlude, and I always felt The Watch was short on instrumental passages. To me it's the instrumental passages that are typically highlights of a Watch album, especially the ones on their previous cd, 'Planet Earth'.

To me, "Timeless' is just that. A great work of nostalgia and perhaps the future blended beautifully, and this album I completely feel, and am growing to love.

Report this review (#408963)
Posted Sunday, February 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Oh Peter Gabriel returned to Genesis. And all again.

I am an old follower of The Watch...and is why may Genesis is my favourite symphonic prog rock group. And not only Peter Gabriel.Phil Collins era too since Robbery to Then There Where....

But mainly The Watch is a clone of Genesis Peter Gabril era.

But this is a superb clone.Genial.

If Peter Gabriel would have joined Genesis nowadays and don t he will have made it better.

But reviewing specially this album:

This in difference than prior albums is more in the line of first Genesis albums with PG. From Genesis To R to Foxtrot and mainly in the line of the short songs of those albums.

So because I love Genesis(PG era mainly) and this guys make feel me Genesis is alive with PG:

5 stars.

Report this review (#411062)
Posted Friday, March 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars It's not a coincidence that The Watch have chosen to include three covers of the 2 firts Genesis albums in this new release for those who have followed the latest tour of the band wich was a mix of songs from the band and covers of Genesis with many songs taken from the more acoustic side of Genesis on Genesis to Revelation and Trespass. So compare this new release with the previous albums, i have to say that the band has slow down the pace a little bit and that's why i think the three Genesis songs goes perfectly well with the songs of the band. I was a disappointed with their previous release, wich i think the band was pushing a little too much the same formula. Not that this cd is a major new direction, but maybe just a little fresh air to restart the machine. At some point i was thinking that maybe this is what Genesis would have sound if Gabriel was in the band again today. The singer's voice is so similar to the Gabriel's one that you can be confused if you hear the band for the first time. Nice cd!
Report this review (#411151)
Posted Friday, March 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars What I like about THE WATCH is that when you buy one of their albums you know what your getting. Sure some albums are better than others and "Vacuum" is still my favourite, but listening to their music is like visiting an old friend. There's a certain contentment and satisfaction involved with their sound because it sounds so much like the source of Progressive music.This one's a little different in that they've gone as far as to actually include three GENESIS covers. Normally i'd say that wasn't the best idea except that the two on the studio album here are from "Genesis To Revelation" which i've never heard before, then there's "Stagnation" from "Trespass" which is on here as a bonus track. And I must say that "Stagnation" stands alone as the best song on here. Oh, and there's plenty of mellotron on this album too.

"The Watch" is acoustic guitar and vocal led then we get some atmosphere as it blends into "Thunder Has Spoken". It kicks in fairly quickly with vocals.The guitar sounds different here and synths lead after 3 minutes. "One Day" is pastoral with acoustic guitar and vocals before it kicks into gear.These contrasts will continue. An excellent track. "In The Wilderness" is the first GENESIS cover. Even before I knew this was a cover I could tell from the lyrics that this had GENESIS written all over it. Check out the pulsating organ as well. Great sounding tune.

"Soaring On" just hits me emotionally for some reason. Acoustic guitar and flute to start as reserved vocals join in. Simply beautiful. Majestic mellotron 3 minutes in. If "In The Wilderness" had those typical GENESIS lyrics then the rearranged GENESIS track "Let Us Now Make Love" has very untypical lyrics as far as a GENESIS song goes. It kicks in with pulsating organ and drums standing out as vocals join in. So GENESIS-like. Wait a minute. It settles back as contrasts continue. A good groove to this one and John Hackett adds some flute too. "Scene Of The Crime" is piano and vocal led early. It picks up around 1 1/2 minutes.Vocal melodies a minute later then distorted keys ?

"End Of The Road" opens with pulsating keys with mellotron and outbursts of sound. It settles in with vocals before a minute. I like the guitar and organ that come to the fore everytime the vocals stop. "Exit" is a short piano piece. "Stagnation" features acoustic guitar and vocal melodies before the vocals come in. Haunting keyboards 2 minutes in. It kicks in after 3 minutes. My God ! Emotion. A calm with flute follows then acoustic guitar and vocals kick in at 6 minutes. So good. Simone rules !

I would rate this as my third favourite THE WATCH album after "Vacuum" and "Planet Earth ?".

Report this review (#469309)
Posted Saturday, June 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Oh dear. Normally The Watch take a bit longer between their albums, but it's evident that after Planet Earth? they felt as though they were on a creative roll and made Timeless in short order. Unfortunately, the album suffers from much as the same problems as its predecessor - to wit, the band had ceased presenting a cleverly updated version of the Genesis sound and just became a carbon copy of it. In the case of Timeless, this becomes particularly blatant when they present cover versions of early Genesis songs! Whilst the version of Stagnation is noteworthy for being completely indistinguishable from the original, at the same time I sorely miss the Watch who would occasionally impress me by doing something new with the Genesis sound. Oh well.
Report this review (#745424)
Posted Friday, April 27, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Known as one of the best Gabriel-era Genesis cover band,The Watch finally treat us with an album taking the very first Genesis tunes from "From Genesis to Revelation" and give them a progressive update.The result is enjoyable.Musically speaking(if we don't count originaty) this is really the best album of them,with Stagnation being the most wonderful song they've ever recorded today(of course we have to thank Genesis for that). The main theme of this album is based on Genesis's "In the wildness",the opening and the ending instrumentals are almost direct citations of this song(which Genesis also cited this melody on the first few seconds of their track "The Conqueror" right after "In the wildness"). "Thunder has spoken",the first original song on this album,has almost the same chord change of the Genesis song "In the Beginning",the watch version is very poweful and sounds nicely.The next track,"One Day" bears the same name of a Genesis track,but they have no connection at all.This song has a good and memorable riff.After that wonderful track, we come to the center piece of this album,"In the wildness",the original version is a very nice ballroom track,here the Watch manage to present the song in a progressive way,with much more complex arrangments."Soaring on" is originally from their 2007 "Primitive" album,this version abondons the annoying programmed elertric drum sound,giving a new birth to this beautiful tune."Let us now make love" is a frigile and sad ballad of Genesis,the version here is much more upbeat."Scene of the crime" has hints from the Genesis track "In hiding",but it's not as effect as previous tracks on this album."End of the road" has a very promising name(as there's a radio hit with the same name),however,this one is a bit out of link on this album,the band have to add a instrumental tune of "In the wildness" to keep this track in place."Stagnation" sounds like a bonus,unlike other re-arranged covers,this track keeps every detail of the original version,the band perhaps don't even change a note.Of course this song is wonderfully played here,the drum part is even better than the Genesis version. OK,let give a sum up,3+ star is a right rate in my opinion.Why not higher? Because th band are going the WRONG way.Genesis is a great band and every member of it are pure geniuses.They know how to write wonderful melodies,and more importantly,they know how to present the RIGHT arrangement for their wonderful melodies,that's why their songs are masterpieces.It's true that the first Genesis album "From Genesis to Revelation" is not a prog album.That's because they didn't mean to make a prog album then.The tunes on that album are really very good on either folk or R&B standards.They are great,and can only be great when they are treated with simple but tasty arrangements.The Watch give them much more complex arragements,only to lower these great tunes into "good" level,that's not the right choice to do with Genesis music.(or we can all expect the Watch to do a remake version of "Invisible Touch" so that we'll have one more progressive track from the already marvolous Genesis discography).In conclusion,this album is a very pleasant one,but still far from any Genesis albums.

Good songs:"Thunder has spoken"(3+),"One Day"(3+),"In the wildness"(3+),"Soaring on"(3+),"Let us now make love"(3+),"Stagnation"(4+) Album rating:3+

Report this review (#811026)
Posted Monday, August 27, 2012 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The line up has stabilized and there is a notable guest invited to play some fine flute: John Hackett himself ! (he will also join for some live concerts and I could witness this in Mons).

There is a definite ''Trespass'' feel all along this album. The opener and short ''The Watch''(and its closing counterpart ''Exit'') are the best example of this feeling together with the sweet ''One Day''. "Soaring On" is also such a delicate and sweet piece of music that will bring you back in these ancient times. What a good journey!

Still, there will be a couple of more personal songs (but of course in the style of their masters) like ''Thunder Was Spoken'' but also some weaker ones (''End O f the Road'').

Another important fact to add is that the members of this band are extremely accessible and very friendly. I have seen them many times on stage and after their set, most of the band is not reluctant to meet the fans, chat and share a beer.

The most dramatic song of this album (and also the more personal) is the beautiful "Scene Of The Crime"). It is a slow paced song which can be compared to "Afterglow" in the conception. It is a very moving song indeed.

Their passion for "Genesis" pushed them to give a tribute to this great band on one of their official album. In their early days, they regularly covered them on stage through two songs: "Hogweed" and "Can-Utility". For this occasion they have decided to play VERY old songs.

Pre- Trespass for two of them: "In The Wilderness" that can be found on "From Genesis To Revelation". The new version has more appeal to my ears and sounds much more modern than the original version. The second one is the rare "Let's Make Love" which dates from the same period. There is a version of this song on the Box set "Volume 1". But it wasn't my cup of tea.

The best cover, but like said accordingly Warthur, it is almost an exact reproduction of the original (like they do on stage when they play almost a full Genesis repertoire) is the wonderful ''Stagnation''. Nowadays they tour mostly as a Genesis cover band. And they do it quite right I must say. Last time I saw them, it was for the ''The Lamb'' story and ''Supper's Ready'' as an encore!

I rate this album with three stars. It lacks I personality but is still enjoyable for old freaks like I am.

Report this review (#1455817)
Posted Sunday, August 23, 2015 | Review Permalink

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