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Anthony Phillips

Symphonic Prog

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This record is very graceful & delicate acoustic guitar oriented, although there are conventional bass, drums and keyboards parts. There are some excellent electric guitar solos. This record is not extremely progressive, despite the rather elaborated compositions. The highly pitched & expressive male lead vocals are excellent and fit very well with the miscellaneous delicate acoustic guitar sounds; almost all the tracks are excellent. "Birdsong" has a graceful part made of floating keyboards and expressive lead vocals. There are many beautiful delicate piano parts, like on "Moonshooter". Unlike his "Private parts & pieces" albums, Anthony Phillips made a rhythmic and structured album here; the rhythm is rather slow, so that you can fully listen to the numerous soothing melodies created by the guitars. Only "Wise after the event" is less magic, delicate and graceful: maybe the rhythmic acoustic guitar is too monolithic and repetitive, even slightly approaching the modern King Crimson style!

On the other side, the catchy "Pulling faces" is quite rock, rather having the style and intensity of the "Sides" album; the lead vocals, the electric guitar solos, the keyboards, the bass and the drums form a perfect highly emotive music. "Regrets" comes back with a delicate approach, but without guitars: piano, sublime & elaborated orchestral arrangements, tender male lead vocals: it is ABSOLUTELY beautiful, poignant, mind troubling and slightly romantic: it is one of the best tracks on this album! "Greenhouse" is another gem, full of happy lead vocals between David Sylvian and Richard Sinclair, and not timid rhythmic & melodic acoustic guitars. "Paperchase" is another excellent rhythmic song made of a mix of acoustic & electric guitars. The last track, "Now what", has a VERY subtle, delicate, melodic and addictive mix of piano, intense lead vocals and floating keyboards: the last mellow part sounds a bit like the end of "Dancing with the moonlit knight" on the "Selling England by the pound" album.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Report this review (#25932)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Under clubbing

Compared to much of his output this, Phillips second album, plays heavily on the vocals. He assumes those duties himself, which is a brave but ultimately misguided move, as singing is not his longest suit. This probably explains why the singing tends to be well back in the mix, especially on tracks such as "Regrets".

There is something of a Tony Banks feel to the music, I was particularly reminded of his "A curious feeling" album at times, and both he and Mike Rutherford are "thanked" in the sleeve notes.

The music is melodic and pleasant, but generally simple in structure, and unchallenging. The many "players" credited for their contribution do little to assert their individual talents, understandably leaving Phillips to dominate his own album. (The strings on "Regrets" are nice though.)

The sleeve adopts a golf related theme (the following album would be soccer), with a tasteful Peter Cross sleeve. To continue the golf analogy, Phillips at best is just about playing to par here, with a couple of bogeys.

Report this review (#25925)
Posted Wednesday, July 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars I recently resurrected this album from my collection. When I first bought it on wax cylinder, back in the dim ages, I wasn't too impressed, especially when compared to his other material (Although this was his second solo album, it wasn't the second one I bought). My initial reaction prompted my to put this album down for about . . . a dozen years! Now, on fifth look, I have to admit - this is not at all a bad album. It's too thoughtful to be Top 40 Pop, and it's too Top 40 pop to be good Prog Rock. But it is good nonetheless! He assembles some of my favorite session men to help produce very likeable pop-sounding music. The wry, satirical lyrics to the first track "We're all as we lie" are quite clever - smile inducing. "Moonshooter" and "Wise after the event" are my favorite tracks. The oft featured "single" from this album, "Now what are they doing to my little friends", is good, and gets better as it reaches its climax and denouement. If you merge the "best of" this album with the "best of" INVISIBLE MEN and got some perky boy-band to provide the vox, this might have actually made it to the Top 40!
Report this review (#25927)
Posted Thursday, December 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is another great album from "planet Genesis". It would make a great Genesis album, but alas, that was never to be. However, I am very happy that Anthony Phillips brought out this music. With all it's imperfections, it's still wonderfully warm, playfully tongue-in- cheek, occasionally dark, romantic - everything that Genesis was in their prime. One or two tracks could have their place on Wind And Wuthering or Trick of The Tail, but they all bear Anthony Phillips' trademark sound. Indispensable to any real Genesis fan.
Report this review (#25928)
Posted Monday, January 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I must say that as a Genesis fan, I was under the charm of The Geese And The Ghost but Ant's second album really blew me out ! I was and still am under its spell. It is completely and utterly romantic. It is similar to Trespass, though not as experimental, with lush keyboards and strings and the songs are very sensitive. I've rated it as a masterpiece for all true Genesis fans who also love the Trespass album. Ant sings. He has a very nice voice which is full of sensitivity. Take out your tissues !
Report this review (#25929)
Posted Monday, January 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Wise After The Event" was more like a singer/songwriter album for Anthony Phillips. Less interesting than his other album at that time, in my opinion, but still worth a listen. It's quite a long time since I listened to this one last time, so I can't make any further opinions on this one currently, but all I can say is; give this one a try if you like Anthony Phillips. Some good tracks, some slighly worse. 3/5
Report this review (#25930)
Posted Monday, January 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars For all Genesis Fans and Progfans this album is great. It has romantic somgs like Stagnation or Dusk on Tresspass as well as very powerful Songs like the Titlesong, which is my favorite song, but I won´t miss any other. For me, its the best Anthony Phillips Soloalbum, even a little bit better than Private Parts & Pieces I and The Geese and the Ghost.
Report this review (#25931)
Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars In fact the beautiful cover art in Phillips' albums means more to me than the music itself. The instrumental-oriented 'private parts' -compilation "Harvest of the Heart" contains the worst tracks in my LP collection and even the best of it feels somehow very introvert music. Maybe Ant could be nominated for the most introvert guy in rock. Beautiful as his albums are, I think they lack of something, why I would not regard them as "Lost Genesis Masterpieces".

All songs are sung by Ant himself and the album is more 'proggy', open- minded and energic than the rest I've heard. He's certainly no great singer - to some listeners indeed irritating - but it's not TOO big a problem in these nice songs with a kind of childish adventurous spirit - see the fairytale-like cover art by Peter Cross. Some songs are a bit dull (reason not to give 4*) but this album has a lot to enjoy especially for fans of early Genesis. Take a look at the list of musicians!

Report this review (#25933)
Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Second album by the former GENESIS guitarist. Unlike "The Geese & the Ghost", no GENESIS members are present (Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford), probably because GENESIS themselves were likely busy working on "...And Then There Were Three". "Wise After the Event" still is stuffed with familiar musicians. You have drummer Michael Giles, ex-KING CRIMSON, bassist John G. Perry, ex-CARAVAN, saxist Mel Collins, ex-KING CRIMSON and then a member of CAMEL, and Rupert Hine who was best known as a producer for such acts as The FIXX and SAGA. Names not familiar to me are Jeremy Gilbert and Robin Phillips.

Anthony Phillips handles all the vocals and while the album makes it sound like he don't handle the guitars, someone with the name of "The Vicar" is really Anthony Phillips (giving credit to ficticious characters, much like Ian Anderson trying to give credit to kid named Gerald Bostock on "Thick as a Brick" when in reality it was really Anderson himself), after all, the guitar style on this album is unmistakably him.

I find side one (that is if you own the vinyl album) much better than side two. Side two focuses way too much on orchestrated soft-rock ballads that do little for me, and it lacks the progressive edge of side one. Side one, on the other hand, sounds a whole lot like how GENESIS might have sounded like had Phillips stayed with them in the late '70s. "We're All As We Lie" is a wonderful opening, while "Birdsong" is unmistakably '70s, especially the guitar passages. "Moonshooter" is another one of those catchy songs, while the epic title track is without a doubt the highlight for me, especially with those dramatic guitar passages that unsurprisingly remind me of instrumental GENESIS (without Tony Banks' keyboards). Unsurprisingly a lot of side one reminds me of "A Trick of the Tail" or "Trespass", but without Phil Collins or Peter Gabriel handling the vocals.

Unfortunately I think Anthony Phillips really lost it on side two. Some of the music is downright boring, like the orchestrated "Regrets". "Greenhouse" has a more BEATLES-like feel. The rest pretty much escaped me. If the music on side two was on the same quality as side two, I'd give it a full five star rating and rate it as one of the finest solo albums to ever come from a GENESIS member. But still worth having for the first half.

Report this review (#35532)
Posted Tuesday, June 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album stands the test of time! Knowing the musical tastes of the average record buyer, this would no doubt be in the back of the bin, or in the "SUPER SAVER" section today, but alas, it is a diamond in the rough. Michael Giles from King Crimson, John G. Perry, Mel Collins, also from King Crimson and just about any other band/artist who wanted a top horn player, appear as a convincing and cohesive band here. ANTHONY PHILLIPS does the writing, singing, and guitar playing. Though he's a moderate to good singer, he would have done well to employ a vocalist who was as equally accomplished as the other musicians on this album. The music is top notch. The lyrics are brilliant and funny in places, contrived and awkward in others. While it's not really pure Prog Rock, it's a bona fide AOR rock/prog selection. Unfortunately for Ant, pop music was changing so rapidly during the period of this release, it got lost in shuffle. Why we had to suffer through the bilge of DEVO and Gary Newman instead of this, is something the human race will have to answer for in the final reckoning!
Report this review (#48204)
Posted Saturday, September 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars In addition, it is a work to which the construction level and the persuasive power increase.It is a quiet getting excited of a fantastic story and a soft melody and feelings etc. when the charm of his music is enumerated. It is a masterpiece of an expression of feelings rock.Beautiful work.
Report this review (#50683)
Posted Saturday, October 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars WATE has grown on me over the years. Try and try as I might, it never finds itself on HEAVY rotation on my CD player. But again, try and try- as I had - I cannot put this disc down for very long either. I just keep coming back to it. This album, and the follow-up SIDES were PHILLIPS' best honest-to-goodness attempts at making his presence felt in the dingy, wood-panelled-basement-world of 1970's proggers. It had the potential, primarily because it had the band to back it up (He assembles a terrific line-up here) - but it fell short of that aspiration for one primary reason. And that reason is ANTHONY PHILLIPS himself. He was THE integral musical member in the formative years of Genesis. But what he had that made Genesis so incredible was his subtlety, his sensitivity, his ability to inject the absolute perfect dose of beauty. That's his gift that very few in the music business share. As a result, while this album is wonderful, Ant is reaching outside his comfort zone. The result is good, but not as good if Ant was contributing his skills to another bands collaboration, or doing one of his own Phillips-esque masterpieces e.g. The Geese and the Ghost, Slow Dance, etc. No, his music is not destined for the wood-panelled basements of suburbia. It is more suited for celestial palaces. A good effort for a man called to much higher things.
Report this review (#56425)
Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#69092)
Posted Saturday, February 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Talk about a 1-2 punch. If this were a boxing match, you'd never have seen this coming. But what a combination. First, The Geese and the Ghost, and then this, Wise After the Event, his second solo effort. Not what people would have expected from Phillips. Nevertheless, it is a great treat. It is catchy, prog-ish, pop-ish, full-up band, complete songs, a working rhythm section. He brings great sessionmen on board for this far-reaching achievement, e.g., Mel Collins, Michael Giles, John G. Perry. The result is damn good music. While this is not the essence of AP, it is a side of him that I wish he would bring out a little more frequently. Not an all-time classic, but definately a great addition to any collection.
Report this review (#71508)
Posted Thursday, March 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Curiosity is a wonderful thing! I purchased this CD a few years back, not knowing who ANTHONY PHILLIPS was. I was thumbing through the Genesis section at a music shop and came across this. I asked the clerk why it was in with the Genesis CD's, and he told me that A. Phillips used to play guitar for them. So, I bought this along with Trespass. I'll leave me review of Trespass for another time. But this album is darn near perfection. Having said that, the first half is better than the second half. In fact, I think tracks 1 - 5 are unbelieveably good. My favorite song on the whole album is the title track - Wise After the Event. It is almost epic in length, at 8:45sec long. The final chorus of "Getting so much wiser . . . is so much fun" runs through my head all day after I've listened to it. That, and the harmonics he plunks out until the song fades. AWESOME! I also absolutely love the opening song "We're All as We lie", which is a great historical/fantasy romp, using plenty of puns from the game of golf. On the second half of the album, "Now what are they doing to my little friends" is the standout. It seems to be inspired by plight of animals hunted purely for sport. All in all, this CD is better than most of the stuff that has ever come out. It is thoughtful and accessible at the same time.
Report this review (#72400)
Posted Monday, March 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wise After the Event is the second solo album from original GENESIS guitarist and co- founder ANTHONY PHILLIPS. Here, he makes a break from musical styles found on his epic debut, THE GEESE AND THE GHOST. This album has much more pop/rock influence. Even though it is, in many ways, far more innocent than what the boys in Genesis had done since Ant's departure, it is still a pure delight! The music has punch, great hook lines, great lyrics, and tremenous musicianship. AP does all the vox himself. Believe it or not, his level of emotion and range on the song "Pulling Faces" is incredible. He also plays all guitars and keyboards under the pseudonym "The Vicar". The first four tracks on the album are about as strong as you can find anywhere. The last song, "squirrel" could easily have been omitted. Other than that, on this record, you will get to hear one of the subtlest (if you don't take into account the blistering guitar solos on "The Knfie"), most precise musicians have a go at a full-up pop/progrock album. It has it all. A must have for AP and Genesis fans.
Report this review (#87943)
Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars 9/10 Incredible

Far removed from the sound of "The Geese & The Ghost", Wise is still an incredible achievement. The music is very much ttrack by track, and there are no "Henry" runs to be found. Each song, though, is amazing, some greater than others, and the album is overall a total joy to listen to. There is some Genesis to be found on "Pulling Faces", and some of Ant's soundtrack style on "Regrets" (My favorite track). This is one of the few albums of Ant's which does not have a very "moody" feel to it. Each song is individually different and can be held by itself as a single. There is no real recurring theme that I could gather. All of this was kind of shocking when I first listened to this album, and I did not know how much I liked it at that time. I can safely say each of these songs is great if not some being perfect masterpieces. Ant shows a different side of things, but he is still providing greatness, highly recommended!

Report this review (#144340)
Posted Saturday, October 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Another brilliant effort from Genesis' original guitarist, this recording features the support of former King Crimson drummer Michael Giles, John Perry (Caravan) on bass, Mel Collins (King Crimson, Camel) on saxophone and flutes. Phillips handles the vocals and under the fictitious name of the Vicar, handles piano as well. There is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to rich lyrics and high quality musicianship. The music is subtle and graceful. This is a great place to start for those looking to explore Phillips' music. There is a tremendous sense of aestetics and sensitivity to his guitar playing that is inimitable.
Report this review (#152036)
Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#243650)
Posted Thursday, October 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Ant's most coherent solo album

Wise After The Event is Anthony "Ant" Phillips' second solo album. In many ways it is more Genesis-like than his solo debut The Geese And The Ghost from the previous year. While most of Ant's solo albums (and there are a few!) are instrumental, or mostly instrumental, and usually focuses on only a single instrument at a time (normally acoustic guitar, but sometimes piano or synthesiser), Wise After The Event leans heavily on vocals and even features some drums, bass, electric guitars, and keyboards. As such, this album is very unrepresentative of Ant's solo career as it is more of a band album than almost anything else he has done as a solo artist. Another exception though is his next album, 1979's Sides, which has even more of a Rock edge (at least on the second half of that album). I wish he has done more in this rocker vein instead of dabbling in Classical and electronic/ambient music.

As many other reviewers have pointed out, Phillips is not a great vocalist. But I find the vocals acceptable. We have here some Beatles-esque, quirky Pop Rock with some Symphonic leanings. I hear some of Caravan's whimsy and a bit of Van Der Graaf Generator in the sometimes (intentionally?) off-key vocals. There are no stand out tracks, but I think that Wise After The Event is Ant's most complete and coherent album.

This is not a great album, but it is a charming little album that makes a good addition in conjunction with The Geese And The Ghost and (the second side of) Sides.

Report this review (#256122)
Posted Monday, December 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars The debut album from this little known musician was quite satisfactory for the genuine "Genesis" fan that I am. It was quite close to the wonderful "Trespass" atmosphere and I rated it with four stars.

This sophomore album is quite different.

At times more confidential like during the first two songs, at times more commercial like during "Moonshooter" which sounds at times as "Your Own Special Way". The feel is different while the title track is being played: to me, it sounds as a mix of pop music and "Supper's Ready". Not bad at all, but quite weird.

Still, this work is quite a left down in comparison to "Geese & the Ghost". Long pieces are alien, symphonic moments are scarce, but some prog friends are giving a hand (Giles, Collins).

But some attempts to sound like the Fab four are quite alien to prog to my opinion ("Regrets" or "Greenhouse"). At times, some songs also sound as being written by Jeff Lynne (but he was so close from the Fab four in terms of song writing?).

In all, this album is a good ballad and traditional soft rock one. Nothing too prog here, though. Average should I say. Five out of ten which I will upgrade to three stars since the rating options are VERY limited on this site.

Report this review (#312097)
Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars No one, and no album, captivates the awesome power and beauty of the 12-string guitar so well as this little gem. Yes, the ballad format can start to 'get old' after the fourth or fifth song, but, taken in isolation, each song provides quite a masterful and sensitive glimpse into one man's--a very gifted artist's--very deep emotions. AP has never really received his just desserts despite a career of prolific and fairly constant output--output at a consistently high quality and creativity. Where he has fallen short of fame is in the fact that his music--as well as his stories--has rarely matched the current expectations of pop culture; Ant always seems to come from and occupy a world quite all his own--and is quite content to do so, it would appear. I have always admired that 'devil may care' attitude in Anthony Phillips. This album stands up exceedingly well over time--especially in the newly re-mastered form. Try it--if only one song at a time. I think it will get under your skin and haunt you with its melancholic beauty. Wise After The Event is, to my mind, kind of like a musical slice of Emily Dickinson. Innocent, maybe naive, and, though ever so personal, filled with gems to which we can all relate. Though I find each and every song on this album extraordinary in their unique ways, I would recommend starting with "Regrets," "Paperchase" or "Now What (Are They Doing to My Little Friends)." You may find Ant's tendency to match two seemingly unmatchable parts into the standard ABACAB song format a little grating at first but give it time, you'll get used to it, learn to accept this idiosyncratic song-building approach because this artist's sincere commitment to his craft comes shining through with such stunning, subtle beauty and authentic sensitivity. Even Ant's humor (which can be quite constant) is special. I know I've spent hours of my life just pouring over his album covers--especially the ones created by his incredibly talented friend, Peter Cross. (Who has a career well worth looking into all his own!) It might take some time to get used to Ant's unique voice--and the way it seems to be deeply imbedded within the music--but, again, it is, IMHO, well worth it. A collection of masterful song gems that I can only give four stars because, though it has many prog folk and crossover elements and uses many innovative (for that time) recording techniques, it does not quite fit my definition of what's 'proggy.' Though I love many AP albums, this one is one of my favorites.
Report this review (#406676)
Posted Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars I have bought this album just after The Geese and the Ghost, but unfortunately the vinyl was out of shape so I had to return it to the shop and they didn't have another copy, so I took more than 15 years before listening to it on a CD re-edition.

The impression that I initially had on my outshaped vinyl was of a good album still very Genesis-like as its predecessor and more or less I wasn't wrong, but there's more than just Genesis like stuff.

"We're All As We Lie" could be put as bonus track on Selling England By The Pound, but the high pitch 12 strings guitar adds a folk touch to the song.

"Birdsong" starts acoustic in the vein of The Geese and The Ghost but the arrangement is very interesting as bass, keyboard and drums alternate to the acoustic parts. It's properly symphonic prog and a song of a kind on which Phil Collins' voice wouldn't have sounded bad.

"Moonshooter" is too pop and mellow for my tastes. It's a slow sweet song still very acoustic and not too different from Anthony's standard songs, but I find it quite boring. I don't want to say that is bad, only that I don't like it.

"Wise After The Event" was geometrically close to the centre of the vinyl so it was the only track that I have listened on my first approach to the album. It has open chords and a complex structure, like a "short suite". Another Genesis song out of Genesis.

"Pulling Faces" is more rock in the Genesis mean of the word, but it's only a moment. "Regrets" follows it with just piano vocals and a bit of keyboards. I think that the presence of Rupert Hine in the lineup is evident on this song as it sounds similar to Camel of the Breathless period at least before the symphonic orchestral part of this song.

"Greenhouse" brings us back again to the original Genesis mood while "Paperchase" is more specifically an Anthony Phillips song of a kind that will be easy to find on the Private Parts and Pieces series.

"Now What" continues on this line. Genesis fans will surely not be disappointed, I'm not a great fan so I find it a bit boring, but again, it's question of personal tastes only. Each song in this album is good, it's the entire album that I find too long, or too full of similar songs.

In this sense is evident that "Squirrel" is a CD edition bonus track. I'm not sure that the lineup is the same of the rest of the album. Also the song itself is darker than the others, closer to my tastes but misplaced.

My opinion is that the excellent lineup has been a little wasted. This album doesn't differ too much from others that don't feature Giles, Perry, Mel Collins or Rupert Hine. However it's a good album and I can understand why it's rated quite high on PA. A Genesis fan will find here the music and the atmospheres that he/she likes and it's all very well played thanks also to the impressive lineup.

I can't give it more than 3 stars, but I can't say that it's not good.

Report this review (#460985)
Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars Anthony Phillips second album "Wise After The Event" shows him doing a song-based album, a departure from his excellent debut. His management encouraged him to take this route in order to establish himself as a solo performer in his own right. It's interesting that Steve Hackett also moved from that GENESIS album based style on his second release. In both cases I think they pale when compared to their debuts, but that's coming from the mind of a Progressive music fan of course. I do like this album and I don't mind Ant's vocals, but part way through the second half of this record when we get some orchestration i'm done. Cool to see that Michael Giles and Mel Collins both formerly of KING CRIMSON play on here. John G Perry (CARAVAN) plays bass and Rupert Hine has his greasy hands all over this album in producing and playing on it.

"We're All As We Lie" is acoustic guitar a beat and vocals. I like this one because it reminds me of early PINK FLOYD. "Birdsong And Reprise" is more acoustic guitar and reserved vocals. Synths 2 1/2 minutes in then it turns fuller briefly as contrasts continue.

"Moonshooter" is acoustic guitar and reserved vocals. It's fuller before 1 1/2 minutes with drums and piano. "Wise After The Event" might be the best track on here. Atmosphere to start then strummed guitar before a minute the drums followed by vocals. Piano is next after 2 minutes. Nice bass here too. I'm reminded of GENESIS at times.

"Pulling Faces" has some rare energy then it settles some when the vocals arrive. It picks back up as the tempo continues to shift. "Regrets" is my least favourite with the orchestration. "Green House" is again vocals, acoustic guitar and a beat but it turns fuller quickly.

"Paperchase" is mellow as reserved vocals join in. It kicks in after a minute then settles as contrasts continue. "Now What (Are They Doing To My Little Friends?)" has some mellotron on it and themes are repeated.The best song of the second half right here. "Squirrel" reminds me that this morning as I was just getting back from walking the dog my cat was chasing a squirrel off of our front lawn.This is mellow with vocals and piano throughout.

For me this is 3.5 stars on the nose. I debated in bumping it up to 4 stars but I just can't do it right now, especially when I rated "The Geese And The Ghost" with 4 stars and this is a definite step down from that album. Still this is the kind of music that's perfect for a lazy Summer's afternoon.

Report this review (#476956)
Posted Tuesday, July 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Like many of the great whimsical prog albums, some aspects of Wise After the Event may not reveal themselves until many listens later, and some moments may even come across as being dull at first. As with the Genesis albums it is often compared to, you really have to sit down and examine what's going on to fully understand it. The most diffucult thing to grasp for most will probably be the vocals, sung by Phillips, partly because they are relatively low in the mix, and partly because he doesn't sing with the dynamic power that some lead singers use. He has a very soft, whimsical voice, suited for telling stories, but it's very musical and expressive, and there are some absolutely stunning passages, especially in the tearjerking "Regrets", and the subtly complex title track where you can hear a man just pouring his heart into the microphone. I'm thinking in particular of the part in the title track where the strummed rhythm part drops out and the atmosphere changes to an orchestral and keyboardy string-pluck climb as Anthony applies volume swell-like crecendos to his sung notes to bring to the music emotional tension that is more commonly reserved for classical pieces. And if the part in "Regrets" with the "shouting out in the dark fo you to love me" and "cutting life from the hopes of an outstretched hand" doesn't make your goosebumps think they've seen a ghost, then you have no soul. There's also some great singing on "Pulling Faces", and the last track (on the vinyl; I have not heard the CD version, so I'm not counting "Squirrel" in this review), but what stands out most about this album are the arrangements. Even the simplest songs on here are fully embellished to a truly astonishing degree, lending much reward to repeated listening and close attention. The sound is essentially built around a folky layered 12-string foundation, but with a full band including dark synth washes, delicate pianos, and plenty of orchestral instruments. The feel of the sound could be compared to the kind of folk-prog with space/psychedelic tendencies that are on Selling England By the Pound, except this album stays closer to the calm side of that album, with the exception of "Pulling Faces", by far the most "rocking" track, with some very loud electric guitars, some nice tempo changes, and superb Michael Giles drumming. "We're All As We Lie" is probably the most ornate, with an expertly mixed cornocopia of instruments including what sounds to me like backwards sitar (although there's no sitar in the liner notes - either The Vicar is counting the sitar as one of the guitars listed, or he's just shaping the guitar tones in his usual way), tuned percussion, brilliant saxophone from Mel Collins, and a melody that begs to be sung along to, all overtop of the most perfectly inviting 12-string part that makes for a highly memorable album intro. At first, I thought "Birdsong" and "Moonshooter" sounded too similar to each other, but closer inspection revealed "Birdsong" to be slightly more complex and progressive, with "Moonshooter" being more of a soft-psychedelic pop song, reminding me a little of an early Pink Floyd delicacy like "Fearless" or "Fat Old Sun." I love the pause right before the chorus where the laid-back drum part joins and the chord chages to a minor V, and Anthony Phillips sings the song's name into the gorgeous melody that follows with its lush background, and the dreamy "carry on shooting your own moons" part after that. As light-hearted and whimsical as much of Wise After the Event is, the closing song "Now What (Are They Doing To My Little Friends)?" is a very serious purpose piece speaking out against the sport of hunting. Only Anthony Phillips could have taken such a topic and done it this beautifully and effectively. I would imagine that even just reading the lyrics (with choruses sung by God, and verses sung by the hunted animals) could make even the most avid hunter at least consider a new perspective. The music and vocal part only add that much more convincing plea to the song's worthy cause. Tying everything together, we have a short untitled instrumental at the end of side one with themes from the closing piece that foreshadows the album's rather dark ending, and the cover art is almost as interesting as the music - after viewing it, you will not be surprised once hearing the sound - very fitting. Please give this album a try if you haven't heard it - there is much to love here.
Report this review (#505760)
Posted Friday, August 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Like his former bandmates in Genesis were trying at the time, Anthony Phillips attempted to shift over into a more accessible style with this album, though unfortunately the results are rather obscured by dubious production decisions. Phillips takes on the lead vocals himself this time (on The Geese and the Ghost he had relied on a little help from Phil Collins), and unfortunately his singing voice isn't up to the task. Worse yet, to my ears his voice seems to have had some variety of studio processing to it, making his vocals particularly distracting. And overall, the album seems mixed to obscure rather than showcase his guitar talents, which is what we're here to listen to in the first place. Something of a misstep, this one.
Report this review (#556821)
Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Following a promotional tour through several US radio stations, Phillips moved on with the writing and recording process of the ''The Geese & the Ghost'' follow up.His second solo album was produced by Rupert Hine (who also participated in the work) and featured some great guest musicians such as Michael Giles and Mel Collins of King Crimson fame or ex-Caravan John G.Perry on bass.It was entitled ''Wise After the Event'', eventually released in May 78', originally on Arista label for the UK market.

While the new album holds plenty of similarities with Phillips' debut, simultaneously it sees also a turn of the former Genesis mastermind towards more British Folk-oriented orchestrations with limited electric parts and big time acoustic passages from start to the end.However the sound in another Phillips album remains dramatic yet elegant with very rich orchestrations and strong backup instrumentation.His smooth vocals remain definitely a trademark of his musical identity and the music still unfolds a strong GENESIS flavor, as the listener can find huge amounts of piano interludes, dreamy moog synth parts and lovely light symphonic textures throughout.Next to them there is also a strong psychedelic feeling in the vein of PINK FLOYD, as on the long eponymous track, featuring Phillips' incredible singing parts, or the sweet THE BEATLES-influenced ballad ''Greenhouse''.Some tracks lean also towards Orchestral Rock stylings in a late-60's/early-70's style with extended string sections as performed by THE MOODY BLUES or PROCOL HARUM.

Soft Progressive/Art/Folk Rock with impressive lyrical moments is what Phillips chose to perform in ''Wise After the Event'' and, while the album does not match the great inspiration of its precussor, this is still a very nice work of lyrical Art Rock.Strongly recommended, this man was definitely talented and way overlooked back at the time...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#823488)
Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 11/15P.: The original album? A decently-conceived record of folk- and classic-inspired art pop made unlistenable by inadequate vocals and muddy production. The bonus CD of the reissue? One hour of stunning progressive rock, presented in mostly instrumental form and in finest sound quality. The only case I know in which the bonus material makes a record an essential buy!


In 1977 Anthony Phillips - the pockets filled with old post-Genesis and more recent song ideas - intended to release an album in the unusual LP+EP format, consisting of songs linked by short classical/experimental 'link pieces'. Phillips' task was to a) sing all of the songs himself (encouraged by producer Rupert Hine) and b) to transform his classical ambitions into more accessible and contemporary rock music.

Many people complain that Anthony Phillips cannot sing. I rather think that Anthony Phillips in the mid-1970s simply didn't know how to use his singing voice. On this album he tries to sing art pop, romantic ballads, psychedelic surrealistic tracks and operatic storytelling stuff. You learn soon that it's the psychedelic and the art pop material which Phillips nails (in his own special way, of course!). Unfortunately the ballads and the folky and poetic storytelling make up the majority of the album, and Phillips sings all of the lead and backing vocals on all of the 9 tracks. The intention was to give this album more of Phillips' own personality. In a certain way this idea worked out quite well, but nonetheless this album is a tough listen, particularly since Phillips tends to mistake emotional singing with pathetic singing.

Musically, Anthony Phillips - after publishing his pastoral English masterwork The Geese & The Ghost - in 1977 pursued a direction similar to his former Genesis bandmates: shorter songs, more polysynths and string keyboards and more autumnal opacity in sound. All in all Wise after the Event isn't too far away from Genesis' And Then There Were Three..., but progressive rock listeners might feel more comfortable with the former since Phillips wouldn't want to abandon the Bach-inspired chord progressions and his weird twists in rhythm and arrangement. The Genesis correlations are most obvious in the balladesque pop songs like the really good Moonshooter, in fact one of the three genuinely great cuts on this album with a wonderful chorus, delicate electric guitar counterpoints and the kind of 12-string guitar patterns which already graced Trespass. I can really imagine Phil Collins singing this song, but I cannot imagine his voice would fit in better than Ant's.

The title track is utterly successful as a paranoid journey through an apocalyptic ocean, or something like that - the story behind the lyrics is laden with mythological, historic and simply absurd references. A pretty stark contrast to the previous song, indeed. There are huge walls of reverberated electric 12-string guitars, vocals which sound otherwordly and surreal - and best of all some of the vocal parts and the lengthy instrumental middle part are constructed geniously around the kind of music Bach invented with his famous Praeludia for church organ. Listen to it by yourself, the part at 5:36 in which one acoustic guitar flutters around rapidly around the background of timpani and more than four simultaneous electric guitar arpeggios is one of Phillips' most menacing musical statements.

We're All As We Lie is the third of the really good recordings on the album, a pop song with a (positively) unwieldy after-chorus part ('getting wiser, so much wiser') and a chuntering sitar track rolling along in the chorus. It might be the closest Phillips gets to folk during the course of the album, I mean real folk a la Lal & Mike Waterson, because of the relaxed acoustic finger-picking and the rumbling playing of the rhythm section. Mel Collins, at this time playing with Camel, performs a brief solo on the soprano saxophone which succeeds in adding more colour to the track.

Birdsong works really well, too. This time the gentle vocals sound a bit like George Harrison with a slight taste of glam rock; they sound really good, anyway, wasn't it for the tinny sound production in the vocal parts. The sound is, interestingly, muscular enough in the hawk's throne.. parts as soon as the lush string machine pads appear, so it seems that this peculiar sound in the vocal parts was generated on purpose. It does make the listening more strainful than necessary, and again we have an example why this album doesn't savor its resources fully. In the second part of the song Anthony Phillips plays a rare electric guitar solo, and this solo - played from the second third until the very end - is a really tight performance on top of a chord progression which is strikingly suitable for that purpose. Not a lot of good acoustic guitarist are also good electric guitarists, but the timing and feeling in the bendings and hammer-on runs is really good.

There are also not a lot of good guitarists who are also good pianists. Anthony Phillips, as his romantic composition Regrets proves, is. It's a reflective and melancholy piece of English classical music which, in its compositional fundament, is really good. In this piece Phillips has the courage to mix his vocals in the complete foreground, vocals singing a song in which he composed both the music and the lyrics, and vocals subject to any form of positive or negative criticism - this is honesty I appreciate. This time it's the string arrangements which is a bit problematic; it feels as if it was imposed on the grand piano, taking the piano the air or space which it would have needed. Squirrel, the second piano-dominated track, is a different affair. It consists of grand piano and Anthony Phillips singing about a grey squirrel. 'Squirrel, friend, I see you lying and there's nothing I can do to bring you back.'... the lyrics are a drag and pretentious, the vocals are bad, this is a song which I do not ever want to listen to.

Pulling Faces, a nervous but actually quite alright piece, suffers a lot from the production. The most memorable part is the aloudly rising march in the beginning of the song which is repeated from time to time and which is similar in mood to Genesis' Down and Out, but more on the experimental and Wagnerian side. Anthony Phillips is in fine vocal form, but the vocals (as well as, in fact, everything else) are covered by layers of synthesizers and electric guitars. I cannot point out what exactly has been done wrong while producing it, but it just doesn't feel right. As I said, the song itself is pretty satisfying. Phillips again builds the pre-chorus on those Bach-inspired chords, and in fact it's the same towering harmony like in Pink Floyd's Celestial Voices (G-C-A-D-B-e).

Greenhouse anticipates the glam-rock-inspired pop of Phillips' Sides album. To my ears it is too quirky and whimsical for its own sake, but it's okay.

At last there's Now What (Are They Doing to My Little Friends)?, a longer opus criticising seal hunting from the point of view of God. I appreciate green activism a lot, but with verses like I make everything and it all dies in the end it drifts away into a fairly childish pretentiousness. I mean, what's the point in writing four stanzas from the perspective of four different animals which live their lives and then are shot by hunters? Killing animals in order to sell their fur is a dreadful crime, but these naive lyrics don't do this topic any justice. Furthermore Phillips tries (too) hard to put a lot of emotion in his singing and to depict the resignation (in the stanzas) and anger (in the chorus) about the huntsman's actions, but it just sounds whiny and dreary. Even the instrumentally beautiful outro is stuffed all the way through with this type of singing - I can't listen to this track in spite of its good intention.


Until that point this would make a balance of about three stars. But thankfully, Voiceprint Records reissued this album as a 2CD set in 2007. Listening to CD 1 is - at least to me - a really exhausting task because of the strained singing, the frequent and audible incertitude about what the record company wants to hear, the brimmed arrangement and the good compositions ruined by a predilection for bombast and meaningfulness.

Now lay CD 2 into your CD player, relax and allow the music to captivate you.

Similarly to Steve Wilson's recent remix jobs the responsible persons in this case tried to collect kind of an 'alternate' Wise After The Event, presenting every song in at least one different version. In fact, the realization on hand works out even better than The Alternate Crimson King, which sounds a little droughty to my ears. In the case of Wise After The Event 'different' doesn't mean that you get single versions, extended play-out versions or a 'third lead guitar in the foreground' remix. These guys really worked around in the basic substance, prepared and cleaned up demos, created instrumental mix-downs of the album tracks with previously muted instrumental tracks revived and experimented with the conceived link pieces. It seems each little track and each little guitar counterpoint has been listened to and examined carefully in order to guarantee that the alternate versions really allow an as different as possible perspective on the compositions.

A special point of interest for the historically interested listener are the Cottage Tapes, a quarter-hour demo session recorded live in a portable studio by - yes, really! - Anthony Phillips, Michael Giles of King Crimson and John Perry of Caravan, recorded by Rupert Hine of Quantum Jump. They also appear on the original album as Phillips' band, but there you don't recognize their personal styling as well as on these recordings. The Giles-Perry constellation had already proved successful on Kevin Ayers' Confessions of Doctor Dream and Perry's Sunset Wading, and so the music really sounds like a mixture of McDonald&Giles, Caravan (1973 era) and early Genesis. Michael Giles is always on the cue, really upfront and present with his amazing fills; the hi-hat shimmers in every available overtone harmonics, the snare has Giles' characteristic sharp attack, the bass drum rather stays in the background, but still gives the necessary kick - awesome. John Perry plays more restrainedly, but brings in a fair amount of jazz with playful McCartney-like licks in the 12+ frets and a Motownish low end response. Anthony Phillips switches between Spanish (acoustic) guitar in We're All As We Lie and the 12-string electric guitar in Moonshooter and Pulling Faces. Without further beating around the bushes: the sound quality of these demos is many times better than on the original album, the playing is stellar and even without the vocals these three inventive musicians allow an exciting listening experience without any hints of monotony or boredom.

Secondly there are the remixes of the album tracks, and it's the longer or the more piano-based songs which were given this treatment: the title track, Now What?, Squirrel and Regrets.

Wise After The Event in its new mix sounds like another part of the Cottage Tapes - amazing clarity of sound, less mayhem in the arrangements and more clarity to the respective instruments. This time it's not Michael Giles who profits most from the mix, but John Perry and the lots of nice flourishes around his more solid backing track. Michael Giles is engaged in a pretty straight and bottom-heavy drum rhythm in the vein of Ian Wallace's stoic playing on the Islands song; it's fairly unusual to accompany such a piece with such a rhythm, but he nails it - again!

Regrets and Squirrel appear as stand-alone grand piano solos, and both of them are really good - even Squirrel which I didn't like in its vocal version. Regrets is featured sans the orchestra and highlights how both accurate and heartfelt Anthony's piano playing had become. This is genuine classical piano music - it's definitely stuff to listen to concentratedly, and the brilliant sound lets every single note shine - but it's immediate classical music which captivates you without further analysis, simply by feeling it. However good the orchestra might have been arranged (I'm not the right one to judge) they distract from the core of this song. Although I listen to this version more often than to the vocal version, I'm nonetheless glad that the original version exists - the instrumental version is more beautiful, but I still hold the vocal version in high esteem because of its honesty.

The biggest suprise is Now What, which in its instrumental form could be Anthony's most beautiful recording he made using predominantly keyboards. Many people don't know that this track originally featured major overdubs of Mellotron choirs which were (for whatever reason) deleted before release. I suspect that there are also Mellotron strings, but since there are credited string synthesizers it's often hard to distinguish them. A lot of music from the progressive rock genre draws influence from baroque music (Ant's does as well), but you rarely listen to someone making an electrified form of romantic music - apart from Anthony Phillips and Tony Banks. And indeed you find in these piece lots of the guitar and keyboard arpeggios which Phillips (along with Banks and Rutherford) also provided for Genesis in their early years, there are the unusual chord changes played by lovely analogue keyboards and some hints of hammered dulcimer ('zither'), an instrument whose distinctive and brilliant sound - either in its true form or faithfully imitated by a piano - appeared in some Genesis recordings, too. This, along with the instrumental multi-tracked guitar demos of Paperchase and Birdsong, is absolutely the right music for those who enjoyed Genesis' Trespass and Anthony's first Private Parts & Pieces records as much as me. Paperchase is greatly atmospheric, and apart from a neat late-70s organ in the background it's made up of guitar tracks only: acoustic 12-string arpeggios, acoustic guitar strumming, ticking electric guitar counterpoints and a fuzzed Telecaster weeping gently in the intro and the second half of the recording.

I like the Interstellar Plane demo of Greenhouse because of the pretty rough electric guitar which appears somewhere around the middle, but the vocals and the slightly sub-standard sound quality reveal that this is really a genuine demo. A nice addition it is notwithstanding!

The emotional piano piece Magic Garden, the minimalist guitar piece Chinaman and We're All As We Lie Link are rudiments of the link idea which Anthony Phillips had. All three of the tracks were later used for the second Private Parts And Pieces record in different versions, the We're All As We Lie Link (essentially the chorus of the song played repeatedly) in reversed form under a different name. The format of the 'link' is, when you think about it, actually Anthony Phillips' own invention; I'm not too versed in classical music, but a 'link' as a short piece showing a clear musical identity, without being just a filler or a piece subjacent to the surrounding tracks, is something I have never found anywhere else. I do feel reminded both of Brian Eno's ambient collection Another Green World and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, but Phillips' links don't feel like stopping places on a walk through a gallery at all. The links are primarily of historical interest, but they are indeed historically interesting. Adding material like this to a CD release reveals that the person planning the reissue has really thought about the album, its context and the music.

I don't care a lot about the We're All As We Lie single version, but this is only one single version whilst other record labels sell reissues with single versions as the only bonus track. So this shan't even be a slight criticism of the reissuers' work.

Taken together, the bonus material and the wonderful reissue - including liner notes which aren't as extensive as those of the The Byrds remasters, but which are great enough - are able to elevate an exciting, but bulky album of 3-star quality to a total rating of 4-stars. I would only have liked some printed lyrics in the booklet. Friends of the early Genesis and Anthony Phillips' other solo albums should therefore get this reissue at all costs, especially if they did not like the original album.

Report this review (#830426)
Posted Saturday, September 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars The music of this album would seriously benefit if it better corresponded to the cover design. Since The Geese & The Ghost, artworks for most of the early albums by Anthony Phillips were done by Peter Cross, all in the manner of illustration for a fairy-tale for children. This manner perfectly correlates to Phillips' musical style, always refined, often romantic, sometimes 'toy', with implied reference to magic. But Wise After The Event sounds much less magic and fairytale than its cover looks. Most of the tracks seem too plain and straight, and can faintly meet a demanding listener's expectations, especially in comparison to the magnificent debut album. Perhaps side one (tracks 1 to 4) is more uniform and therefore more disappointing, while the second half of the album sounds more intricate.
Report this review (#1057374)
Posted Thursday, October 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars This is really strange. Genesis original guitarrist´s first solo album (1977´s The Geese And The Ghost) is so much praised here and elsewhere. Still, I never thought it was all that good. However, his second work alone is hardly ever mentioned at all and when I first heard it recently I just fell in love with it immediately. Ok, it´s a much more "song" oriented work, and he does sing a lot on it. Phillips does not have a great voice, but it fits well his material and is surprisingly pleasant. A big surprise for me, since anyone who knows me is quite aware of how much demanding I am at the vocal department. Besides, the songs are just great, specially the first side of the old vinyl, where the more progressive material lays moslty. It reminds me a lot of early Genesis with its chimming 12 string acoustic guitar and gentle, pastoral feel of stuff from Tresspass or From Genesis To Revelation. A real joy to hear.

"Second side" of the CD is quite different, with lots of orchestration and a more commercial feel on them. That doesn´t mean they are bad, or even in the common sense of the "commercial" tag: they are just a little more accessible then the first side, but that´s about it. the overall quality is great, and it seems like two very different works put together side by side, even if Paperchachase does still sound like an Genesis out take. There are some outside help from various top prog players like Mel Collins, John Perry and Micheal Giles, but you´ll would never know they´re featured here had not for the sleeve credits. It´s very much an Anthony Philips solo work all along and a there´s not much room for long intrumental passages, if any.. This time there is no impout from his old collegues from Genesis either.

I can´t really point ou t a highlight. Maybe the aforementioned Paperchase should be mentioned. But I ended up loving this CD very much from beginning to end. It´s gentle, it´s fine and all the tracks have its own charm. Production could be a little better, but I guess it was adequate for the time (strangely it has a very similar low quality like all early Genesis stuff).

Rating: I guess it´s closer to 3.5 than to 4. But for personal taste reasons, I´ll give an extra half star. If you like the song oriented material of the Genesis first two albums, this is an excellent pick.

Report this review (#1137234)
Posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars This one is a more poppy, calmer and reflective effort by Phillips, also the most melancholic effort. Compositional qualities are set above playing virtuosity. Tracks are accessible.

Vocals play a prominent role and unlike most of the reviewers, I think they suit this kind of music well, although Phillips has a limited vocal and stylistic expression.

The first track is very much reminiscent of Genesis and unlike most of others, sounds happy. The next track has a fine electric guitar solo, not very often found on AP's albums.

The title tracks starts off monotonously but evolves into a Genesis acoustic/electric guitar intermezzo. Another highlight is a great Moog ending.

"Pulling faces" seems to be too ambitiour for AP's vocals, also this track feels to be out of place on this album. "Regrets" offers piano as a replacemen for acoustic guitar.

It keeps developing and features a dramatic and elaborate symphonic section in the middle with orchestra.

"Greenhouse" sounds more optimistic and closer to Beatles than Genesis. "Now what they are ..." belongs to the saddest songs in AP's canon. Emotional vocal, introspective atmosphere

and dramatic chorus section with synths, piano and acoustic guitar joined by Banksian piano lines + synths transform the listener into the wonderful world of Genesis between 1975-1978.

A very pleasant album but not for a progger, a pop/rock music lover will find more to find here. I like listening to this album when experiencing a low.

Report this review (#2242779)
Posted Saturday, August 10, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars While Anthony Phillips' debut record The Geese & the Ghost was a proper progressive rock epic, Wise After the Event appears to be Philips attempt at making safer single-ready pop music. However, given Phillips' less than stellar singing voice, it's hard to imagine a record like this every truly gaining mainstream notoriety.

Yet despite the more modest song writing and even more meek vocal performance, there's still plenty to love about this record. The songs are largely characterized by well-produced lush 12-string guitar and piano chord progressions. Surprisingly, Anthony's vocal delivery adds a bit of psychedelic flavor to the album, particularly on tracks like 'Moonshooter' and 'Wise After the Event.' The song 'Goodbye Moonmen' from Rick and Morty season 2 is a pretty close modern-day, and probably more well known, comparison.

The songs do kind of bleed together and therefore make it difficult to focus on them straight through. But honestly this record is absolutely perfect for spacing out on a warm summer afternoon outside anyway.

Report this review (#2413387)
Posted Tuesday, June 16, 2020 | Review Permalink
5 stars 𝗔𝗻𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗻𝘆 𝗣𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗽𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝗺𝗲

If Klaatu and Genesis had come together to write Trespass part 2, that would be exactly what this album sounds like. Anthony Phillips (ex-Genesis) has written another fantastic record, The Geese & The Ghost was a wonderful prog-folk release, but I feel the description at the beginning of this review is pretty accurate. Another thing I'm going to point out is that Anthony Phillips really does sound like a singer from Klaatu, I really do enjoy his voice and it does fit the albums mood (not to mention the album cover is gorgeous). The harmonies on this album are very well produced, well performed, and well mixed. Songs like 'Birdsong and Reprise', 'Moonshooter', 'Wise After The Event', and 'Greenhouse' are the standout tracks, all very well written tracks that all sound like they could fit on Trespass and/or a Klaatu record. 'Pulling Faces', 'Paperchase', and 'Now What' are also fantastic tracks, they fit on the album, and I just wish that this album just more material to praise.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable listen from ex-Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips, most of his albums are very underrated and I find that he deserves a bunch more credit than he is getting.

Report this review (#2415323)
Posted Friday, June 26, 2020 | Review Permalink

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