also by Genesis:
Genesis's first album with drummer Phil Collins on the mike surprised a lot of people who thought they'd fall apart without the strong personality of Peter Gabriel. It has some nice musical moments, showing that the band could write perfectly decent tunes on their own. Phil's singing seems to be turned down in the rather muddy production, but heck, he would become a lot more confident in the future...
The music of the songs is consistently middling-to-good, if not amazing. "Dance on a Volcano", and "Los Endos" have some energetic band playing driven by Steve Hackett's guitar, with lots of off-beat rhythmic chops and changes. On the other hand we have keyboard player Tony Banks asserting his presence, swathing songs like "Entangled", "Ripples" and "Mad Man Moon" in layers of mellotron and piano. "Robbery, Assault and Battery", despite some toe-curling lyrics about stripy-jumper-clad criminals, has a crazy uninhibited Moog solo in the middle. It also has some nice jazzy drumming by Collins, who was dabbling in fusion with his band Brand X in this era. The title track is a catchy single based on a nice McCartney-style lilting tune.
But it's the lyrics and the vaguely silly fairy-tale theme that let this one down, and is where Peter Gabriel is really missed. The sleeve has some rather irritating pencil drawings of the songs' eccentric English characters, and all the lyrics are in an olde-worlde type script. Tony Banks appears to be the main lyrical culprit, these morality tales are annoyingly English public-school and often at the standard of adolescent poetry. Apart from the already-mentioned "Robbery...", "Mad Man Moon" is probably the worst.
November 16, 2003