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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Genesis

Invisible Touch

Review by Gary Hill

Certainly this is one of the most pure pop discs Genesis ever produced. That makes it a real thorn in the side to the prog head Genesis fans. For my money, though, it’s a good album. There’s some pretty pure progressive rock here, some proggy pop songs and two purely disposable ballads. All in all that makes it far from great, but well in the good category.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Invisible Touch

This cut is pretty typical of the energetic side of the pop meets prog era of Genesis. It might be a little predictable, but it’s also a good tune that holds up well, even many years later.

Tonight, Tonight, Tonight

Take the percussion based sound of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight”. Blend in some old Genesis and you’ve got a good idea of this track. It feels like it could have fit quite nicely on Duke. I like this track a lot. It’s moody and mysterious and yet catchy at the same time. That’s a hard balance to pull off. The little electronic music section mid-track doesn’t do a lot for me, though.

Land of Confusion

Say what you like about this track, but it was cool in the day and it’s cool now – with or without the video. There’s actually a decent amount of old school Genesis on this, delivered up with a catchy pop rock sensibility. I really think this is still a killer tune and it’s a highlight of the set.

In Too Deep

And the train comes off the tracks with this schmaltzy ballad. It’s just too precious and formulaic. Phil Collins’ vocal performance is evocative, but not powerful enough to save this. There’s a reason it gets played on light hits radio.

Anything She Does

This is much better. While at its core it’s still pretty much a pop rock song, there are some definite prog moments here. This isn’t the most accessible thing on show here, but it is one of the most progressive rock oriented ones.

Domino: In the Glow of the Night/The Last Domino
This eleven minute mini epic is the first real nod to the old school Genesis fans. It’s also one of the highlights of the set. This is progressive rock, make no mistake. It could have just about fit onto Wind and Wuthering. It’s powerful and very dynamic. It moves through a number of different movements and never fails to work.
Throwing It All Away

Another hunk of pop near drivel, this one’s not quite as bad as “In Too Deep”. This track and that one are quite literally the throwaway songs on the set, though.

Brazilian
Although it’s got a lot of percussion in the mix, this is another track that redeems some of the progressive rock sensibilities of the band. It’s an instrumental and quite tasty. I can definitely hear elements of old school Genesis on this.
 
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