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Genesis - Trespass CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.16 | 2130 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
5 stars One of the greatest evolutionary leaps in musical history occurred when GENESIS recorded their second album TRESPASS in 1970 only a year after an uninspired collection of bland pop songs for a debut. TRESPASS is very much an oddity in the GENESIS discography on many levels. First of all John Silver was replaced by John Mayhew on drums. After this album Anthony Phillips would leave the band due to stage fright and the inability to play live. As a result a lot of the medieval pastoral sound that is on display here would leave with him for his interest in classical guitar is one of the key components of the music. Also after this album the band was displeased with the drumming of John Mayhew and replaced him with Phil Collins. A mystery to me because i really love Mayhew's contributions.

This album represents a brief moment in time and sole album with the Phillips, Mayhew, Gabriel, Banks and Rutherford lineup which is a crying shame because it truly is my favorite GENESIS sound and album. The possibilities were limitless but circumstances intervened and the band jettisoned this sound and moved into other musical arenas. All wasn't lost as the influence factor was substantial particularly in the romantic symphonic progressive Italian bands who picked it up and branched it out into myriad directions. It is also the most democratic of all GENESIS albums with each band member equally contributing to every song.

This is perhaps one of the most dramatic albums as well. It has a very turbulent feel despite it remaining mellow and subdued for the most part. Gabriel's theatrical pomp makes its debut here as well and the sudden more energetic outbursts that occur in the midst of the mostly slower parts is well timed and heightens the dramatic flair even more. The finale "The Knife" which is the most upbeat of the lot finishes off the medieval feel of kings and queens with a triumphant victory for the lands. The whole thing has a kind of "Lord Of The Rings" feel to it actually. The progressive time signatures are off the chart yet the tracks remain fairly structured with parts reoccurring throughout. Even the lyrics don't rhyme much of the time. The chaotic nature of the compositions is somehow suavely smoothed over with beautiful instrumental passages and romantic, poetic and cataclysmic lyrical content.

While many critics have panned this album for various reasons including Gabriel's vocals lacking power, Phillips' guitar playing sounding muted and the lyrical content being muddled and confusing, i find these attributes are what makes this album stand out in the crowd. I have a love / hate relationship with many of the Hackett / Collins albums that came after but this one was love at first listen and has only gotten better since. Although i have read that the production is weak, my 2007 remastered version sounds just fine to my ears. Personally this is the finest hour for GENESIS in my book and although i do like many others that follow, none has the absolute power to mesmerize me like this one does.

siLLy puPPy | 5/5 |


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