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Anthony Phillips - Sides CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips


Symphonic Prog

3.04 | 92 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars One of Phillips' strongest sides (unfortunately preceded by one of his weaker sides)

The idea behind this album was to make one side (of the original vinyl LP) with shorter, more "commercial" tunes and the other side with longer, more progressive numbers. Needless to add, most people on this website will naturally be more interested in the second side. I think it is fair to say that the tracks on the second half of this album show a good side of Anthony Phillips and I think that at least some of these numbers are more deserving of the "Prog" label than pretty much anything else in his entire catalogue (which is vast). The primary reason for this is that Sides takes more of a band approach which is unusual for Phillips who often preferred to do things on his own. This unusual Rock sound and feel also brings the music featured on Sides closer to his old band Genesis than almost any other solo album Ant has ever done. However, in terms of quality this is far, far behind that great band (even when compared to Genesis albums like And Then There Were Three and Duke that came out around the same time as Sides).

In style, the better tracks on this album are comparable to the 80's albums by Camel and Steve Hackett. But in terms of quality only the weakest albums by these artists are really apt for comparison with Sides. I'm thinking here of albums like Camel's The Single Factor (on which Phillips guested) and Steve Hackett's Till We Have Faces. Both of these albums have some good moments, but also leave something to be desired. Another possible reference point could be Mike Rutherford's Smallcreep's Day (on which Ant also participated).

The instrumentals Sisters Of Remindum and Nightmare are the albums best tracks. The opening track Um & Aargh is the worst of the lot and unashamedly steals melodic and lyrical lines straight from The Beatles (copying the line "always shouting something obscene" for example). And songs like I Want Your Love are syrupy and embarrassingly weak both lyrically and musically.

Recommend for fans, but despite holding a couple of his better tracks, it is not the optimal place to begin with Phillips solo career.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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