Is this man serious? - Phil Collins’ new album reviewed by Ted Sayers.
It may be by chance, but Phil’s latest effort has a VERY appropriate title. After three albums of mainly tongue-in-cheek songs, Phil has turned up with an album far more contemplative with some HEAVY (!) lyrics.
…. But Seriously goes where no Phil Collins album has gone before. Most of the songs are full of social comment although there is also a smattering of the classic Collins love songs and believe me CLASSIC is the right word!
The album opens with Hang In Long Enough which is a typical Collins Motown throwback which sets a nice pace but he then drops down a couple of gears for the rest of side one. That’s Just The Way It Is, is surprising in that it contains the first of two cameo appearances by David Crosby and if I were totally honest, his is the best of the album’s guest star roles. Crosby’s voice doesn’t really compliment Phil’s that well, but this song is a cracker and in places, Crosby steals the show or at least the song, from Collins.
Find A Way To My Heart is vaguely reminiscent of Take Me Home but it has a rather pointless introduction which for some reason decides to rear its head as an ending and spoils the whole effect.
In Colours, Phil has come up with a rather odd song. It is over long (nearly
nine minutes), rambles and never really gets to the point. It is really two
separate pieces joined with only the lyric giving it anything to keep it together.
For social comment it doesn’t come anywhere near Long, Long Way To Go
from his last album. It is rather strange that Phil has chosen a similar theme
to the one that Mike explored in the title track to The Living Years. It’s
not exactly the same but Father To Son and Indeed All Of My Life later on, both
touch on lost opportunities with relatives. Both are good solid tracks but All
of My Life contains the only (surprisingly) lacklustre guest spot in Steve Winwood
Another Day In Paradise will be familiar to all who made it the big hit that it was. The song itself is good enough but I am not sure if Phil carries thus type of “serious” song of that well.
Co-written with Daryl Stuermer, Something Happened On The Way To Heaven is more Collins’ style and although it is not as big on comment, he always seems more comfortable in this style.
My favourite track is most definitely Do You Remember? Containing another great vocal performance from the vastly underrated Stephen Bishop. It is the album’s classic love song but it has to be heard, DON’T take my word for it.
The album closes with I Wish It Would Rain Down which includes some typical Clapton guitar work and a great Gospel - type chorus. The compact disc is in a different running order and contains two extra tracks - the B sides to Another Day… this makes it sound like two different albums.
On the whole, Phil’s strong points are the less serious material, but
a good album nevertheless - 7/10 can do better!