, Genesis abandoned all that sunshine-pop stuff and went all King Crimson on us, which I'm sure disappointed about two people. And even though this is still pretty early in their career, it sounds exactly like a Genesis album. That is to say, there's no major stylistic difference between this and Selling England By the Pound
Yup, this is an album full of wimpy-sounding songs, and lyrics that indicate that the band read a lot of geeky fantasy novels. That's of course one of the main reasons I like Genesis - I'm a pretty wimpy reader of fantasy novels myself.
Genesis also have a pretty good handle on melodies and atmospheres, and generally speaking good melodies and atmospheres are why I like listening to music (that being one of the reasons I never cared for Rush or Styx, even though I do empathize with their incurable geekiness).
Really, that's all there is to Genesis' appeal, because God knows they weren't very good instrumentalists. They were pretty good, but really had nothing on many of the other huge bands of the day. They didn't have any real virtuosos in the group - their guitarists and keyboardist usually just stuck to playing arpeggios, Peter Gabriel played his flute about as well as you'd expect to hear at a high school recital, and as Phil Collins wasn't even in this incarnation of the band, the drumming on Trespass
is merely average. What's more, they sometimes come off as amateurish on this release, but still, they do deserve some slack, as they were still extremely young.
Luckily, Genesis isn't about their instrumentalists, and they never pretended to be - they were about songs. And they come up with some pleasant ones on Trespass
. Right away, “Looking for Someone” is a highly engaging mystical sort of song with interesting lyrics, a thick atmosphere, and a rather ear-catching melody. It's nothing that really blows away my toupee - I consider it more a song that I just enjoy listening to while relaxing in a big chair. But even for such a song, they do a respectable job developing it through a series of dramatic crescendos, and if I'm going to listen to a 7-minute song, it's good to have a lot of crescendos in it, because they create the impression that it's going somewhere! It gets boring sometimes, but I listen to it knowing that it won't be boring for long.
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews