Trespass by Genesis

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Trespass by Genesis
Trespass by Genesis

Album Released: 1970

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Cole Reviews  20th Apr 2017
Musically far removed from the debut, the best songs are ''Looking for Someone'' and ''The Knife''. The latter is quite messy in terms of composition, but somehow works in spite of that.

''Stagnation'' is a bore, ''Dusk'' a pretty little acoustic thing, and the other two tracks are so undistinguished I'm not even going to type their titles.

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1.Looking For Someone7:04
2.White Mountain6:40
3.Visions Of Angels6:48
6.The Knife8:55


With Trespass, 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.

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by Reviewer: Don Ignacio (blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews)

After the lack of success of the under-rated From Genesis to Revelation, Genesis reassessed their situation, and decided to embark on what they would become best known for - progressive rock.

However, they didn't abandon the deft melodious touches of Revelation, and - along with moments of drama and power - that helps make this album a successful commencement of their new approach. That's why I get more consistent enjoyment out of Genesis than bands like King Crimson, where there's too much tuneless noodling to wade through.

For loveliness, "Visions of Angels" works very well, especially the way it builds to its deft chorus, although it still can't match the beautiful "Dusk", a tender and moving piece if ever there was one. And then there's the album's dramatic conclusion "The Knife", which has remained one of the band's most famous tracks, and works as well as any in their discography, with lyrics about a dictator fighting his way to power.

Elsewhere, there are good moments in the likes of "Looking for Someone" and "White Mountain", even if they don't always gel into successful wholes. But the combination of guitar and Tony Banks' ever-present organ (though the latter is certainly more dominant than the former), together with Peter Gabriel's heartfelt vocals, help make Trespass - if not a classic - then still a worthy release, and one of my favourite Genesis albums.

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by Reviewer: The Doctor

It didn't take Genesis long to realize that if they continued on the path of Bee Gees-style orchestral pop, with concepts chosen by third parties, the band would soon fade into oblivion. The path they chose instead - one of long-winded prog/rock - was certainly a wise one, in retrospect at least, but there were still plenty of kinks to work out.

On a purely formal level, Trespass isn't missing a thing from the band's classic albums ... it has an artsy cover, with the members of the band nowhere in sight, a number of lengthy compositions, a wide variety of melodies, textures, and instruments, lyrics with a heavy literary influence, and of course Gabriel's big personality and distinctive voice to deliver them.

While it's a stretch to say the album is a failure overall, it's certainly a relative failure compared to its successors. There are two chief problems ... the first is the instrumental passages. While most of them display instrumental skill and contain atmosphere, only a handful really make me go 'wow!', and not always for an extended period of time. But then, seeing as Nursery Cryme had some boring moments, even after the band's two best musicians had joined, what can be expected here when they're absent?

The second problem is with the album's lyrics. It's a smaller problem, but it's worth noting that Gabriel's personal stamp of mixing the modern with the medieval in a whimsical fantasy world had yet to develop, although he tries his best. Though to be fair, part of the problem has nothing to do with Gabriel's lyrics, but rather those of Rutherford, Banks, and Phillips.

Still, in spite of flaws that prevent Trespass being an all-time classic, it mostly stands up on a song-by-song basis. Side One is somewhat weaker, because it includes the album's weakest song and only one major highlight ...

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by Reviewer: Mr X Music Reviews (blogging at When the Music's Over)

Genesis' second album was the first to really define the band's sound. Peter Gabriel provides the vocals, as he would for the series of albums the band released throughout the early- to mid-70's, before leaving to pursue a solo career.

Musically, the album may not be astonishing or challenging, but the drums are competent on the opening track, and the organ adds to a spiritual sense of occasion whenever Gabriel opens his mouth. The guitar is quite bluesy actually, but the best thing about the song is undoubtably Gabriel’s vocals - when the music reaches upwards around the 1m10s mark, he reaches upwards to match, and the faint backing harmonies add to the overall atmosphere.

That's followed by "White Mountain", which opens well with tinkling keyboards and shuffling percussion, while Gabriel sounds almost as great as on the opening track. It's a much more uptempo number however, and seems slightly clumsy from a musical point-of-view, stopping and starting rather abrasively throughout, but I do like the little medieval parts.

"Visions of Angels" wraps up Side One with some nice piano to open and some decent musical parts, but the song lacks an easy flow, almost sounding like the band were trying too hard to impress, so it lacks the unassuming grace of the album opener.

Side Two of Trespass opens with pretty guitar patterns amid the nearly 9-minute "Stagnation" - nice! It's no masterpiece, but it's a very relaxing number. I wouldn't have expected Genesis could be pretty based on their 80's and 90's material, though the song does rather drift and lose focus through its second half, but still, it works OK overall.

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by Reviewer: Adrian Denning (blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews)