This is the double live album in which that blasphemer Phil Collins sings many of the band's celebrated classics, originally sung by the Archangel Gabriel.
... actually, Collins surprised me, and does a reasonably decent job covering the band's former classics. Of course, he doesn't come close to matching Gabriel's level of theatricality, but I believe I've done a thorough job of beating that dead horse into a mangled pulp. Collins' lack of Gabriel-ness could've been a fatal mistake for this album, because they flat-out concentrate on covering songs from the Gabriel era.
It's nice hearing Collins at least try to give the theatrics his best attempt - at some points, he sounds like he's having a total blast (particularly in the middle of their awesomely full-length “Supper's Ready”). That was one way for him to show the world he could adequately fill Gabriel's shoes, by giving everyone the impression that he's having the time of his life! Audiences usually respond well to that, both those at the concerts and those at home listening to the album.
I'm pleasantly surprised that they only covered one song from Wind & Wuthering
, even though that was probably the album they were touring to support at the time. Its lackadaisical closer “Afterglow” is by far this album's snooziest moment. Covering that album too much would've been a huge mistake - it would've made me fall asleep too often.
Other than that, I don't have many complaints about the song selection - overall, this is a solid set. Except for the opening “Squonk”, which wasn't my favorite song from A Trick of the Tail
, and sounds even duller here. But the dust really starts to pick up with the second song, “The Carpet Crawlers”, one of my favorite parts of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
. The band do a precise job of recreating its enchanting texture, and Collins' pretty vocal performance is quite captivating.
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews