Both Sides (1993)


 
1.Both Sides of the Story 2.Can't Turn Back the Years 3.Everyday 4.I've Forgotten Everything 5.We're Sons of our Fathers 6.Can't Find My Way 7.Survivors 8.We Fly So Close 9.There's a Place for Us 10.We Wait and We Wonder 11.Please Come Out Tonight

 

Times change and tastes change. The 1990's would not be as kind to Phil Collins. It didn't help matters when he released this, his first post-Genesis album, that would be his weakest effort to date. He sadly never recovered.

You can't critize the honesty of emotions here. He was going through his second divorce and what some insiders described as a mid life crisis, so this release is very subdued, mellow and often downright depressing. For whatever reason, he recorded the whole thing himself, an artistic accomplishment, but that doesn't necessarily make it a more enjoyable record. The record sounds as though it's unfinished and needs more polish. Many of the songs are in excess of six minutes in length and sound as though they would have sounded a lot better if he would have shaved a few minutes of each track and spent a little bit more time refining the actual melodies.

The brightest point on the release is the first single Both Sides of the Story. This song, like everything else on the record, has Phil playing all the instruments and he does do a good job here. The song is the most radio friendly piece echoing sentiments of worldwide individual problems. It doesn't suffer the lame production value as most of the other songs, but at six and one-half minutes, it's simply too long. It would have been better had he eliminated 90 seconds or so. The rest of the album is nothing to brag about. In fact, many of the songs are not even distinguishable from one another. We Wait and We Wonder is a good piece (again, tooooo long) that almost seems to rip off his former bandmate Peter Gabriel's "Come Talk to Me". He also seems to rip off Gabriel on Can't Find My Way yet he doesn't do as impressive of a job. Everyday is a stab at the conventional syrupy ballad, but it doesn't come anywhere close to Against All Odds or even Do You Remember?. Sadly, this song just sort of "sits there".

The rest of the album, as mentioned is a very laborious listen and even Phil himself would ignore the songs on subsequent tours. With his personal issues confronting him at the time, one would hope that this record would at least exorcise him of the many problems he was having at the time.

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