But Seriously (1989)


1.Hang in Long Enough 2.That's Just the Way It Is 3.Do You Remember? 4.Something Happened on the Way to Heaven 5.Colors 6.I Wish it Would Rain Down 7.Another Day in Paradise 8.Heat on the Street 9.All of My Life 10.Saturday Night and Sunday Morning 11.Father to Son 12.Find A Way to My Heart

 

During the 1980's, Phil Collins' recording career followed a pretty set pattern: a solo album, followed by a Genesis album, then a solo album, and the cycle would repeat. Throw in a couple of soundtrack songs and a duet or two and you had arguably the most successful solo artist of the decade. Although the next decade would not be as kind to Phil, he ended the eighties with a well done effort that kept him on top for a little while longer.

Although the title of this release and the somber looking reflective Phil might give the listener the impression that this was going to be a depressing journey into social issues, Collins again uses his magic of blending different moods, happy and sad, along with many different styles to please the hard core. The compact disc revolution allowed sixty minutes of music on the disc, so limitations of time are not an issue. All of the basis get covered.

The signature tune, and first single, Another Day in Paradise seems to set the serious mood desired by Collins for the release. The song, originally titled, "Homeless", is a non accusing, semi true story about the homelessness issue. Collins doesn't blame anyone, he simply acknowledges another problem that most (including himself) wish to just turn the other way and ignore. The impact of the single caused Collins to become a sort of spokesman for the homeless - even collecting donations at his shows. Another sociall conscious piece, That's Just the Way it Is addresses the irony of nations and different faiths fighting and killing one and other because of conflicting religious beliefs. Superstar David Crosby joins Collins on harmony on both of these wonderful pieces. Then apartheid is attacked on the eight plus minutes of Colors that is easily the most angriest piece Collins ever wrote. On the lighter, but equally "seriousness" aspect is Heat on the Street which lyrically depicts the frustration on the inner city streets but seems rather non threatening musically.

With these four issues out of the way, Collins then retreats back to what Collins does best: throw in some happy horn filled dance numbers, a few romantic ballads and some standard radio friendly "hits" to make up the collection. The best known single I Wish it Would Rain Down is augmented by, this time, Eric Clapton on guitar. It's pretty obvious, therefore pure enjoyment. He employs the brass section with Something Happened on the Way to Heaven, Hang in Long Enough and, to a lesser extent, the album closer Find a Way To My Heart which tries to emulate the success of the last album's closer Take Me Home. It doesn't really come close, but that's not to say it's not enjoyable. On the wimpier, but to be honest, pretty enjoyable, side are two standard Where-Did-Our-Love-Go ballads Do You Remember and All of My Life. He even throws in a nice piece to his child, Father to Son.

Whatever brand of Phil is your favorite, you are sure to find some of it here. His later releases lacked the spontinaiety and experimentation of his first couple of releases, but to be fair, he makes up for it well with the latter radio freindly pieces featured throught this album.


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