Phil Collins is back! After an eight year absence where he recording a couple of Disney soundtracks and did a reunion tour with Genesis the man is back in the studio with a new album! Granted, it’s an album filled with Motown songs, but seeing that it’s been seven years since he released “Testify” (which was a rather lackluster album) I’ll take what I can get. Besides, it’s not like are terrible songs. On the contrary: Motown produced many of the greatest radio songs of all time. Some of them make it onto this very album. What’s more amazing is that Collins records them sounding almost exactly like they did way back when. This is both a pro and a con. The pro is that the great sound hasn’t been messed with much.
The con is that since the songs are only different in the sense that Collins is singing them some of the recordings come off as inferior compared to the original. “Uptight (Everything Is Alright)” is a great song regardless how you slice it, but if the music in two versions sound the same who would you rather listen to: Phil Collins or Stevie Wonder? I’ll let you be the judge of that. There are plenty of classic toe tapping numbers on this album (most of which - I noticed - are heavy with drums). There are also many Motown songs that aren’t nearly as popular but prove to be full of that Motown sound just the same. I’m not sure if the title track (which closes the album) is a Motown song or an original. Yeah it SOUNDS like a Motown hit...but then again, I’ve never heard this before, and I know my oldies!
The album is 18 tracks of pure bliss. If bought on Amazon.com or iTunes the album is expanded to 26 tracks of bliss. This is a great listen. That said I’ll understand if longtime Phil Collin fans aren’t just a tad disappointed. I mean, we waiting eight years for a covers album? Isn’t that something Barry Manilow or Westlife is supposed to be doing? I get it. I can’t say I’m disappointed too. So many years of waiting and we only get one original track (which may not even be original to begin with)? Oh well, I’ll take it. The album is too much fun to knock it too much. Besides when Collins gets serious he tends to get depressing, so maybe it’s good the comeback album leaves you wanting more.
Grade: **** stars
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Kevin T. Rodriguez (KevinTRod)
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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Going Back is Phil Collins's eighth studio album. It was released on 13 September 2010 in the the United Kingdomand 28 September 2010 in the United States.and features covers of 60s Motown & Soul standards. It also was his first full solo release in eight years, Collins having primarily concentrated on soundtracks, compilations, and his extensive touring as a solo artist and with Genesis. Collins has previously recorded and performed covers of Motown songs in his career. Most famously, his cover of "You Can't Hurry Love" reached No.1 on the UK charts in 1982. In addition, "Tears of a Clown" appeared as a B-side on the 2003 single "The Least You Can Do", and a live version of "My Girl" first appeared on the Japanese release Live from the Board in 1995 and later on the 2004 album Love Songs: A Compilation... Old and New. There are two editions of the album; one with 18 tracks and a limited "Going Back Ultimate Edition" 25-track CD/29-song DVD set. Amazon.com also has an exclusive CD-R 25-track release. iTunes has an enhanced iTunes LP HD format release featuring 26 audio tracks, a music video and other enhanced content. The album was promoted with a series of live shows in the summer of 2010.