Genesis
Invisible Touch


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
January 23rd, 2013 | 49 replies


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An epic meditation on intangibility.

As Genesis marched through the 1980’s with a multitude of hits but a number of uneven records, Phil Collins’ tenure as a solo artist came to a point where it had overtaken the popularity of the group. After the success of No Jacket Required, his pop career became so intertwined with the band’s output that the two could barely kept separate. This eventually led to Invisible Touch, by far Genesis' best-selling album. Firing up the kind of catchy pop anthems and tender love ballads that others would have killed for around the time, it has also been dismissed by fans of their older work for its ultimate commercial viability. Michael, Philip and Anthony had steered right into the loving arms of the masses, and there was no going back.

Now, perhaps the above may be something of an exaggerated bit of history, but Invisible Touch did not become a landmark of its era by chance; all necessary trademarks are in place. The tracks are laden with keyboards and synthesizers, and seem paired with programmed drums more often than they are not. No room exists for any real guitar parts, which are pushed back to a minimum presence. The sound is outdated and the album arguably makes very little use of the band’s proven talents. True, when comparing it to the brilliance of many of their past works, it’s a poor accomplishment at best. But Genesis were, almost literally, only half the group they had once been. They had evolved under the influence of the decade, and ended up making one of its defining records. With that in mind, worse things could have happened.

Since it more closely resembled the sound of his own work, this has been called an unofficial Phil Collins album, and during many songs it does feel as such. Collins was the one responsible for those vocal hooks, after all, having made these love songs so damn catchy. Whether he’s singing of women with an Invisible Touch, messing around with your feelings, or about being In Too Deep a relationship, or how you might simply be Throwing It All Away for them; he sells it and sells it well. But in the end, of course, it is the brilliant ensemble playing of Banks, Collins and Rutherford that makes these tunes into something that’s more moving than your average pop song.

Indeed it is still a Genesis record at its core, and so there are tracks capable of challenging the one-dimensional pop formula. Land of Confusion was one of the record’s biggest hits, thanks to its infectious rhythm, simple message, and memorable video, which featured puppet caricatures of the band, various world leaders and other celebrities. Notably, both Tonight, Tonight, Tonight and Domino pass the 8-minute mark, keeping at least a hint of prog intact. The former succeeds particularly well in combining lengthier instrumental sections with yet another appealing chorus, which backs in and out again as the songs plods along at a pleasant slower pace. The latter is the closest thing to a traditional progressive song that can be found here, coming in no less than two parts. It may be of small comfort to those that love classic Genesis, needing to be accessible for a broader audience like everything else, but that does make it a better fit on the album.

Like it or not, Invisible Touch is a classic of the 1980’s. It’s a product of its time above all else, created by a band that realized playing by the new rules was a better idea than stubbornly sticking to the old ones. In this regard, Genesis handled things far better than any of their former peers, no longer operating under a compromise that has, in most cases, only resulted in inconsistent, unconvincing records that failed to express which side of the crowd they wanted to please. This was the exact opposite, maybe a nightmare to some, but a glorious thing for those who just enjoy a great pop album.

Genesis Mark V:

Tony Banks – Keyboards, Sythesizers
Phil Collins – Vocals, Drums, Percussion
Mike Rutherford – Guitar, Bass

Highlights:

Invisible Touch
Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
Land of Confusion
Throwing It All Away




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user ratings (335)
Chart.
3
good
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Brendan Schroer (3.5)
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The best Phil Collins solo album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
January 23rd 2013


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I kept rewriting this and I'm still not entirely happy with it, but it's been too long a break already. Patrick Bateman quotes included because they'll show up anyway.

YoYoMancuso
January 23rd 2013


11080 Comments


holy shit Nag's back


good review man pos

Capablanca
January 23rd 2013


207 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I got my history confused, I thought it was starting with this album that they became mainstream pop. Anyway have a pos.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

someguest
January 23rd 2013


20530 Comments


CAUSE TONIGHT, TONIGHT, TONIGHT

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHWHHHHHHHhhh

The singles from this album (five of the tracks) are great. The other three are crap.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
January 23rd 2013


4424 Comments


Good review, Nagrarok POS'd. I've never been much of a fan of Genesis myself aside from a few songs but 'I think "Invisible Touch" is the group's undisputed masterpiece'.

someguest
January 23rd 2013


20530 Comments


do da do, do da do

SHE SEEMS TO HAVE THAT INVISIBLE TOUCH-EH

tommygun
January 23rd 2013


24932 Comments


gotta read american psycho again crazy ass book

Digging: Broods - Evergreen

tommygun
January 23rd 2013


24932 Comments


nice review btw pos

Toondude10
January 23rd 2013


3942 Comments


Nice review man

Land of Confusion is my favorite song by Genesis

Digging: Sugary Sweet Machines - Controlled Breathing

Lakes.
January 23rd 2013


27733 Comments


so i herd u liek genesis

Digging: Arthur Russell - World of Echo

Nagrarok
January 24th 2013


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Land of Confusion is my favorite song by Genesis


Obviously you haven't heard their prog stuff then.

Thanks guys.

YankeeDudel
January 24th 2013


9313 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The Brazillian rocks my rock

Digging: Walknut - Graveforests And Their Shadows

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2013


1876 Comments


I remember listening to this album when my dad recommended it to me at 7 years old. I also seem to remember being amazed by every song for some reason. Now I look back and, although I'm not as big a fan as I used to be, I still love 'Domino' and 'The brazilian'. Awesome review man.

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

greg84
Staff Reviewer
January 24th 2013


7391 Comments


Great review man. Keep them coming.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

BigPleb
January 24th 2013


36631 Comments


Never checked this band hmm

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

ButteryBiscuitBass
January 24th 2013


10003 Comments


@TheBigLebowski - Nursery Cryme and Selling England by the Pound are must haves if you like prog rock. Not so much this.

Nagrarok
January 24th 2013


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I remember listening to this album when my dad recommended it to me at 7 years old. I also seem to remember being amazed by every song for some reason. Now I look back and, although I'm not as big a fan as I used to be, I still love 'Domino' and 'The brazilian'.


This has a huge nostalgia factor for me as well, my parents played it regularly when I was younger.

Great review man. Keep them coming.


I'll try to post the next one in less than five months, hehe.

Nagrarok
January 24th 2013


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nursery Cryme and Selling England by the Pound are must haves if you like prog rock. Not so much this.


Never, never forget THE LAMB.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2013


1876 Comments


'The lamb lies down on Broadway' is epic. SUCH a good album.

NightProwler
January 24th 2013


6346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Foxtrot as well. Supper's Ready

Digging: Goat - Commune



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