Anthony Phillips
The Geese and the Ghost


4.5
superb

Review

by Aaron CONTRIBUTOR (109 Reviews)
May 4th, 2013 | 37 replies


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist

Review Summary: As majestic as its album cover.

Imagine yourself immersed into a magical realm, a place with no shortage of imagination and no limits or boundaries. This is the alternate reality of The Geese and The Ghost. It’s a world all of its own created by former guitarist and founding member of Genesis, Anthony Phillips. He crafts beautiful melodies infused with equal amounts of folk and classical influences to create an imaginative listening experience. His first solo effort is an absolute monster of an album, held together by his skillful songwriting and careful attention to detail.

The world Phillips creates on The Geese and The Ghost is made all the more believable by his knack for being a patient songwriter. Although his ability as a multi-instrumentalist is astounding, it’s the way he takes his time that allows each song to bloom and flourish . The third track, ‘Henry: Portraits from The Tudor Times’ is an epic 6-part song that doesn’t rely on vocals to make an impact on the listener. Instead, it uses a wide array of instruments to help make Phillips’ vision a reality. Everything flows smoothly in this world, from the simple, but beautiful guitar and flute melodies played throughout the song, to the epic ending that’s brought to life by the sound of cannons being shot off in battle.

It’s not just the lengthy tracks that pull their weight, however, as even ‘Chinese Mushroom Cloud’ manages to be memorable and effective in less than a minute. The intricately picked guitars, and moody violins build up the perfect atmosphere into the title track and the second magnum opus on the album. It’s effective for the same reason the third track was - that is, it often repeats straightforward, but tuneful structures while constantly progressing throughout the song. In a way, the songs are instantly accessible, but complex enough to not grow old with repeated jamming sessions. There are surprises around every corner, and the more you listen to Geese and The Ghost, the more you learn to appreciate the little details that make it so great.

Despite the fact that Phillips is the obvious talent behind the music, much of the album wouldn’t be the same without the additional musicians involved. The great Phil Collins lends his soothing vocals on ‘Which Way The Wind Blows’ and ‘God If I Saw Her Now.’ The latter of the two is especially solid, as it mixes Collins signature sound with the relaxed vocals of Viv McCauliffe. They prove to be a perfect match, and they compliment each other nicely as they sing over the song’s lightly picked guitars.

For those willing to dive into the music a little further, The Geese and the Ghost is even better when heard in the form of the double disc re-issue of the album which contains unreleased tracks, demos and alternative versions that are more vital to the listening experience than one might expect. The ‘Master of Time’ demo is a little too good to be labeled as such, and it could have easily been placed on the original release of the album. The basic versions of the songs on the second disc are essential as well, as they are stripped down to the basics and paint a clear picture of Phillip’s talent as an instrumentalist.

The Geese and The Ghost isn’t a record that’s easy to describe, but it goes down incredibly smoothly. With influences ranging from folk to classical, it’s progressive, but also very unique in its own right. Fans of Genesis will likely eat it right up, but the strong instrumentation is enough to please anyone who appreciates good music. It’s a hidden gem from the 70s that manages to stray from the typical progressive formula and create its very own world of resonance and sound.



Recent reviews by this author
The Residents EskimoTrvth Approaching
Agalloch The Serpent and the SphereThe Byrds Mr. Tambourine Man
Somos Temple of PlentyFireworks Oh, Common Life
user ratings (11)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 4th 2013


19790 Comments


i dedicate this review to jamietwort for giving out great recs all the time including this one.

FULL STREAM:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EffLIs0PpKU

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
May 4th 2013


20742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review bro, pretty much agree with everything you said.

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 4th 2013


19790 Comments


thanks man glad you liked it : )

manosg
May 4th 2013


6139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review Atari and thanks to JT for his recs. Both dudes, keep 'em coming. I'll probably listen to this one tomorrow.

Digging: John Coltrane - Ballads

Jethro42
May 4th 2013


12456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review for an excellent album.

Nagrarok
May 4th 2013


8256 Comments


Interested in hearing this sometime, but it's not the easiest album to find.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 4th 2013


19790 Comments


Thanks guys!

@Nagrarok, there's a full album stream on youtube ;) it's also on spotify

NightmareCinema16
May 5th 2013


2016 Comments


Phillips was a part of Genesis, right? Still, nice job, as usual.

NightmareCinema16
May 5th 2013


2016 Comments


Oh, yeah, he was. I'd reccommend listening to early Genesis recordings in respone to this.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2013


19790 Comments


@lately, damn that seems like a stretch but I appreciate the compliment!

Ironically, I haven't heard all of early genesis yet Im just recently getting really into prog ;)

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2013


19790 Comments


lol this was on jamietwort's rec's for sputnik list so that explains why i heard it before all of genesis' early stuff. i'm making it a top priority to dig more into their discog today though. what's your favorite?

NightmareCinema16
May 6th 2013


2016 Comments


I personally like Selling England by the Pound, shortly followed by The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and Foxtrot.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 6th 2013


19790 Comments


i just hear lamb dies down on broadway the other night it's fantastic

YoYoMancuso
May 7th 2013


11106 Comments


nice review broturkey love me some prog

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2013


19790 Comments


thank you sir. yeah prog is my current favorite genre i can't get enough.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 11th 2013


19790 Comments


more people need to listen to this

manosg
May 12th 2013


6139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I finally managed to listen to this one today and it's excellent. It definitely needs more ratings.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 12th 2013


19790 Comments


@manosg, glad u liked it man

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
May 12th 2013


20742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great to see people are checking this out.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
July 30th 2013


19790 Comments


^yeah but more people still need to damn not even 2 pages!



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy