Review Summary: The best Phil Collins solo album.
“Invisible Touch” is the best Phil Collins solo album, narrowly beating out “No Jacket Required” because “In Too Deep” is a slightly better song than “Against All Odds” and the title track is the less gay version of “Sussido.” I know that technically “Invisible Touch” is a Genesis work and not a Collins solo piece but it’s actually really stupid to call this Genesis because it sounds exactly like a Phil Collins album. With the exception of the laughable 10 minute prog/synth pop hybrid “Domino,” a song Tony Banks threatened to quit the band if not included (my best guess anyway), “Invisible Touch” has Collins’ stamp all over it, going down as an unrelenting piece of 80’s pop that would be a legitimate time capsule contender. That is, kids in the 80s used to do these things called time capsules where they put a bunch of random sh*t into a box for people of the future to open someday and bask in awe of the unmitigated levels of unchecked social gluttony. 80s culture is probably the least self aware in modern history, and its primarily the reason it is so often reviled and revered in the same thought. “Invisible Touch” defined the 80’s and would have been a better choice than “Thriller” because Collins is in all actuality not a child molester, and better than “Purple Rain” because Prince is only 5’3 and dressed like a girl. That’s not to say that “Invisible Touch” is better than those two albums because it isn’t, but when we think of a true 80s POP album we have to bring this into the discussion; something that would probably really piss Rutherford and Banks off if they hadn’t made approximately $18 million apiece off it.
The first half of “Invisible Touch” was a commercial giant for good reason. The title track is probably the quintessential 80s POP song with its programmed drums, bouncy synth beat, enormous chorus, and thinly veiled lyrics about sex (Phil says she’ll “mess” up your life on the studio version, he gets really badass and says “f*ck” on live versions). “In Too Deep” is one of the ten best ballads of the decade, it’s the kind of song 8th grade boys fought each other to slow dance with girls to and usually around the second verse they were awkwardly standing back about a foot trying to conceal their raging boners (whether it’s because they were up close with a girl or if it was because of the awesomeness of “In Too Deep” we’ll never know). “Tonight Tonight Tonight” is Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” 2.0, a towering dark melodic track about overcoming some kind of demon, one of Phil’s trademarks (well, that’s before he started doing Disney Movies and covering Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” for his greatest hits album and actually managed to gay it up even more). “Land of Confusion” is this era of Genesis’ STATEMENT track, and is probably the best social commentary piece Collins ever penned with his cutting barbs against Ronny Reagan and Gorby the Commie. Also, “Throwing It All Away” is a severely underrated pop song as far as singles went, complete with OOOH OOOH OOOH’s that Rutherford was probably really pissed about singing and had the kind of big time 80s chorus that Collins could have written in his sleep.
People that like Genesis' prog roots probably hate "Invisible Touch" but there’s a reason this sold 15 million copies while albums like “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” only get masturbated over by dudes who like to play Magic the Gathering and watch Star Trek; it was just a masterfully executed pop album that appealed to a much wider audience. In an age where pop ruled and quite frankly 85% of it was hackneyed prototypical radio fare, “Invisible Touch” was the rare album that had a shred of depth in a genre that pretty much hates the concept. Maybe it’s because they were so damn arty and smart, but Genesis was able to easily make the transition from wankery to studio pop mastery. Just ask Pat Bateman.