Genesis’ second effort, Trespass, would set a standard for all that they would release for several years to come. One wonders what happened to change their approach so much to move in a direction that would also influence so many other bands for decades.
Here we have original lead guitarist Anthony Phillips, but no Steve Hackett or drummer Phil Collins. The sound has moved away from the 60’s based Bee Gees/Moody Blues pop pastiche to a new English pastoral declaration that heralded a new direction for the first time from these British schoolboys.
Peter Gabriel’s plaintive wail, “Looking For Someone,” couples with moody organ and clever guitar before turning powerful and going back to the easy nature of the beginning with flute and then back again to powerful drumming and lead guitar. This use of dynamics clearly state what the band is trying to convey on this and future recordings. “White Mountain” is loosely based on Jack London’s “Call of the Wild,” telling the story of the wolf pack leader being challenged for his status as head of the clan. “Visions of Angels” opens with a lilting piano and leads to a very powerful song.
“Stagnation” has one of my favorite builds in any Genesis song as it carries to Gabriel dramatically punctuating the beats with “Ah ah ah, I want to sit down. I want a drink.” It is very powerful and is one of the great Genesis songs. “Dusk” is a breath of fresh air that gives us a slight break before “The Knife.” Although I prefer the version that was later played on the Live album, “The Knife” is an incredible song with forceful lyrics.
If you enjoy the Genesis records with Peter Gabriel at the mike, Trespass is an excellent addition to your collection if you do not already own it. My recommendation would be to purchase Foxtrot, Selling England By the Pound or even the Collins led Trick of the Tail before this one to truly understand the original Genesis sound however.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on January 20th, 2011