.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/e97b0eeaad017f379a94205b00100c96abb9e8f9.jpg Both Sides

Phil Collins

Both Sides

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 2.5 0
July 31, 1997

According to Phil Collins, his first solo LP since the dour ... But Seriously (1989) is so deeply personal that he cloistered himself in his 12-track home studio to record it. A veritable one-man band, he laid down each of the album's 11 songs track by track. This solitary process has spawned a record even more deadly serious than Seriously itself.

Collins is one of pop's great paradoxes: an avuncular superstar who has made morose ballads his stock in trade. There's an honorable sincerity in Collins' effort to grapple with his vulnerability and social concerns on record. But courage and conscience don't guarantee depth, and Both Sides' message music is barely more trenchant than its lot of inarticulate love songs.

True to form, Both Sides is chockablock with drum-heavy dirges, droning synths, ominously ticking rhythm boxes and wailing, double-tracked vocals — all of which are now sonic clichés for the world-weariness, heartache and self-absorption that has become Collins' recurrent and emphatically one-sided story.

Certainly, the hits are here — "Every-day" virtually announces itself as this album's smash single. Still, too much of the music is fragmented, the melodies underdeveloped. An album whose very title advocates dialogue, outreach and the exchange of feelings, Both Sides fails to make its case.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Vicious”

    Lou Reed | 1972

    Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com