On his first solo album, 1981’s Face Value, Genesis drummer-singer Phil Collins showed that he wasn’t about to be left behind in the mire of classical-rock sludge. That LP boasted shorter songs and demonstrated that Collins had a true pop sensibility. Hello, I Must Be Going! continues that trend, with some familiar patterns emerging.
First, there are the dramatic rock dirges that use drums as a lead instrument; “I Don’t Care Anymore,” with Collins’ one-man band playing alongside Daryl Stuermer’s atmospheric guitars, wins in this category. Then there are the buttery ballads, of which “Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away” is the best by virtue of a Beatles-like melody that buoys Collins’ anonymously sweet voice. Both of these styles were already Genesis staples; it was Collins’ uptempo soul tunes on Face Value and Genesis’ Abacab that surprised old fans and found new ones. “I Cannot Believe It’s True,” with Earth, Wind and Fire’s Phoenix Horns casting out clean lines, clobbers the other soul contenders on Hello, I Must Be Going!, especially his remake of the Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Collins took the golden-oldie route on that song and the result isn’t soulful, it’s superfluous.
Despite its trend-bucking boast of an eight-track recording, the album’s rich luster is of the old classical-rock school. In fact, the LP sounds like stripped-down Genesis, ornamental but not too ostentatious.