Album Review: “Face Value” By Phil Collins
Phil Collins live in 1985 - Live Aid / Youtube
After taking a break from his prog-rock material with Genesis, Phil Collins took the opportunity to break into the music industry with his very own debut album. The drummer/singer-songwriter was in the middle of a failing marriage, which he channeled into crafting the basic structure of the said record, breathing the first wisps of life into Face Value just as his personal relationship was on the verge of dying out.
The album is most remembered for the opening single, “In The Air Tonight”, which employs a rather cautious and haunting introduction before finally crashing into a drum fiasco that rivaled his vocals in evoking his deepest pains effectively. “I Missed Again” has Collins lighten up the mood with a pop infusion in the mix, along with a cover of Genesis’ “Behind The Lines”, which was slightly watered down when compared to the original version. “Droned” is more reminiscent of an experimental rock approach with its Eastern-tinged instrumentation and quirky vocal work. As for jazz representation, “Hand in Hand” does well with Collins’ collaboration with Earth, Wind and Fire’s Phenix Horns section.
All in all, Collins didn’t just muster the courage to write and craft songs about his breakup, but integrated his musical influences into the album as well, resulting in one of his landmark records that spawned greater successes down the road as he went on this career.