The latest in the series of reissues, this is the most Phil Collins of Phil Collins albums. Phil Collins central. If you don’t like Phil Collins, there’s nothing here for you. Turn round and walk away before anyone gets hurt.
First play-through it came over a bit samey, then the memory cells kicked in. It is a bit samey, mind, but there are some good songs on here, and it’s one of those albums you listened to over and over back in 1989.
As the title suggests, Collins has left love behind and moved onto weightier matters — such as homelessness in Another Day in Paradise. It’s corny but a great song, and top marks to Collins for the thought behind it. The theme is don’t turn your back on the homeless, and backs and their not turning is possibly the album’s main thread: opener Hang In Long Enough is about; well, guess. That’s Just The Way It Is is about the day in WWI when the opposing trenches played footy, and then got back to killing each other. Colours tackles the apartheid regime in South Africa. (Something Happened On The Way To Heaven was written for movie The War Of The Roses, but not used).
Musically, it’s denser, with less use of silence than his other albums, probably an 80s production thing. There’s nothing too loud and nothing very tranquil. It has got possibly the most Collins of songs, All Of My Life, with its solid 80s sax intro, bland-yet-appealing tune, big drums, strong chorus, and lyrics about a misunderstood Everyman.