So now, Genesis is well on their bloody way down the hit-making machine road by this record. No more acoustic instruments to quiet down the whole affair or add much-needed dynamics. Everything is over-the-top and in-your-face with the new muscular direction that is spearheaded by the electronic drum sequencers and simplified approach to writing. Everything is a group effort by now, as the group seemed to be saving their individual works for solo records.
The opening title track is a bit too simplistic for my taste. I don’t believe it is up to the band’s usual standards, even for this 80s style that Genesis was in the midst of. “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” however, is one of the strongest songs of the decade and is a sterling example of what this band was all about in the 80s. Small wonder it was used for a beer commercial at the time.
“Land of Confusion” is good, but I can’t get the Spitting Image puppets out of my brain when listening to it. “Domino” is the token progressive epic on the CD. It certainly proves they haven’t forgot how to write one. Tony Banks has learned how to play brass sounds on the keys, so they no longer need the EWF horn section used on the group’s previous recordings. The game show theme like intro on “Anything She Does” shows this ability to good effect.
Phil Collins (and to a lesser extent Mike Rutherford) had experimented with sappy ballads previously on solo records but the first evidence of such a thing in the group is here on Invisible Touch. Certainly they were better at it than bands like REO Speedwagon and Chicago for the time. “In Too Deep” and “Throwing It All Away” both are slower pieces designed to reach the charts and appeal to both X&Y chromosomes. I feel the latter song maintains the spirit of the band a little more with its rollicking nature reminiscent of 1978’s “Follow You, Follow Me.”
After the end of the closing instrumental “The Brazilian,” I’m somehow left unsatisfied. The musicianship and songwriting seem to be going on a declining spiral. I don’t really mind the new muscular direction. They proved they could make it work and keep their progressive nature on past recordings. With the exception of “Tonight” and “Domino,” it seems that they are now just pandering to success. Recommended for completists and fans of the 80s sound.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on December 6th, 2011