Phil Collins

Going Back (Warner)

Rating: NN

Phil Collins says he didn’t want to bring anything new to this collection of Motown covers and retro R&B, and he’s definitely succeeded. The production and arrangements sound like a very good impression of 60s-era American soul music, which isn’t surprising, seeing as he drafted three of the surviving Funk Brothers to lend some authentic Motor City flavour.

You can tell he’s having the time of his life drumming with his childhood heroes and tackling his favourite old tunes, but it’s not long before the charm wears thin. He sticks so closely to the original arrangements that his shortcomings as a vocalist are painfully evident. Had he tried to reinterpret the classics even a little bit, we wouldn’t be so quick to compare his singing to the originals. Instead, the whole thing feels like listening to a very expensive karaoke session by a competent vocalist with a limited range. You’re better off buying one of the billions of vintage soul compilations on the market and getting the real deal.

Top track: Talking About My Baby

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