Phil Collins has had an interesting career. Coming in for Genesis' third album to be the drummer, he then went on to become the lead vocalist after Peter Gabriel left. He also joined the Fusion group Brand X while in Genesis. In 1981 he launched his successful solo career with this album, "Face Value". He has even had a small acting career to go along with his career in music. Far from one expects from a star, at least in the way he looks, one has to respect his career and what he has accomplished. This first album from him very much fits his career. There is an iconic song, some puzzling song choices and some hidden gems as well.
The album opens with "In the Air Tonight", a piece which has staying power as we near 30 years later, and with no end in sight, nor would one expect there to be. It is a simple piece, and yet masterful in the way it is executed. I suppose it didn't hurt that it spawned an urban legend about its origins either, but it would still be with us even if that had not happened. Next up is "This Must be Love", a nice pleasant piece but one which is easily forgotten after the opener. Next comes an odd choice as Phil chooses to cover "Behind the Lines", a Genesis song which had originally been released less than a year before on the "Duke" album. It is a different version, but it seems like a strange thing to do. "The Roof Is Leaking" is the next track, a nice track which has a different feel than the first pieces, with Phil on piano, and it blends well into two instrumentals (though with voices as instruments) called "Droned" and "Hand in Hand", which closes out the first half of the album.
"I Missed Again" opens the second half of the album, once again a decent piece but not a classic, which made the top 20 as a single. Next up is a nice slower piece titled "You Know What I Mean", which is one of the pieces which I would call a hidden gem, along with the following piece "Thunder and Lightning" which is a faster and more upbeat song. "I'm Not Moving" is an interesting piece and provides some more diversity to an already diverse album. "If Leaving Me Is Easy" is another slower piece, but in this case the slowness tends to drag on a bit. "Tomorrow Never Knows" is another one of the odd choices. It is certainly different from "The Beatles" version, but at the same time Phil's version isn't enough different to justify doing the cover, at least in my opinion.
The result is an album which has some great high points, but there are tracks here which one could well do without. Nevertheless, this is a classic album, and represents Phil's career quite well. He has always been one to perform, no matter the genre and that diversity comes through on this album, though certainly some styles are more prevalent than others.