Dance into the Light

by: Phil Collins

Following the bleak But Seriously and Both Sides, Phil Collins delivered the considerably lighter Dance into the Light, his first upbeat pop album since 1985's No Jacket Required. Not only was it a return to the musical style that brought him to the top of the charts during the '80s, but Dance into the Light was the first record Collins released since leaving Genesis, which made it all the more crucial to his career. For the most part, the album treads familiar territory -- R&B-influenced dance-pop, sensitive ballads, and brooding mid-tempo ruminations -- but there are several occasions where he stretches out, incorporating worldbeat influences into his style. And that's where the problem with Dance into the Light lies -- ten years after the breakthroughs of Paul Simon's Graceland, Collins' idea of adventurous music remains worldbeat, which had already passed out of public consciousness. Furthermore, his polyrhythms are surprisingly stiff for a drummer, which sinks all of the more experimental tracks. The remainder of the album is pleasant, but offers no distinctive melodies, which means that the albums sounds fine while it's on, but leaves nothing behind once it's finished. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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