Hello, I Must Be Going

Phil Collins

  1. I Don’t Care Anymore
  2. I Cannot Believe It’s True
  3. Like China
  4. Do You Know, Do You Care?
  5. You Can’t Hurry Love
  6. It Don’t Matter To Me
  7. Thru These Walls
  8. Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away
  9. The West Side
  10. Why Can’t It Wait Till Morning

This one’s an odd misstep between Collins’s first and third solo albums, to my ear anyway…you can hear the transition from the former to the latter taking place, but the transition itself really doesn’t grab like either of the flanking albums do. It has two easy hits—“You Can’t Hurry Love” for the radio crowd and “I Don’t Care Anymore” for those more interested in the oddly striking sounds of the early 1980s—and very, very little else of note.

For my ownself, I included the album in my library because of its presence as the middle chapter in this trilogy, but actually it’s “Thru These Walls” that hooked me and keeps the CD in place. The opening track is good, if not as starkly powerful as it sounded back when it was new, and Collins’s strange affected accents do detract somewhat from that particular track, yet they work on “Like China” so I can’t make a blanket denigration here.

“Thru These Walls” is however the only truly engaging track on this album: it commands my attention and holds my interest right from its start, and of course the secondary verse sequences and their eerie violence deliver a fine experience that the song’s beginning doesn’t fully forecast. It’s a yummy track, but having said all that I must concede that it fails in its execution because it lets conventional musical fashions neutralize it for its closing, much to the detriment of the overall song. The power of the voyeurism here is lost, and regrettably so, when those excellent contrasts and creepy immediacies give way to major-harmony resolutions and vague chordal progressions…. In other words, it’s a great track to listen to if you stop three-quarters of the way through.