Testify

Thank goodness for artists like Phil Collins.

Thank goodness for artists like Phil Collins. Unlike far too many veterans striving to remain "relevant" by trend-hopping, he's not inclined to step beyond what he does exceedingly well. There are no surprises on a Collins album. Rather, you get well-crafted, pop/rock tunes that wash over the senses with warm familiarity. The fun in exploring a new Collins set is delving into his lyrics for a typically unflinching view of his emotional state at the moment. Testify shows him in a fairly content space, exploring family life and all of its trappings, as well as the experience of aging past the point of youthful rebellion. In short, this project has been designed for adult consumption, yet there's plenty here for mature-minded kids, as evidenced by the sticky-sweet single "Can't Stop Loving You." Ultimately, Testify is for those who have happily stepped out of rock's fast-lane and are interested in a visit from a dear old friend.—LF