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Picks and Pans Review: Testify

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Phil Collins (Atlantic)

On his first new studio disc since 1996’s Dance into the Light, Collins continues to display the easy way with a melody that has made him the poster boy for adult-contemporary radio since the ’80s. You’re sure to hear the first single, a sweet but simple remake of Leo Sayer’s 1978 non-hit “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” the next time you’re waiting in the doctor’s office. Even more singsongy is “Come with Me,” a lullaby-like ditty that features a Collins tune he used for a music box in the bedroom of his 19-month-old son Nicholas. “I’ll try to make the stars shine brighter for you,” he sings in a treacly lyric that could have been on his 1999 soundtrack to Disney’s Tarzan. Although he does add touches of electronica to make his sound more contemporary, Collins could use more of the art-rock experimentation that still marks the work of the other former Genesis front man, Peter Gabriel. Get Gabriel’s new one, Up, instead.

BOTTOM LINE: Too-easy listening