Like Face Value before it, Both Sides could be characterized as a "divorce album," but marriage wasn't the only thing Phil Collins was leaving behind in 1993. He was two years removed from We Can't Dance, the 1991 album that turned out to be his last with Genesis, so at a personal and professional crossroads, Collins holed up in his home studio to write and record the songs that became Both Sides. Apart from the relatively chipper "We're Sons of Our Fathers" and "We Wait and We Wonder," a percolating number that feels like a retort to Peter Gabriel's Us, Both Sides is moody without being menacing; it never slides into the stark, skeletal territory that gave "In the Air Tonight" a sense of unease. Rather, Collins turns inward, reveling in a hushed melancholy that conveys heartbreak and loss while skirting the edge of desperation. Song titles tell the tale: there are "Both Sides of the Story," but you "Can't Turn Back the Years," and "Can't Find My Way" and you wind up as "Survivors." By abandoning his thirst for big pop hooks and swapping introspection for art rock, he winds up with an album that is quietly compelling: it lacks the big hits but it feels complete as an album.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine