Phil Collins' first collection of all-new solo material in six years will reflect the veteran singer/songwriter's newfound contentment with marriage, fatherhood and modern technology.
Testify, scheduled for a Nov. 12 release, features songs inspired by Orianne, Collins' wife since 1999, and their 14-month-old son, Nicholas. The title track is "the most upfront, direct love song I've ever written," he says, while a lullaby-like tune called Come With Me (Close Your Eyes) combines music originally written when his 13-year-old daughter from an earlier marriage was an infant — and later adapted for a music box in Nicholas' bedroom — with a new lyric "about trying to do the best you possibly can for your kids."In writing songs for the new CD, which includes "some harder-edged stuff" as well, Collins worked extensively with computers, a method he also is using for the soundtrack of a new Disney film due in 2004. "I had resisted computers for a long time, but the freedom they give you in composition is amazing," he says. In addition, Collins plans to write new material for a stage adaptation of his first animated Disney feature, 1999's Tarzan.
One thing Collins will be doing less of in the near future is touring. A year and a half ago, the singer developed "sudden deafness," a viral infection that killed cells and affected his aural comprehension in one ear.
"I can hear and write and sing, but loud noises aren't comfortable," he says. "So I may do some showcase gigs, but I'll be concentrating more on writing and recording than live performances."
© USA Today, by Elysa Gardner