But Seriously followed on the heels of the massively successful No Jacket Required album, which was also multiplatinum, and produced five hit singles. The idea was that it contained several 'serious' songs, sings that had some social meaning. The first single was also the biggest, and gets a performance here, Another Day in Paradise. The song is a heavy handed look at the poor, and how those better off tend to put them out of our minds. It gets an excellent performance here, maybe topping the studio track, despite it being so preachy.
A less serious, far more upbeat song from the album is Something Happened on the Way to Heaven. In usual Collins fashion, the lyrics are unimportant; they serve as another instrument. And they do it well, this is the most fun hr seems to have on the album.
Two of his duets make the album here; the first is Easy Lover, originally a duet with Earth, Wind and Fire's Philip Bailey. Bailey's stand-in is simply ok here; Collins does most of the work, and the song suffers for it. Separate Lives suffers a similar fate; Collins does too much, and Marilyn Martin is sorely missed. The two hits needed to be included, but do nothing to improve on the originals.
The Buster Soundtrack gets two songs here, too. Collins' cover of Groovy Kind of Love is every bit as good as the studio release. Two Hearts seems bland in this setting, it just doesn't need a live performance. The only other complaint I might have, I don't think he gets why people love In The Air Tonight. He just doesn't give it that same explosion as the studio version.
Most of the rest of the album basically speaks for itself. This is not a straight concert, it is a live greatest hits collection, and despite some of the earlier mentioned low points, the rest of the tracks are vintage Phil Collins. He puts his all into every note, has an amazing range, and is just a fantastic performer. One More Night is a beautiful ballad; Don't Lose My Number is a fun song; Sussudio makes no sense, yet you'll want to dance to it. The closer, Take Me Home, is as beautiful as ever, the perfect show closer.
This might have been improved by being a continuous performance, as Phil tends to chat and mess around a bit between songs, which always makes for a better performance. But that aside, most of my complaints are really personal preferences on a performer who has set ridiculously high standards. This is a worthwhile purchase, a piece of history even, I would be first in line if he puts out another live album.