Phil Collins

Love Songs (Atlantic)

Phil Collins has gone from being the singing stickman in a respectable band called Genesis to the guy animated-movie-soundtrack producers call when Sting and Elton John aren't available and a synthesizer is. This scenario has evidently repeated itself frequently enough for Collins to scrape together this two-CD collection of "classic" Love Songs. There are diamonds here, to be sure -- the venerable "Against All Odds" and a sparkling live duet of "Separate Lives" chief among them -- but nowhere near enough quality material to justify pressing the extra disc.

However, none of this is as important as the excuse this retrospective provides for the introduction of a great new karaoke game to the world: the "Philibuster." Here's how the Philibuster works: You and two amigos are in an all-but-empty karaoke bar on a Sunday or Monday night, where you're likely to virtually control the mic. The requirements, then, are twofold: Nothing can be sung except Phil Collins songs, and the singer cannot pick any of his own titles. Herein, Easy Lovers may be forced to belt out a rollicking "Sussudio" at their buddy's behest, and Groovy Kind of Guys might find themselves in a "Land of Confusion" over the span of three and a half puppet-laden minutes. Any way you slice the pie, it's all Phil, all the time -- with no end in sight until the bartender meets your demands for ten-cent well drinks and a five a.m. last call. Hence the name "Philibuster": a grating-yet-effective means to maximizing your evening out.

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