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Genesis - ...And Then There Were Three... CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.43 | 1549 ratings

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4 stars Among other things, 'And Then There Were Three' is a document of Genesis music thriving in the short-song format. This would not last long, as their less-is-more approach would eventually just lead to less. But for what it is, this album is a total creative triumph, proof that, at least for now, Genesis could shapeshift through all kinds of creative phases and come up with the goods.

It's quite obvious Steve Hackett is missing, and even though his role seemed subtler than ever on 'Wind And Wuthering', it's clear Mike Rutherford didn't intend to cover the loss with his own stunning guitar work--because Rutherford's not a stunning guitarist. But what he does here on guitar, as well as his more familiar bass, is suitable for the material. Tony Banks lays down incredibly thick beds of keyboards all over these songs, all having a more linear flow than anything the band had done since their curious debut album. Some songs revolve around bouncy syncopation, like the agile "Scene's From A Night's Dream", "Ballad Of Big", "The Lady Lies" and odd-time opener "Down And Out". The rest of it is like being on some sort of pleasant morphine daydream. "Scene's From A Night's Dream" is an incredibly underrated Genesis tune. It's a quick one, at 3:30, but the energy put out by Phil on vocals and his active drum part is addictive. A fun little tale with a whole lot of spirit. "Down And Out" is based on a strange rhythm. The first time I heard it I had to check to see if the CD was skipping. It's a great choice for opener, a powerful, huge, lumbering thing with a foreboding quality that second song "Undertow" wipes away, brightening the tone for the rest of the album. Most of the songs-short for Genesis at this time-run into one another, creating a dreamlike atmosphere. "Deep In The Motherlode", "Many Too Many", and "Say It's Alright Joe" offer some of the most accessible Genesis yet, but are easy to get into and enjoy. High points come in the aforementioned "Scene's.", the arresting "Down And Out" and the emotional intensity of "The Lady Lies", as well as the pleasant chill of "Snowbound" and the absolutely massive epic strains of "Burning Rope" (the longest song at 7:07).

Phil's vocals are usually multi-tracked, fitting the multi-layered keyboard atmospheres. He's more assertive and emotional on this album than the previous two. Despite having a rather limp ending no thanks to "Follow You Follow Me" (the only poor song here), 'And Then There Were Three' is a powerful journey, offering an immense and delightful production that perfectly suits the material. It also signals the end of the grand symphonic Genesis era. Good stuff was yet to come, but this album seems like the final bow before heading toward a more conservative way of doing things. Life goes on, people get older, c'est la vie.

slipperman | 4/5 |


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