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Genesis - Duke CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.50 | 1495 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Obviously there is a big discussion going on about the time point of the downhill slide in quality of GENESIS records. Actually IMHO it's quite futile to discuss about this question. Whether it was ATTWT, "Duke" or "Abacab", who cares? I think it's quite obvious that all these albums did not nearly reach the level of any of the ones between TRESPASS and WAW. And as well it was quite obvious that the biggest hole of creativity and musical skill has been left only by one person and that was STEVE HACKETT. I don't want to say that PETER GABRIEL has not been as well an indispensable group member since he had quite an important impact on the group, but more from the point of charisma and his unique vocs and not that much on the quality of their compositions as HACKETT had.

IMHO the band's decline happened in three steps. The first slight, not that dramatic drop-down was on ATOTT after PETER GABRIEL had demised and COLLINS took over lead vocs (honestly his voice although being very good just fits better to pop-rock and ballads). Though the album still contained great compositions one could realise on this one and even more on WAW that their music does not have anymore the same quality than in the 70-74 period. The second and very huge step downhill came with the release of ATTWT when they started to sound more like a rather good Pop or Art Rock band, because two decisive factors influencing the sound came together: COLLINS' rather pop-ish type of vocs plus (or even multiplied with) the lack of a real good guitarist, consequently keyboards taking over the role of main instrument. Two years later Duke came out, and here keyboards were even more in the foreground and the band finally adapted to a common 80's plastic synth sound even taking over some minimalistic elements of New Wave. The third step and finally the end of the band GENESIS the way it started came with the release of ABACAB, where the degeneration of their sound to pop was accomplished. This one and all studio albums that came after I'm usually just ignoring because they simply don't deserve anymore to carry the band's name and actually I wouldn't miss anything if they never had been released. BTW I listened to ALL of them (only once that's enough!), but I do not own any of them as an original.

Honestly Duke sounds already mainly like COLLINS's later solo albums with very few exceptions that are Heathaze, Cul-de-Sac and Duke's Travels + Ends which are rather good prog songs but of course lacking the greatness of earlier works. The rest of the album consists of some mediocre pop-prog songs like Behind The Lines and Duchess plus a few COLLINS-typical ballads and as well some very pop-ish and catchy songs with Misunderstanding being the worst. Cul-de-Sac is the only track showing some of the band's passed qualities - very good intro with piano, vocs sound stronger and even some odd-timed bars are present. For me this album (together with ATTWT) is just on the border to be accepted as a Genesis output but admittedly one has to regard it rather as a (fairly good) Art Rock Album.


As a pop-rock album Duke would deserve 3 stars or even more, but here we're dealing with Prog and GENESIS used to be a trademark for this music genre. So I'm giving 2 stars for it (maybe 2 1/2 in real) and recommend it only to those favouring the Collins/Banks/Rutherford line-up or lovers of Collins' solo stuff!

hdfisch | 2/5 |


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