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Genesis - Genesis CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.76 | 1154 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's hard to begrudge the band making more commercial music when it sounds this good. GENESIS the album went triple platinum and produced some of the more memorable hits from 1983 and 1984: "Illegal Alien","That's All", "Mama", "Taking It All Too Hard". Sure, it's not far removed from Phil COLLINS' solo music (which some folks were getting sick of), but as a trio their sound is denser, richer. Credit Tony BANKS' keyboards for keeping the arrangements substantial, from the dark touches on "Mama" to the epic instrumental "Second Home By The Sea".

Personally, "Duke" is the last GENESIS album that I really connected with, but of the work that followed this is my favorite. True, "Illegal Alien" is just silly (which undermines whatever social message Phil may have had in mind) and "It's Gonna Get Better" is shallow idealism, but the band still shows some bite in "Silver Rainbow" (one of my favorite cuts on here) and "Just A Job To Do". Where "Invisible Touch" seemed bitter and "Abacab" eclectic, their eponymous album feels polished from beginning to end. With so much top-shelf material, a lovely ballad like "Taking It All Too Hard" (which recalls ".And Then There Were Three") doesn't have to carry the side, instead serving as a respite before an edgier cut like "Just A Job To Do".

Since the band had taken to crediting the whole group (all three of them) for songwriting, it's hard to know what exactly Mike RUTHEFORD contributes to the final product. His guitar work is muted on the album (as is Phil's drumming to some extent), with the vocals and BANKS' keyboards driving most of the music. This does give GENESIS a gauzier texture than "Abacab", returning to the "humid" sound of the band's first two albums as a trio. The difference here is how clean and precise the music is, which costs the album some humanity while placing it on the cutting edge of production value for its time. If any late-period GENESIS album is going to win over converts from the band's "classic" period, this is the one to do it.

daveconn | 4/5 |


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