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Genesis - We Can't Dance  CD (album) cover

WE CAN'T DANCE

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

2.65 | 799 ratings

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daveconn
Prog Reviewer
3 stars While it adds up to a better album than any that the trio might have accomplished on their own, "We Can't Dance" still doesn't amount to a good enough reason to keep the GENESIS name alive. To be honest, I became disillusioned with the brand beginning with "Abacab", as they ceased to speak to their original audience, writing from personal experience instead of fanciful imagination. Despite being released five years after "Invisible Touch", little had changed in the interim, and it's not unlikely that GENESIS sought to make the same sort of album in lieu of anything better to do.

Even the more ambitious tracks (e.g., "Living Forever") suggest cookie-cutter exotica, while the hits are simply spliced together from past peccadilloes with the pop charts. Any number of acts (Phil COLLINS and Mike + The Mechanics among them) could have written a "No Son of Mine" or "Tell Me Why", baby boomer baloney the lot of it. Even the attempts at storytelling, like "Driving The Last Spike", are more what I'd expect from Billy Joel if he was still recording (thank goodness for small favors) than GENESIS.

The problem begins with too familiar instrumentation: the lifeless bass lines, a miserly application of Tony BANKS' once-abundant magic, the clockwork drum patterns and no-longer-novel effects. If the band had evolved one inch since "Invisible Touch", it's invisible on "We Can't Dance". The power of predictable and reliable product is never to be underestimated, however, and this album performed just as well as their last, clogging the airwaves with its profligate offspring like poison spores on the wind. It wasn't that awful, I suppose, but I felt so foolish holding the band's fallen standard while they caricatured themselves on "I Can't Dance" and wilted over pre-programmed pabulum like "Hold On My Heart." Oddly, I'd be more charitably disposed toward the music if it had borne only Phil COLLINS' imprimatur, as I've tempered my expectations from that quarter accordingly.

"We Can't Dance" instead opened the old wounds that had healed since "Invisible Touch". At least I'm not alone in my despair: the used CD that I bought features only the first sheet from the lyric booklet, rendered unwhole in what I like to imagine was the act of a mortally wounded owner fueled by a tory's passion for the lost age of kings. All by way of saying that you won't get any credits from me on this disc.

daveconn | 3/5 |

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