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

WE CAN'T DANCE

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

2.64 | 828 ratings

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slipperman
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Essentially a completists-only album, I gotta give this one an extra point because the production is a huge improvement over the miserable sound of 'Invisible Touch'.and there's a song here that's better than the entire 'Invisible Touch' album, the gorgeous "Fading Lights". More on that later.

Two things hurt this album beyond repair. First is the length. 12 songs at a staggering 71 minutes. This is a downfall of the CD age, where many artists took advantage of quantity without considering quality. It's far more challenging to sustain impact over 70- plus minutes, especially when worlds of wonder have been built in half the time. Related to that is the second downfall: due to increased playing time, potential for filler is increased. And boy, is this album chock full o' filler. A track-by-track synopsis is almost impossible, as stuff like "Never A Time", "Hold On My Heart", "Since I Lost You" and "Tell Me Why" breeze by without anything to their credit: bland, faceless, uneventful. Sounds of a band just about out of steam. Sure, hit single "I Can't Dance" has a unique character, but it's a character I want to slap silly for being so incredibly stupid. The overall sound-picture of the album is natural and earthy, at least much more so than the previous album, but the drum/percussion sounds are still artificial and feeble. Tony Banks' keyboards don't reach that hypnotic wall-of-sound effect of his glory days, but there is a substantial lushness to them in spots. Michael Rutherford is, unfortunately, all but invisible. "Driving The Last Spike" is a longer track, enjoyable, promising more than it actually delivers perhaps, but this is remedied when "Dreaming While You Sleep" rolls around, an emotional journey pushed by Phil's convincing tale- telling. With a bit of a dark edge, this is a good song amidst a sea of unremarkable material (smack in the middle of the album). "Living Forever" offers a few Genesis hallmarks recalling their first few albums with Phil on vocals, but just barely.strands of hope for the desperate fan, more like. Finally, if you've made it through the hour-long duration, your tolerance is rewarded with "Fading Lights". Not just one of the best Genesis tracks of their streamlined era, but one of the best Genesis songs ever. (Would've been nice to hear some real drum sounds on it, but at this late stage you take what you can get.) "Fading Lights" works much like "Afterglow": sublime, vast, dreamlike, on the simpler side of epic but still a thing of wonder. A song to sink into, a good moment of reflection, and a last offering of greatness from this fading legend.

slipperman | 2/5 |

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