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

...AND THEN THERE WERE THREE...

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

3.43 | 963 ratings

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russellk
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The self-conscious reference to the group's title says all that needs to be said about this album, really. It's a chapter title from the famous Agatha Christie novel, and the loss of STEVE HACKETT does feel a bit like a murder. Certainly there's a hidden subtext. We've lost two of the five; who's next?

GENESIS ought to have waited until they'd worked through their loss before they went back to the studio. The material presented here had the potential to be excellent, but they have not come to grips with the limitations of being a trio.

Ah well. This disc is an enjoyable listen nonetheless. The rolling bassline and drums make 'Down and Out' an excellent opening track, followed by the cracking, dynamic ballad 'Undertow', good enough to fit on a GENESIS album of any era. 'Ballad of Big' is an incongruous thing, an enormous, bombastic sound fronting a strangely incomplete tale. Again RUTHERFORD shines with his rolling bass line, and TONY BANKS lights up with his keyboard. Fabulous climax to the song in the last 80 seconds - but not matched by the story, lending an odd feel to the song. This could really have benefited from a little more thought.

'Snowbound' is an obvious GENESIS ballad, derivative of their earlier work and my personal favourite from this album. I just adore the timbre of the keys here, allied to PHIL'S maturing voice. 'Burning Rope' is the album's 'epic' track, almost measuring up to 'Mad Man Moon' (of which it is derivative), with some competent guitar work in the central section.

The second half of the disc is much less essential. The muddied production and the use of fewer instruments means it begins to sound the same after a while - the first GENESIS album to overstay its welcome. The only real break is the closing track, the shiny 'Follow You,. Follow Me', the inoffensive, unwitting target for a generation of 'Genesis Sells Out!' protestors. Actually, I think it's the only song on the album that tries to move away from the 'let's do what we did last year' formula. The most progressive, if you like. The real crime is, of course, that it's catchy. Can't have progressive music appealing to the masses, don'tcha know. I want the music to remain my secret! Honestly, we're like over- jealous boyfriends ready to smack the face of anyone bold enough to admire our girl. Let 'em look, lads; she's still yours.

Overall an enjoyable release, if not up to previous standards. This has nothing at all to do with some 'sell-out'; it's purely a function of the band attempting to find out what they sounded like as a trio, and not quite getting it right.

russellk | 3/5 |

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