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Genesis - Abacab CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.61 | 1292 ratings

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3 stars The dislike for this record in the prog rock community is staggering. It is indeed the Paris Hilton of Prog. But what is really interesting is that for the simplified, heavy-synth embrace of the 80s it was, dressed in a clean white outfit and shiny new watch, 'Abacab' is a really good album... at least mostly. Phil Collins' cringe-causing sentimentality and Motown-isms are regrettable, it's true, and a couple cuts are just downright pap (i.e. 'Who Dunnit'). But the sonic qualities they were able to create were inimitable, "sell out" or not. The result was a gorgeous but artistically disappointing venture. Tony Banks, instead of worked into the mix as on most Genesis releases, is put right up front and leads the way showing plenty of energy with a range and quality of synthesizer settings that have never quite been recaptured. And trooper Mike Rutherford does what any good bass player would; he adds what is required, nothing more, nothing less. The set begins strong on the deliciously robotic title track and ultra-low frequencies from Banks' synths. Cold and distilled, a restrained vision of modern rock, immaculate, and pure-- simplicity raised to glory, and pop music hadn't sounded so good in years. 'No Reply at All' is a genuine, sweet and upbeat love tune, 'Me and Sarah Jane' is an ode to addiction, and 'Keep it Dark' comments on the potential of mankind despite its self-inflicted wounds (or an alien encounter, take your pick). The fun and rock of 'Dodo/Lurker' gets the blood pumping despite a painful reggae break and features a giddy keyboard part from Banks. But 'Man On the Corner', though well-intentioned, is the band at its most commercial and musically timid, and though pretty, 'Like it Or Not' is full-blown sap. Things end with the petrified 'Another Record' as this once magnificent group says goodbye in a big way to forward-thinking rock music and hello to a proper career for themselves. After ten years of solid music, they probably deserved it.

Atavachron | 3/5 |


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