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Genesis - Selling England by the Pound CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.65 | 4686 ratings

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3 stars Obviously one of the best loved of Genesis' releases (maybe in all of prog), SELLING ENGLAND is a hallmark of their sound, yet I find it suprisingly hard to love. It lacks the majesty of FOXTROT, the earnestness of NURSERY CRYME and the grandeur of THE LAMB, and to me it is an uneven mix.

It starts remarkably strong with "...Moonlit Knight" an all out assertion of their power as a band, and we had yet to see them as ferocious as this on album, with the speed and intensity of the playing. "I Know What I Like" is a fanciful sing-a-long, but I have never enjoyed this song. I get it, I just find myself uninterested in it musically or lyrically. Why it is held in such regard, I cannot comprehend. "Firth Of Fifth" is the best thing they've ever committed to vinyl. I am always amazed at how gorgeous this song is with melodious keyboard runs, Gabriel's great vocal and Hackett's unbelievably powerful and controlled solo. I absolutely love this song. "More Fool Me" is often sighted as the blight to the album, and while I have no love for it, boring and slightly out of place, this worst spot has to be reserved for the next song, "...Epping Forest." This is the band at its most indulgent and more the sorry for it. Gabriel's lyrics always worked better when they were subtle, unlike this heavy handed assault where he barely has enough time to spit out the lines, almost rushing each line to the end. Musically it is all over the place, beyond the chorus I can not remember any of the music at all. Nothing wrong with going all out, everything wrong with doing it badly. "After The Ordeal" and what an ordeal "Epping" was, is subtle and attractive, but maybe too much so as it is scarcely remembered. "Cinema Show" closes things well, I particularly like the lyrical content, but i must say I prefer the more muscular versions of this song on their live releases, as this one sounds a bit anemic. "Aisle Of Plenty" while not really a song more a time-filler for the album side, nevertheless gets shut off early by me as it comes off as irritating and pointless.

The performances throughout are superb as expected, but on a couple songs, inspired. I feel as if I've been too harsh, but I feel it is a mediocre album saved by two to three outstanding songs.

DantesRing | 3/5 |


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