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

...AND THEN THERE WERE THREE...

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

3.44 | 1367 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars ". And Then There Were Three" is surely the weirdest Genesis album to review, since it is trapped in a time of transition for the band, now reduced to the Banks-Collins-Rutherford that eventually came to achieve worldwide stardom status. It is regular consensus among prog-fans' circles that Gabriel's departure the Genesis magic was gone and with Hackett's departure the Genesis art was gone. Well, they may be overstatements but they're not grossly out of the mark either. This album, the first after an unsatisfied Hackett left the band, is proof that Genesis was still keen on progressive inventiveness but also that it was looking on toward different horizons, eventually coming to fruition from the "Duke" album onwards. This is the first Genesis album not to reach the level of excellence that had deservedly made it a major name in the British art-rock scene. But it also has some highlights, too: for instance, this album comprises what are arguably the best Rutherford-penned pieces ever (tracks 4, 6 & 9), as well as some really captivating Banks-penned ballads, and finally, a further exploration of Collins' drumming style (particularly featured in the mix) and the best Rutherford lead guitar input ever (clearly emulating Hackett). The latter signifies the band's tendency to make their sound more robust, while keeping their melodic eerie approach intact from their "Trick" and "Wind" days. The effective opener 'Down and Out' is a loud-and-clear testimony of this line of work: less impressive are tracks 3 & 8 (the latter would have made a strong instrumental, though), but the general idea remains. More successful are the two Banks (relative) epics 'Burning Rope' and 'The Lady Lies', which fit the Genesis prog standard sufficiently, but IMHO fail to grasp the special magic of Banks' better times. On this time only, Rutherford surpasses his buddy: 'Snowbound' is beautifully moving, 'Deep in the Motherlode' is pure symphonic elegance and 'Say It's Alright, Joe' bears an amazing sad atmosphere (better exploited in live renditions, indeed). Banks' inspiration is better served in his two tremendous ballads 'Undertow' and 'Many Too Many', based on mesmerizing piano chord progressions and emotionally charged synth layers. .And then we come to the album's end, the infamous 'Follow You Follow Me' - this sing-along song that might as well have been a Eurovision safe bet is the announcement of yet more futile things to come and overcome the world of Genesis. Unlike 'Harold the Barrel' (a demonstration of witty cabaret-like humor) or 'More Fool Me' (a moment of relaxing romanticism), this individual song is a disgrace for the whole album, because it directly reflects the fact that Genesis was on the verge of leaving their sense of art behind in favor of unfocused immediate appeal. Whichever greatness found in other album tracks was a sing-off letter, whichever shortcoming was a symptom of something else coming to contaminate the area with a thing that is not and should have never been part of Genesis world. But again, that is to be considered in later albums' reviews. so let's leave it with regarding ".And Then There Were Three" as a very good but not essential prog-rock album with some undeniably excellent moments.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |

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