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Genesis - Abacab CD (album) cover

ABACAB

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

2.55 | 876 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Now a three-piece and sliding inevitably towards chart-friendly synth pop, ABACAB finds Collins and co in sparky, primary-coloured pop form, eschewing the long-winded prog sensibilities of yesterday and replacing them with shorter, sharper and simpler songs. While previous album DUKE(1980) mixed state-of-the-art studio pop and rock within a prog framework, ABACAB takes the band even further from their roots, in what can be seen as a rather sly attempt to win a new audience, boost sales and conquer America proper, all the time dispensing with tradition and producing an album that looks set to alienate long-term fans but win over new admirers across the globe. And the difference in tone and style has really gained momentum recently, with 1978's prog-pop effort ...AND THEN THERE WERE THREE, now seeming light-years ago, both in terms of sound and style, with the 'new', slimline Genesis, now a bona-fide hit machine in the making. If your a seething (ex)believer, you're probably not reading this; if you've stuck to your guns all along, you may find a few crumbs of comfort between the lazy pop quirks and shame-faced commercial hooks that populate this anaemic yet occasionally-catchy album. The eponymously-titled opener adds horns to the mix(courtesy of Earth, Wind and Fire), and offers one of the few hints of the past with an extended 'jam' section - that lasts around 5 mins - coming right out of nowhere to bamboozle their new-found fans. For old time fans however, it proves to be a moment of very brief respite in an album crammed with cynical commercial cuts and is probably a catalyst for dewy-eyed memories of 20-minute epics, Peter Gabriel and those simpler times when Prog ruled the 1970's. MAN ON THE CORNER, a short, sweet ballad, is a welcome slice of Collins-whimsy(and a pointer to where his career would be heading in the not-so-distant future), but like it's protagonist, it's a lonely if worthy attempt in an otherwise forgettable commercial confection of an album that dispenses with substance in favour of broad pop stylings. The title, if you're interested, is a pun on the group's now simplistic method of song-writing. The irony is palpable. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2009
stefro | 2/5 |

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