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Genesis - Nursery Cryme CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 3250 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars As guitarist Steve Hackett and drummer Phil Collins had recently joined the band, Nursery Cryme is the first Genesis album with the classic lineup. So it's not much of a surprise, at least in retrospect, that this album far surpasses Trespass, their prior effort.

But while the opening number (and fan favorite) "The Musical Box" makes this clear almost immediately, it's also evident - - again, in retrospect - - that the new Genesis is still a work in progress. "The Musical Box" is an early highlight of the band's discography, but it would be surpassed several times over the next two albums. Like "The Knife," the standout track on Trespass, "The Musical Box" is nicely noisy and ragged, and this seems to be part of an evolution toward a more symphonic sound they will approach on Foxtrot (1972) and achieve on Selling England by the Pound (1973). That sound would still employ plenty of dissonance, but with a bit more polish.

Nursery Cryme's closing number, "The Fountain of Salmacis," is similar to "The Musical Box" insofar as its production on record doesn't quite match its ambition.

But the sci-fi of "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" and the drama of "Harold the Barrel" represent substantial improvements over Trespass, not only in composition and performance, but in variety. "Hogweed" even bests the similar "Get 'em Out By Friday," which would be released the following year on Foxtrot. Similarly, whatever the band would aim for on "Time Table" (also from Foxtrot), they seem to have already achieved here, far more elegantly, with "For Absent Friends." What makes "Time Table" and "For Absent Friends" similar goes beyond their nature as relatively placid songs, at least compared to the songs before and after them. They're both also commentaries on the passage of time - - something that doesn't seem necessary more than once per album.

Nonetheless, two more such songs are included on Nursery Cryme in the forms of "Seven Stones" and "Harlequin," and neither is nearly as good as "For Absent Friends."

On the whole, Nursery Cryme is a good, though uneven album, a record of a rapidly-improving band.

patrickq | 3/5 |


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