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Genesis - Duke CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.50 | 1494 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Duke is what I find as a farewell to Genesis in their good days. The previous album was my introduction to progressive music, and "Duke" is higher on both extremes. It's significantly poppier at times, and significantly proggier at times. I'm debating between 3 or 4 stars for this one, but I'm leaning towards 4. The pop moments aren't horrible (for the most part), and the prog moments are some of my favorite from Genesis (the Duke's Travels/Duke's End suite is some of my favorite music ever).

I'm not sure if this is a concept album or not. I don't know of it has a lyrical story or not (I guess I didn't pay close enough to the lyrics), but it certainly does have a few musical and lyrical reprises. The opening to "Behind The Lines" is reprised in "Duke's End", along with two or three other reprises.

In terms of music, this is a very solid effort that is far too often overlooked in the prog community simply because Steve Hackett and Peter Gabriel had left at this point in Genesis' career. Also, songs like "Misunderstanding" and "Turn It on Again" are associated with Duke way more than they need to be. Look folks, these are only 2 out of 12 songs. The rest of the album is almost all incredible. Ultimately, these two songs are why I'm giving this album 4/5 stars. What ISN'T associated with this album is all of the great parts that earn the other 4 stars. "Behind The Lines" has a proggy opening, but has a funky main section with really cool bass. Even some of the more poppy songs (Alone Tonight, Please Don't Ask) are very good.

One of the main things about this album is that, prog or pop moments, it is very synth-heavy and has a different feel, even in comparison to its predecessor. It has a sound that I tend to like, but I could understand somebody not liking some of the traits. One of these things that I definitely do not like is the drum machine that is used occasionally here. It's not nearly as bad as it would soon become, but it's a hint of where they were going to go, which is definitely a shame because the drumming is incredible on this album. If you listen to the drumming on the last two songs, you will see some of Phil Collins' true drumming ability.

All in all, this is a solid album. Is it Foxtrot? Certainly not. But in the dying prog scene in the early 1980's, this is a very good album with moments of symphonic prog at its best. This is a mix of a few prog songs and a few pop songs put together to make a solid album, warranting a 4 star review.

J-Man | 4/5 |


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