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Genesis - Abacab CD (album) cover

ABACAB

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

2.55 | 879 ratings

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Morningrise
3 stars And Then They Were Pop

This is the album that represents the definite turning point in Genesis musical direction. On And Then They Were Three and Duke the band was still searching for a new identity in order to confront the new decade after the departure of Gabriel and Hackett. I feel as if these albums were transitional. Flirting with pop but still mantaining some of the prog elements that made Genesis famous throughout the 70's. Abacab instead is a pop album all the way through.

So the question is: Could have Genesis made a Pop album and keep older and new fans happy with the results? Certainly not. Is Abacab as bad as most people on this site claim it to be?Well, I have mixed feelings on this one. On one hand we have songs like Abacab or Dodo which are amazingly well crafted joyful pop songs. On the other hand, songs like No Reply At All with that horrible horn section (specially on the "is anybody listening?" part) are almost unbearable. But definitely the worst part comes with Who Dunnit. I wasn't even alive when this album came out, but I can easily imagine how dissapointed older fans must have felt after listening to this. A real slap in the face to them provided by Mr. Collins and the rest of the band. This song isn't even filler. It's an aberration. By far the worst in Genesis catalog and one of the main reasons to understand in part the hatred and severe critics that Abacab constantly gets.

The rest of the album sounds just like how Collins solo material would sound in the future (being Man On The Corner and Like It Or Not the most prolific examples of this). Just proper pop songs. Nothing remarkable, but neither that terrible.

Summarazing, Abacab has its ups which are great, and its downs, which can be harmful to the listener. And although i'd listen to Selling England By The Pound or Nursery Cryme 200 times before this one, I'd still pick up Abacab over Duke or ATTWT. At least in here you know exactly what to expect with each song and you don't get that feeling of not knowing what Genesis wants to be when they grow old. Abacab set the definite basis of what Genesis would be in the years to come. Like it or not.

Morningrise | 3/5 |

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