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Genesis - Nursery Cryme CD (album) cover

NURSERY CRYME

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 2126 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The classic line-up begins

From Trespass through The Lamb, legendary proggers Genesis laid forth a 5-album streak of some of prog's most beloved classics. Trespass was their breakthrough masterpiece and established the band's lush sound built around guitar and keyboards, and lead by the dramatic and passionate voice of Peter Gabriel. Unfortunately, guitarist Anthony Phillips, who was the heart of the band at this time, was having unbearable issues with stage fright. It became so bad that he felt he had to leave the band. It's a shame because as good as they were anyway, they were a better band with Phillips in the fold. The band used the departure of Phillips to shop for a new drummer figuring they would handle both personnel issues at once. Enter Steve Hackett and Phil Collins....and so begins the next chapter which was a continuation of their most significant creativity.

Several changes occurred in the sound between Trespass and Nursery. First and foremost was Banks stepping to the forefront with much more emphasis, the folksy medieval charming-ness of Phillips no longer in the way. Hackett brought with him a more confident and somewhat heavier lead in the rock sense, the bold leads of "Musical Box" are melodic and powerful. Second was the undeniable control and finesse that Collins brought to the kit. As great as I feel Mayhew was, and I personally prefer his style, there is no doubt that progressive rock fans enjoyed what Collins brought to the sound, let alone the eventual vocal prowess. Nursery Cryme would keep the English whimsy of Trespass but feel more Victorian than Middle Ages, more rock than woodsy, more feisty than breezy. "Musical Box" was and remains an absolute high point of the band with its top notch songwriting and good fun. "Hogweed" is another step upward in rock intensity with furious bashing by Collins and chunky fuzzed out guitars melded beautifully to Banks keys and even occasional remnants of Gabriel's flute. "Seven Stones" is a grand vocal piece that recalls Trespass in mood and softness, with flute and pastoral ambiance. Here's a prime example of Collins overplaying though, a song where I'd prefer Mayhew's style. "Harlequin" is another luscious but mellow track that could have been on Trespass, with glorious vocal harmonies, serving as the perfect introduction to the third classic of Nursery Cryme. "Salmacis" is another fan favorite with imagery of water that is mimicked in the sound, the dreamy part from the beginning which recurs sounds exactly like a dark pool of rippling water would look to the eye. Brilliant concoction!

I love the confidence Tony Banks exhibits here and I feel with Phillips departure it was his show despite the more popular and acclaimed Peter Gabriel in front. Cryme is another classic album that leads the competition of the day: easily a better album than Meddle and a bit stronger than The Yes Album.

Finnforest | 4/5 |

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