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Genesis - Duke CD (album) cover

DUKE

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

3.48 | 1007 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Niv
4 stars 4 Stars. Duke is a good album, obviously not as good as the juggernauts of the Hackett era, but it has some really fantastic moments and overall is a fine effort from Mr.Collins who finally found his place as a frontman during this period. Tony Banks is as ever the backbone, and Mike Rutherford used his tried, tested and successful bass pedals throughout. Anyway, here I go song by song:

Behind The Lines is a classic Genesis powerful opener. Starting with a thundering bass pedal and a synchronised guitar and keyboard riff, it's an energetic start to a wonderful album. Phil Collins comes in, and during the second verse the song slows down a little and becomes slightly jazzier. His vocals build up the song to a climax, and the guitar chimes in with a short but pressure releasing solo. The riff then plays again, slightly altered before running into Duchess.

After Behind The Lines fades out, Duchess starts with a simple drum machine beat, and it's the first time Genesis used this technique if I recall correctly. The bass is droning (In a good way), and Phil's vocals shine, as they do throughout the album and the rest of his career.

Guide Vocal is a short, slower song acting as a break between the volatile Duchess and Man Of Our Times. It's one of Genesis' prettier short tracks, and is mainly comprised of Tony's keyboards.

Man Of Our Times is again led in by Rutherford's bass, a hearty keyboard riff and Phil Collins' varied vocals. It's got all the energy of Behind The Lines, and is one of the standout songs on the album. There is an instrumental break before a final, powerful chorus and a fade out.

Misunderstanding is the first single from Duke, and it's my least favourite song on the album. It does have a nice melody, but it's a bit too cheesy and doesn't have as much substance as the rest of the album - basically it doesn't fit right. Phil Collins added it onto Duke just after he recorded his debut solo album Face Value, and it's about a man who attempts to go on a date, but his partner doesn't show up.

Heathaze is the second ballad of the album, and it's quite a nice one. It begins pretty sparsely, but slowly builds into an a clean, almost agressive chorus. A Tony Banks composition, it's mainly soft and mellow but with meaning. Lyrically it's descriptive, beautiful and another testament to Tony's songwriting abilities.

Turn It On Again starts with a strumming bass, before a keyboard riff starts, and Phil's voice starts the first verse. It's sung more agressively, and the main riff is an infectious one. It does start to build, but eventually fades out before any kind of finale.

Alone Tonight starts out again as a ballad, and is a pretty acoustic and vocal song. Until the chorus, and it comes to life, the bass starts to really be heard and the voice is a lot louder and stronger. Definitely a good track, one of many on Duke!

Cul-De-Sac is another Tony Banks song, and it's a lot more interesting than some of the previous songs. It has an imperial kind of feel at times, and all four instruments seem to wake up and come alive. There are a lot of changes throughout the song, and the keyboards are at the forefront. Cul-De-Sac is the second standout song from Duke, and a good drum beat makes a surprise appearance.

The second of Phil Collins' songs, Please Don't Ask is another ballad, but a spritely one at that. Bass and drums take over for the most part, and Phil's voice is always dependable and unlike Misunderstanding, it's a solid and enjoyable song.

And here we have the marquee piece, the only song over 8 minutes and arguably the best song. Opening with an extensive keyboard intro and a mini drum solo, Duke's Travels soon changes to a bumpy rock riff, drums and keyboards intertwining and making a lovely cocktail of music. The bass slides it's way in, but the keyboards are already flying high, and the riffs constantly change. Tony Banks soars on the boards, before Phil comes in with the first lyrics, 6 minutes in. The strained verse is delightfully placed in the structure of the song, before the music forms an explosive climax then settles down slowly to a strange little sound for the last few seconds.

Duke's End is an instrumental reprise of Behind The Lines, and serves as a powerful way to end the album.

Niv | 4/5 |

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