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Genesis - Nursery Cryme CD (album) cover

NURSERY CRYME

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 3212 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Hyardacil
4 stars Actually I'd give this album 4,55 stars if I could. It's not exactly perfect, but compulsory reading for anyone who wants a good picture of progressive rock history or simply writing good rock music. This album does not redefine the genre, nor is it the most experimental one, but it is very clever and inventive, imaginative and simply very good songwriting and composing - as is with Genesis generally.

I'd say that this isn't the best Genesis album however - the classical quintet of Gabriel, Banks, Rutheford, Hackett, Collins got a lot better in subsequent releases. However after re listening the album fully over many, many months, I have to admit that it is a lot more accomplished than I had given it credit for previously.

The album starts with one of the more stronger tracks. "The Musical Box" conjures up medieval themes in the acoustic sections of it's music and lyrics. The story is very abstract and does not make a whole lot of sense (at least to me) generally and many would attribute this to the pretentiousness of Genesis, but the lyrics certainly provide some unforgettable and passionate moments. And so does of course the music. The start of the song resembles the previous album - "Trespass" in mood, however the arrangement of the music is much more dynamic and provides more interesting moments in the pastoral section. The more "rocky" guitar solos in the middle are actually less interesting to me. They take a new turn for Genesis, so far, but I feel that their new guitarist Hackett got more melodically inventive later on. The song concludes unforgettably of course, however. Certainly a classic.

"For Absent Friends" is a filler track. But not a bad one at that. It certainly compliments the whole album and again portrays Genesis' ability to simply write very good songs.

"The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" contains very quirky and moody music that does a very good job at conjuring up different sorts of emotions and landscapes. The story itself doesn't move me as much, but the track contains memorable solos, motif's and engaging music.

"Seven Stones" is very symphonic and passionate in it's mood. Dominated by the Mellotron strings. Melodically strong, but not very memorable for me.

"Harold The Barrel" however is, for me, very memorable. It is a very cleverly written little song. The most upbeat tone in music and the short length makes you think that it is a filler track at first, however paying attention to the lyrics and the sudden ending makes you realize that it is in fact a song about suicide. A good example of how in-depth early Genesis actually was about their songwriting. The music compliments the plot perfectly.

"Harlequin" is another filler. Mellow and quiet and a welcome addition to the album's general picture, but as a separate track it is forgettable.

"The Fountain Of Salmacis" is definitely my favorite track from the album however. It is a perfect example of symphonic prog rock. Almost operatic in nature, the rendition of a mythical story in rock is nothing short of perfect. A very dynamic arrangement, that indeed imitates what an orchestra can do very well and the thematic progressions are perfectly handled and thought through. Emotional climaxes are also not absent and Gabriel's singing is very expressive, as always.

An album with it's strong points and weak points. I can imagine it not being that interesting to everybody, but from a musicians standpoint it is simply a very, very worthy effort.

Hyardacil | 4/5 |

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