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Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway CD (album) cover

THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.30 | 2919 ratings

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Dark Nazgul
4 stars Very good, but in terms of music IT is not a masterpiece.

Obscure, bizarre, pretentious, brainy, pompous. But even brilliant, innovative and intriguing. If there is an album by Genesis able to divide the fans, that's "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway". Indeed, "The Lamb" is part of that category of albums such as "A Passion Play" or "Tales From Topographic Oceans", which is usually either madly in love or hate deeply. I think that the truth is in the middle, "The Lamb" in my opinion is a very good album, that I recommend to all prog fans, but it does not reach the level of quality of the sensationaland unique triptych "Nursery Cryme" / "Foxtrot" / "Selling England By The Pound". When listening to "The Lamb", both positive and negative aspects emerge: in my view the final rating is certainly positive, but it is undeniable that there are weak moments, and they are not few.

Of course, there are many positive and negative elements that might arise from the analysis of such a complex work, and not just those listed below, that however seem to be the most significant. First of all, the most important positive effects in my opinion, are:

1. Without doubt this is an album of a band still in a state of grace. Gabriel is a unique singer, maybe he does not sing like Sinatra, but in terms of interpretative ability, he is second to none. The "Fantastic Four" have gained a great confidence and an amazing professionalism; Banks and Rutherford are the backbone of the band, Hackett has shown with "Selling England By The Pound" is not only a master musician but also be an excellent composer, and Collins was a drummer with a refined touch and a musical sensibility unknown to most of his colleagues. Among the pieces of "The Lamb" there are some immortal masterpieces such as The Chambers Of 32 Doors, The Lamia, Fly On A Windshield, Broadway Melody Of 1974, Carpet Crawlers, and The Waiting Room, one of the most interesting and experimental tracks of band's career.

2. The lyrics of Peter Gabriel are absolute stunning. This is probably the highest point reached by the singer throughout his career, with and without Genesis. Although the story is centered on a Puerto Rican who lives in New York, and then present a character of ordinary real life with which one can easily identify, mythological and classical references are certainly not abandoned. At the same time there is always surreal and ironic tone that is typical of Gabriel's lyrics.

3. The history is murky, perhaps poorly understood, but also incredibly charming and certainly deeply allegorical. Following the adventures of Rael, we're not listening to the story of a Puerto Rican who finds himself in the underground of New York to live incredible adventures with mysterious and terrible creatures. In fact, we are exploring the contradictions of human nature, we are confronted with Jung and our psyche, we face things that have always fascinated us as the dual personality, the Jewish Kabbalah, the purification of the human soul, and (last but not least) we drink of the source of knowledge, and this without reading Ovid and Dante Alighieri.

And now, what's wrong.

1. The original record printed in 1974 had four sides of music. The first three are very good: the music is extraordinary, especially in the second and third side, and it's still good even in the first one. But the fourth ... The fourth and last side of the record is very disappointing. In The Rapids, Riding The Scree and IT are among the worst songs of Gabriel-era Genesis. Probably from a strictly musical point of view has not helped the clear separation of responsibility for the composition of lyrics (mostly written by Gabriel) and music (almost all written from the rest of the group): in the past, even in the songs a bit less successful, the quality of the music had never reached such a low level.

2. The production focuses mainly on the keyboards and synths, while the pleasing atmosphere built with 12-string guitars are rare and seem to belong to a distant past. Surely a more electronic music is more suited to the story of "The Lamb", but a better balance of the dynamics would be advisable: the music of Genesis has always been an alternation of light and shadows, acoustic and electric. In "The Lamb" the cold electronic atmospheres are too prevalent, with superfluous and occasionally pompous use of synth as in The Colony Of Slippermen, Riding The Scree and In The Cage (where, thankfully, the frantic organ pieces are really amazing). These are not Genesis, these looks like ELP, and I don't like that for sure!

3. In some moments I get the impression that the album has been made thinking of future live performances; some instrumental sections seem to be just filler, certainly useful on stage, to allow Gabriel to wear his famous costumes, but unnecessary for me when I listen to the album sitting on the sofa at home.

In conclusion, 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway " is not a work of the same level of" Foxtrot ", it's not a masterpiece. But it is also true that you can not miss in a collection of progressive rock and therefore is highly recommended. Rating: 8/10.

Four stars.

Best song: The Chamber Of 32 Doors

Dark Nazgul | 4/5 |

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