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GENESIS

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

2.71 | 851 ratings

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7headedchicken
4 stars When I think of atmosphere, one of the first songs that comes to mind is "Mama." Imagine Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" with even an even more dramatic build and a more mechanical and complex drum machine pattern, and of course Tony Banks' characteristic keyboard sounds, with Mike Rutherford's very emotionally conveyant guitar soloing, and even more urgently passionate vocals from Phil Collins. The way that drum machine starts with the low organ drone and the synths fading in slowly is one of the most unique and convicingly eerie intros they've ever done, and when everything drops out to leave Phil laughing maniacally, there is a huge hole in the musical universe filled. The last two choruses, where Phil screams "It's hot/too hot for me Mama/" is almost shocking to hear, and is even likely to grab the attention of even fervent haters of their music. A lot of the album is less varied and simplistic than Abacab, but there's plenty of creativity throughout. "Silver Rainbow' contains some of the most original keyboard sounds Tony Banks has used, the closing "It's Gonna Get Better" puts hopeful, universalist lyrics to an r'n'b bass line that's in an odd meter, accompanied by backwards synth chords. On the well known hit, "That's All", Phil Collins shows that you don't have to abandon your skill when you switch to electric drums with some very nice fills, and "Illegal Alien", while the lyrics have never actually made me laugh once, carries on in the vein of "No Reply At All" with a middle section that rivals that track in terms of tightly interlocking band interplay. "Home By the Sea" carries on the dark atmoshpere with lyrics that remind me a little of a "Hotel California"-type theme - of course, I could be wrong about that, but the song is very catchy and melodic either way, and Phil is singing at perhaps the height of his vocal career here. I never considered "Second Home By the Sea" to be their most interesing jamming/soloing, but the layers of keyboards close to the end are very convincing, and it does wrap up nicely with a reprise of the first part. "Just a Job To Do" isn't quite as convicing, as it always struck me as trying a little too hard to be dark lyrically, and being somewhat of a clumsy retread of "No Reply At All" musically. But the middle section is actually VERY convincing, and I like the way they exit the song. Perhaps the most succesful track is the ballad "Taking It All Too Hard", where the mood is lightened just a tad, while the keyboards stay dark and moody, the verses and choruses alternate bewtween being pessimistic and comforting, and the melody stays top notch, as is typical for the album. A very worthwhile recording.
7headedchicken | 4/5 |

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