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Genesis - Nursery Cryme CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 2897 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars In 1971 Genesis had just added their new guitarist, Steve Hackett, and were also still getting used to drummer Phil Collins, who'd joined shortly before Hackett. However, now that the band was all together, they began rehearsing and recording for their next album, which turned out to be this album. "Nursery Cryme" is a very good album, but to me it is lacking a certain feeling.

To start with, "The Musical Box" has a very interesting story, and good instrumentation, but to be perfectly honest, for most of the song I sit in boredom. To be even more honest, I usually skip it. They're all playing at their best, and Gabriel's lyrics are very good, but for me this song just never really gets off the ground. The tune itself isn't wonderfully appealing, and some of the time the vocals can be annoying. Especially, the beginning is rather below par. However, parts of this song live up to it's fantastic reputation, because although a lot of it can get boring, a good bit of it is wonderfully chaotic. Don't worry though, they'd improve it on "Genesis Live" (but that's another review). The next track is the beautiful quiet acoustic song "For Absent Friends". This is the first time they seemed to understand that their drummer had quite a voice, and so Phil Collins sings lead on this track, and he sings beautifully. Although it's very short, I feel like the mood of it would be ruined if it was longer. It's a beautiful tune overall; a close to perfect song. Following that comes the manic "Return Of The Giant Hogweed". One of their very good tunes, it has an interesting apocalyptic story, and while the beginning isn't absolutely amazing, the rest definitely is. The second half takes off and is what truly makes this song. It switches between themes and solos, and also has a creepy-but-wonderful vocal effect on Peter Gabriel's voice to end the song as the hogweed. This is one that, overall, will not disappoint you. Up next is the low key "Seven Stones". Although not the best song on the album, it's a wonderful tune, and the vocals and instruments are especially charged. They seem to add something every time a theme is repeated, such as Phil singing with Peter, or a flute part, to keep the song going and to keep it interesting. They succeed greatly, and this is a very, very overlooked song. The quiet majesty of "Seven Stones" is followed by the fantastically manic "Harold The Barrell". It's a quirky rocker, and it shows very little hint of it being by a symphonic prog band like Genesis. However strange this song is in their catalog, it is definitely one you'll be coming back to again and again. It has Gabriel at his storytelling best, and it has some wonderful vocals by Peter Gabriel, and some equally wonderful doubled vocals by Phil Collins. To balance out the crazy "Harold The Barrell", they follow it with the short, light acoustic number "Harlequin". Some beautiful harmony vocals by Phil and Peter, and a wonderful melody to go along with if. The lead guitar lines from Steve Hackett and the electric piano from Tony Banks are like icing on the cake. And here is the end. "The Fountain Of Salmacis" is a powerful song, with an interesting story, and spectacular use of mellotron. Probably the only epic song on this album that is truly great from start to finish.

Overall, this is an excellent album. Although it has certain parts that suffer from the transition of the new lineup, the other parts shine out in ways that showed what was to come.

AlastairGrimley | 4/5 |


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