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Genesis - Selling England By The Pound CD (album) cover

SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.63 | 2987 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Lofcaudio
3 stars The Good, Bad and the Average

The Good: Firth of Fifth and The Cinema Show

While these two songs are very solid, they do not make this album a masterpiece. "Firth of Fifth" is the third song and showcases some nice instrumentation in the way of keyboards early and guitar late. Banks and Hackett showcase their skills rather nicely in this song and the overall effect is impressive. "The Cinema Show" is an epic which weaves a nice story with a melody that never bores or gets old. The whole band contributes nicely with Gabriel doing some emotive singing which adds some texture to the work.

The Average: Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, I Know What I Like, More Fool Me, After the Ordeal

"Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" starts off well but seems to drag about midway through the song. In my humble opinion, it is long only for the sake of being long. Good progressive rock songs should capture your attention and not let go. This song just doesn't do that for me. After about three minutes, I am ready for the next song, which is..."I Know What I Like" has a catchy melody and is fun to sing along with, but it does not grab my imagination. So while I am glad that the day has broken on the "Moonlit Knight" with this song, I am already looking ahead to the aforementioned "Firth of Fifth". "More Fool Me" showcases Collins' vocals nicely. But other than that, it is a pretty forgettable love (pop?) song which really slows the pace coming in right after "Firth of Fifth." "After the Ordeal" is basically an intermission piece stuffed between the two eleven-minute epics on this disc. It is so forgettable in this position that I can't even think of anything to say about it.

The Bad: The Battle of Epping Forest, Aisle of Plenty

My primary gripe with this album comes in the form of "The Battle of Epping Forest." This is a goofy song that is almost painful for me to listen to. Gabriel seems to have fun with the various vocal jokes that he pulls off when performing this song. But I would much prefer to hear him do the Slippermen than this mess. The song begins with a march beat and flutes and turns into a musical brawl of epic (pun most certainly intended) proportions. Hackett does insert a few fun little guitar riffs, but this song could just as easily be mistaken for a disco tune (in certain parts) as it could for progressive rock. "Aisle of Plenty" is basically a 90 second reprise of the opening of the album with Gabriel adding some non-sensical utterances as the album closes. I'm not sure why the band felt the need to end the album this way, but there it is. A disappointing closure to an otherwise decent album.

Overall

I like Genesis and I like this album. So while I would recommend it, I feel I should point out its flaws with this review and three-star rating. The good songs are good enough to carry this album, but I can't for the life of me say that this is a masterpiece of progressive music. I much prefer Genesis' next effort in The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

Lofcaudio | 3/5 |

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