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




Symphonic Prog

4.63 | 3812 ratings

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The Mystical
3 stars Selling England By The Pound" is a hard album for me to rate, since I consider it to be a good album, yet I deem it to be very over-rated within this site. There are some beautiful moments here, but I find the album very disjointed, and at times I find it outright boring and pretentious.

One of this album's largest flaws is that the songs do not click. Each of the songs sound like they should be on the same album, but they are very badly ordered. It is like a family of people that look, sound and act very similar but will not stop quarrelling. But the thing that loses me the most about this album is the boring lyrical content. It pains me to say this, but I am not interested in the complex political statements that are portrayed throughout this album. At all. I find many of the lyrics, despite the fact that they are very well written, to be painfully boring and very pretentious. Usually I can forgive an album for having lyrics that I find boring, but the lyrical content on this album is heavily emphasised.

Side one of this album begins with "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight". This song is probably one of the more famous classic Genesis tunes. The first thing I wish to say about this track is that I really can't stand the opening. After a few listens it really begins to grate upon me. But thankfully the track begins to pick up very soon afterwards and we have an incredible song. The chorus has tremendous strength, and the last three or so minutes are incredibly beautiful.*****

"I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" is very misplaced in this album. It is rather insensitive to both the tracks next to it, particularly the incredibly atmospheric ending of "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight". Despite this it is a decent track.***

"Firth Of Fifth" is a good track, and perhaps the most acclaimed Genesis song from their whole discography. The piano intro is very beautiful, and the guitar solo is also very nice. But this song seems to have several gaping holes. Even after several listens, I still wait for something to happen in many places. The lyrics fail to intrigue me also.***

I actually really like "More Fool Me", and consider it to be the most well placed track on the whole album. It is a nice song that compliments the rest of the album wonderfully. I love Phil Collins' voice in this track.***

Side two opens with "The Battle Of Epping Forest". Strangely enough, this is one of my favourite tracks on the album. The lyrics of this song were inspired by a news story that Peter Gabriel heard about two rival gangs' territorial battles. The song is highly cinematic, and Peter Gabriel's different voices always put me in a good mood.****

"After The Ordeal" is an instrumental interlude that I find very boring. This track is everything that I don't like in classical music.**

"The Cinema Show" is an excellent track, and it revives the album a little from the disappointment of many of the previous tracks. What I like about this song is that the lyrics are sincere and really create an atmosphere that the music can easily support, rather than an attempt at a political statement.*****

I guess I am a little bias toward Genesis in general, as I have little interest in their lyrical content. I have a greater interest in abstract spirituality than political lyricism and poetry, and so I find the album to be more pretentious than captivating. That being said, I love their music, and I do enjoy this album.

3.5 stars.

The Mystical | 3/5 |


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