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Genesis - ...And Then There Were Three...  CD (album) cover

...AND THEN THERE WERE THREE...

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

3.43 | 987 ratings

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Mr. Gone
4 stars I can understand some of the disappointment some longtime fans would have felt at this release. The songs here are shorter on average; there's a bit of extra filler, and some of the stabs at "epicness" just don't quite take hold. And, let's be truthful - Mike Rutherford, as a guitarist, is no Steve Hackett.

Still, though - this is a solid album, with some moments of real greatness. The highlight for me is the opener, "Down and Out", which to me would be an ideal concert opener with its building of instruments in its intro to its driving 5/4 beat. (A particularly fun bit for me is during the chorus, where a tambourine continues to plow along behind some of the most furious drum fills Phil Collins had played to that point.) I guess the band did perform this live for a short period but found it difficult to replicate. Too bad - I'd like to have a soundboard copy of it regardless.

There are plenty of other great tracks here too. "Undertow" is a melancholy rumination on how we let the days of our lives go by without accomplishing what we truly could, believing there's always one more tomorrow. "Burning Rope" is a bittersweet tale of trailblazing and independence, with some great guitar work by Rutherford and keyboard work from Tony Banks. "Deep in the Motherlode" is a gold rush song, maybe mirroring to an extent the occasional risks many of us take that don't pan out. "Many Too Many" features some nice slide guitar work from Rutherford, while Collins puts some real sorrow into the aching lyrics. "Say It's Alright Joe" is another brokenhearted essay, marinated in generous offerings from the titular bartender; its ending reminds me not a little bit of the ending of "It's Yourself" with its beautiful ambient instrumentation. And, in spite of the "sell-out" screams at its inclusion, "Follow You, Follow Me" may still be the best ballad the band did (ironic since it was probably the first) - bubbly guitar and an energetic but still gentle keyboard solo.

Are there misfires? Sure. "Ballad of Big" has a bizarre title and just doesn't cut it for a story ("All in a Mouse's Night" from "Wind and Wuthering" sounds similarly forced), which combined with the unremarkable melody just makes the whole thing forgettable. "Snowbound" is pretty but perhaps a bit slight (and again, what in the world is this about?), and "Scenes from a Night's Dream", again, just sounds forced. Dunno if they could have done anything to make it more interesting, but it just doesn't work. Overall, however, this is a very solid album, particularly to the ears of someone coming into the game later (I started at "Invisible Touch" and worked backwards). A half-tick below its predecessor, but still great. Four stars.

Mr. Gone | 4/5 |

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