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2 stars I have been kind to Genesis more commercial albums but i have to admit there's more bad than good here. The hits taken from this one were ok but have no longevity, as rule of thumb all the tunes over 5 minutes 40 are good, Dreaming While You Sleep is a highlight but apart from this pretty yawn inducing.
Report this review (#10593)
Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2003 | Review Permalink
3 stars I think it is unfair to Genesis to rate this album so low as most of reviewers do here. i think most of the fans are not thinking straight here. I mean, we all know the Gabriel era-Genesis, we all love it and consider it the best era by Genesis. However, the Gabriel era-Genesis wasn´t the best because Gabriel was in it. It was the best because it was the first. The first 7 or 8 albums (From "From genesis to revelation" through "Wind & W") are the best because they were the first 8 albums by the band.

Demanding a superb Genesis after 17 years from it´s birth is ridiculous and obtuse by the critics and fans altogether. It´s like asking the Rolling stones to keep making fresh, original and inspired music in the XXI century at the age of what?, 65?.

People change, understand that. Musicians´ambitions are different with time as well as their musical interests. Genesis didn´t scape the rule that say "No musical band keep making their best after the 10th year or the 8th album". Name one single band that beat the rule. Metallica?, The stones?, Pink Floyd?, King Crimson?, The Beatles? (they were lucky to separate after 1970).

They became POP?, they may have. So what?, they did it good and kept making great songs alongside, like "Home by the sea", "Do the neurotic", "the brazilian", "dreaming while you sleep" and the main spot of criticism "Fading lights". I think "Duke" is a great album for it´s time.

Why is this a good album?. Remember wen the albums were not as lenghty as today?. The average was 43 minutes. This album is almost half an hour lenghtier than the 70´s average. There are Gentle Giant´s albums of 32 minutes, the same minutes this album is lenghtier to the old ones.

"Atom heart mother" is supposed to be a great album, 10 times better than "We can´t dance" right?. Have you noticed "atom heart mother suit" is a 12 minute or so of lenght?, full of nothing ˇˇˇˇ...what would have happened if Pink Floyd had had to make a 70 minutes album in than chance?, would they have filled it with toilet and shower noises ?, they sure would have. it was evident the only thing they really put some brain into was on "heart mother suit" (which by the way, has about 6 minutes of horrendous noises at the middle).

Well, if this album was only 43 to 45 minutes long it would sure make a better inpression. You know what the difference is?, Technology ˇˇ, CD formats, Commercialism, that is. Had they made a 45 minute long album containing no pure POP songs such as "never a time" and "hold on my heart", this would be an easily "very good" rated album.

Report this review (#10583)
Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars I listen to Selling England by the Pound (1973) and then listen to We Can't Dance and wonder where it all went? Phil Collins works his influence heavily into the last album that he produced with the band for a quality very dissimilar from the original Genesis and therefore not appreciated by many Genesis fans. Julian Vidal mentioned that as a rule all the songs over 5:40min are good. Using this rule that leaves "No Son of Mine", "Driving the Last Spike", "Dreaming while you Sleep", "Living Forever" and "Fading Lights" as genuine songs. However, "No Son of Mine" is a nice and light song on the ears while "Driving the Last Spike" may belong on here as a long song but doesn't belong on Live - The Way We Walk volume two - The Longs (1993). None of it is classical Genesis, neither intellectual sound nor melodic journey. "Dreaming while you Sleep" is not a bad example of how the band have evolved their sound from the Gabriel era to the "Collins cacophony", as I like to humorously put it, but is no way equal to older songs of similar length, "The Fountain of Salmacis", "Watcher of the Skies" and "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight". The tranquil sound of "Fading Lights" does mark the end of Phil's Genesis, but their music had finished a long time earlier.
Report this review (#10584)
Posted Sunday, February 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
1 stars As they couln't have gone lower than the previous one so this one is better but marginally so. Although extremely well recorded that it is still not satyrating when played at ear-splitting level (the famous Spinal Tap 11), the music does not really get any better when played that loud. To have it made a slightly better album would have been an obvious single , that there was not ( something along the lines of Land Of Confusion or That's All).
Report this review (#10597)
Posted Friday, February 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars The biggest problem with this one is that there is way too much filler! It contains some of their strongest tracks in a while though. I really like 'Driving The Last Spike' and the instrumental part of 'Fading Lights' 'Living Forever' is kinda underrated and 'Dreaming While You Sleep' is also very good (maybe a little long though). 'I Can't Dance' is a fun pop song that I probably would've liked by anyone else. But this is also their first album to contain songs I can't even remember!
Report this review (#10605)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars much better than' abacab"or "duke'".this album has some of their best work period! I know "never a time " will be played on the lite music stations forever,but there is some brilliant stuff on here ."last spike","dreaming","no son"all are equal to any of their best those who hate the phill collins pop genesis work may be surprised at these gems ,give it a listen.
Report this review (#10600)
Posted Saturday, April 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars While it adds up to a better album than any that the trio might have accomplished on their own, "We Can't Dance" still doesn't amount to a good enough reason to keep the GENESIS name alive. To be honest, I became disillusioned with the brand beginning with "Abacab", as they ceased to speak to their original audience, writing from personal experience instead of fanciful imagination. Despite being released five years after "Invisible Touch", little had changed in the interim, and it's not unlikely that GENESIS sought to make the same sort of album in lieu of anything better to do.

Even the more ambitious tracks (e.g., "Living Forever") suggest cookie-cutter exotica, while the hits are simply spliced together from past peccadilloes with the pop charts. Any number of acts (Phil COLLINS and Mike + The Mechanics among them) could have written a "No Son of Mine" or "Tell Me Why", baby boomer baloney the lot of it. Even the attempts at storytelling, like "Driving The Last Spike", are more what I'd expect from Billy Joel if he was still recording (thank goodness for small favors) than GENESIS.

The problem begins with too familiar instrumentation: the lifeless bass lines, a miserly application of Tony BANKS' once-abundant magic, the clockwork drum patterns and no-longer-novel effects. If the band had evolved one inch since "Invisible Touch", it's invisible on "We Can't Dance". The power of predictable and reliable product is never to be underestimated, however, and this album performed just as well as their last, clogging the airwaves with its profligate offspring like poison spores on the wind. It wasn't that awful, I suppose, but I felt so foolish holding the band's fallen standard while they caricatured themselves on "I Can't Dance" and wilted over pre-programmed pabulum like "Hold On My Heart." Oddly, I'd be more charitably disposed toward the music if it had borne only Phil COLLINS' imprimatur, as I've tempered my expectations from that quarter accordingly.

"We Can't Dance" instead opened the old wounds that had healed since "Invisible Touch". At least I'm not alone in my despair: the used CD that I bought features only the first sheet from the lyric booklet, rendered unwhole in what I like to imagine was the act of a mortally wounded owner fueled by a tory's passion for the lost age of kings. All by way of saying that you won't get any credits from me on this disc.

Report this review (#10581)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars . . . but we can still hack it when we want to

The last album with Phil Collins, and really the last true Genesis album. They went out in tremendous style with the magnificent closing track "Fading lights". It is so frustrating to realise that right at the end the band were still able to make stunning prog music, well up to the standard of their early work.

The album as a whole is a bit up and down. Some of the tracks such as "Jesus he knows me" and "Hold on my heart" were clearly written with the singles market in mind, but there are some excellent classic Genesis pieces too.

"Driving the last spike" and "Dreaming while you sleep" are both wonderful tracks, although it would have been nice to see the instrumental breaks embellished on each. Both tell stories, "Driving the last spike" relating to the building of the American railroads, and the often high human cost. "Dreaming while you sleep" is a disturbing tale of a hit and run driver, who is haunted by the memory of what he has done, "the miles between will somehow put it right". These tracks are in the true tradition of Genesis; melodic, thought provoking, and highly polished.

"No son of mine" is more Phil Collins influenced, but is a remarkably moving song, sung with great feeling. Once again it tells a tale of sorts, this time about a prodigal son who returns to see his violent father. "I can't dance" fits in well with the Genesis tradition of including a satirical track, and was a huge hit single to boot. While it is slightly funky, it has an adequate rock basis.

There are a few filler tracks, the album probably being about 20 minutes too long. As a whole though, Genesis finished on a high, returning in part to what they did best. In the end, they produced an album to please (some of!) those who were waiting for them to revisit their roots and come up with some more quality prog.

Report this review (#10582)
Posted Sunday, May 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This album is even worse compared to "abacab". Again, don't expect any kind of prog touch in this album. Luckily, we have mr. Tony Banks that plays nicely in this album. His style is dominating in some tracks such as "Driving The Last Spike". I hardly can believe that the band has ever made a song like "I Can't Dance" which really cannot be categorized as any kind of rock music. So boring. That's why, I have only a cassette for this CD and never want to buy the CD. Useless, I think.

What do you think? - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Report this review (#10609)
Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Notice how the gap in productive years was increasing? Ok an improvement on Invisible Touch but still not overly strong. No Son of Mine, Hold on my Heart and dreaming While you Sleep the better songs but I was begining to get bored of songs like Driving the Last Spike and Fading Lights although the latter was far better.They just did not demand your attention as in previous albums with longer compositions.
Report this review (#10611)
Posted Wednesday, July 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is true progessive rock. Genesis takes, as they always have, their time in developing every thread they lay in this album. From the beautiful and heart wrenching opener No Son Of Mine which sees Phil Collins once again showing how he has developed into one of the most special vocalists in rock and Mike Rutherford geniusly restrained as always through to the magnicifent closer Fading Lights - a true Tony Banks tour de force with Phil laying down some of his best drumming of his career - this album typifies what Genesis have always been about and will continue to be about. This album is a painful reminder, along with Calling All Stations, that Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford are not presently carrying the Genesis flame into the future. This is a fantasti8c album, and Fading Lights now available for download from this site is a fantastic example of the beauty this album beholds.
Report this review (#10613)
Posted Monday, September 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars I've been a hardcore Genesis fan since I was nine years old (13 years ago), and this album broke my heart. By pop standards, this is not that bad, but for Genesis, this was their equivalent of the Sex Pistols actually performing for the Queen fairly recently! There was only one song on here that I really liked, and it was a regular ballad! Hold On My Heart was the only reason I bought this. Thankfully, they redeemed themselves with their next, and final album, Calling All Stations!
Report this review (#10614)
Posted Friday, September 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is much better than the "Invisible Touch" album, in my opinion. I consider this album a better way to say "goodbye" than the "Calling all stations" album. This was the last album recorded with Phil Collins, who after some years of success as soloist, returned to the band for this album. He didn`t need to return, really, because by 1991 he was in his best period as soloist, both in the quality of some of his music and in his success. Maybe he returned due to contractual obligations. This album has good "matured" lyrics, most of them written by Collins. It has a mixture of some "Progressive songs" ("Driving the Last Spike", "Living Forever", "Way of the World", "Fading Lights"), good ballads ("Never a Time", "Hold on my Heart", and "Since I Lost You", this last song a good gesture for Eric Clapton who lost one of his children in an accident), humorous songs with critical lyrics ("Jesus He Knows Me", "We Can`t Dance"), songs about social problems ("Driving While You Sleep", "Tell Me Why"), songs with "existential" lyrics ("Living Forever", "Way of the World", "Fading Lights"). In this album, the mixture of "serious songs" with some "humorous songs" really did a balance. After the "We Can`t Dance" tour in 1992, GENESIS played a last concert with Collins in September 1993 (a benefit concert in England). In interviews years later, he said that he knew that he wanted to leave the band in 1993, because he was tired of the routine in GENESIS, among other things, but that he took the decision to leave until March 1996. Without Collins, GENESIS lost a lot of things. Collins helped GENESIS to survive as a band after Gabriel`s departure (and Hackett`s departure, too, but in a different way). They also lost a "showman", because he did a balance to the more "serious" personalities of Banks and Rutherford and to some of the songs which were "serious", both in albums and in tours. He contributed to the songwriting of many songs, some of them "humorous" songs as he never took himself or the band very seriously. GENESIS also lost a very good drummer, singer and composer. I agree that not all of his songs as soloist are very good, and his solo music became really unlistenable for me since he started to compose soundtrack music for Disney`s movies. But also Rutherford`s MIKE AND THE MECHANICS`s music is not very interesting for me, like some of Banks` most commercial solo projects. So, it was better to have these three musicians playing together in GENESIS. By 1991, they still were recording good studio albums like this. But by 1997, GENESIS without Collins wasn`t the same anymore, and they didn`t have the same success.
Report this review (#10615)
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars If you follow Genesis' career sequentially, listening to how each album evolves and the sound changes, surely you'll make some judgements about which albums are better or worse, and where quality drops. In my opinion, the most notable drop in terms of inspiration came in the mid 80's, with the likes of the "Genesis" and "Invisible Touch" discs. Thankfully, "We Can't Dance" is something of a bounceback. Not the greatest Genesis album you'll hear, and not even the best as a trio (that just might be "Duke"). But here, the band crafts songs that are on the whole better developed and both lyrically and sonically deeper than the pop that characterized "Invisible Touch".

"We Can't Dance" is well-produced, and a good split between shorter and longer tunes, giving the group a chance to assault the singles charts (i.e. "Jesus He Knows Me", "I Can't Dance") and flex what's left of their prog-rock/instrumental muscles ("Fading Lights", "Driving the Last Spike"). Sure, there are some cringeworthy moments with the ballads ("Hold on My Heart" and "Since You've Been Gone" rank pretty low in terms of the musical complexities of Genesis' back catalog). But mostly, the LP is a fully realised, expansive (almost 72 min) work. The themes touched on with "Way of the World" and "Tell Me Why" show Phil Collins' social consciousness, while darker tracks like "Dreaming WHile You Sleep" and "No Son of Mine" recall the atmospheres of the late 70's-early 80's records.

In short, an improvement over "Invisible Tocuh", and a nice way for Phil Collins to bow out, with the band on the upswing.

Report this review (#10618)
Posted Thursday, October 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars It was clear from the first listen that this album was the end of the road for Genesis. They went out of their way to record several long songs for this one--the type of song that originally brought the old die-hard fans to the band, before they became a pop group. But...the long, "Genesis-style" songs on this album all sound tired and hackneyed, while the pop songs are inspired! The catchiest pieces here are the televangelist satire "Jesus He Knows Me" and "Tell Me Why", about the persistence of world hunger, with Mike Rutherford playing electric 12-string like Roger McGuinn on the latter. If you liked the pop-oriented Genesis of the '80s, you will probably like this album, because there are several good pop songs here. But there is also evidence of a band in decline, and even among the pop songs, there are clunkers: the formulaic "Hold on My Heart" and the maudlin "Since I Lost You", inspired by the death of Eric Clapton's (a friend of Collins) young son. Collins left Genesis after this album, and Banks and Rutherford went on to make the mediocre "Calling All Stations" album before shutting the band down.

Report this review (#10621)
Posted Friday, November 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Come on people, don't you like excellent progressive pop? That's how I call it! "We Can't Dance" was my introduction to GENESIS when I was fifteen, ten years ago. Since then I remember the lyrics of every song and know every sound of this album. I don't think "We Can't Dance" deserves severe castigation -- the members of GENESIS just decided to create a masterpiece of pop! But they were not able to get away from their past, and at least two tracks on this album still smack of progressive rock -- "Driving The Last Spike" and "Fading Lights". Besides, the lyrics on "We Can't Dance" are probably the best among those in all the previous GENESIS albums. These songs are actually very meaningful and some address important philosophical questions. "No Son Of Mine" is an emotional appeal by a man who was cast away by his father. "Jesus He Knows Me" still cracks me as one of the cleverest attacks at pseudo-religion. "Driving The Last Spike" is beyong comparison -- if you listen to it seriously I would not be surpirsed to see you moved. "Dreaming While You Sleep" deals with a terrible situation everyone can get in -- a man kills a woman while driving, but nobody witnessed it and he continued to drive thinking that "the miles will somehow put it right". The story worthy of Dostoyevsky ... But my favourite is "Fading Lights" -- GENESIS' variant of PINK FLOYD's "Time". Certainly, "We can't dance" is not a masterpiece of progressive rock, but it is a masterpiece of progressive pop -- for this four stars only.
Report this review (#10624)
Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Definitely not a great album, with far too many filler tracks. Although I'd pick "Nursery Cryme" over this one ANY time, if you think about it, the album is about 70 minutes long, and does offer some decent material. So let's please be fair and say that this is not as bad as the trash one hears on the radio. So actually if we were to remove the filler, it would not be such a horrible album, or even perhaps a nice EP. The nice tracks are "Living Forever", "Fading Lights" - the two songs that sort of sound like the Genesis of old, "Tell Me Why", "Dreaming While You Sleep", and yes, even "Hold On My Heart" is a nice ballad, I admit, and hmmmm, maybe "No Son Of Mine" is not THAT bad after all. OK, OK, I know - I'll stop here. Throw the rest in the trash can. So the remaining tracks are not exactly great prog rock, but they are rather pleasant nonetheless - Art rock, perhaps?
Report this review (#10625)
Posted Friday, January 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I gave this album a five-star rating (The legend says "a masterpiece of Progressive Rock," thus the rating may be unjustified) asi holds an important place for me. It was, in fact, the start of my Genesis fandom! I hadn't yet heard Selling England By The Pound, but I was in for a surprise when I eventually did, because it sounded nothing like this album.

At the store we went to, I remembered the pulsating "I Can't Dance" and when I saw a copy of We Can't Dance on the shelf, I knew right away I would get that CD. When I got it home, I bought it mainly for that old radio hit. But instead, what I got was one of the most aweing listens ever. "No Son Of Mine" had some great drum machine and shimmering keyboards; "Jesus He Knows Me" was a good energic track that mocked televangelists; "Driving The Last Spike" was a pretty 10-minute track describing the construction of England's railroad system (a track like that could have never appeared on a Phil Collins solo album); "Never A Time" was a touching, almost cathartic track; "Dreaming While You Sleep" was a moving, enigmatic track; "Tell Me Why" was a very bouncy British pop- sounding number; "Living Forever" had the best keyboard solo on the entire album (kudos to you, Tony!); "Hold On My Heart" was a slow promising track with some great guitar fills in which Mike Rutherford sounds like Carlos Santana; "Way Of The World" was a gorgeous, aural track with a great chorus; "Since I Lost You" (written for Eric Clapton's late son) was a slow, sad track with a good guitar solo; "Fading Lights" was a perfect 10-minute album closer in which all the members try to show off their musical skills before wrapping it up forever (this was Phil Collins's last hurrah with Genesis - he quit five years later).

Needless to say, I felt I was sucked into another dimension and almost totally abandoned hard rock and heavy metal all together (but I still love Back In Black and Nevermind). Soon, I started bringing in Genesis albums by the numbers and enjoying almost of them, whether they were telling stories on "Foxtrot" or saying a tearful goodbye on "Invisible Touch."

It was this album that made me a Genesis fan forever (in fact, not counting the first, last or live albums, I think my least favorite Genesis album is "Trespass") and I still enjoy the early albums with Peter Gabriel.

(Note: I respect everyone's opinions on this site, so I won't diss any of you anti-WCD people. I just wish, however, Genesis didn't make Calling All Stations.)

Report this review (#10626)
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars This last album with Phil does have it's moments (fading lights and driving the last spike) but it is still to pop -driven for me. If you are fans of the pop Genesis then you are gonna love it. But for us Prog fans there is very little to recommend it. Best to listen to the earlier albums to get Genesis at their best.
Report this review (#10630)
Posted Wednesday, March 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Essentially a completists-only album, I gotta give this one an extra point because the production is a huge improvement over the miserable sound of 'Invisible Touch'.and there's a song here that's better than the entire 'Invisible Touch' album, the gorgeous "Fading Lights". More on that later.

Two things hurt this album beyond repair. First is the length. 12 songs at a staggering 71 minutes. This is a downfall of the CD age, where many artists took advantage of quantity without considering quality. It's far more challenging to sustain impact over 70- plus minutes, especially when worlds of wonder have been built in half the time. Related to that is the second downfall: due to increased playing time, potential for filler is increased. And boy, is this album chock full o' filler. A track-by-track synopsis is almost impossible, as stuff like "Never A Time", "Hold On My Heart", "Since I Lost You" and "Tell Me Why" breeze by without anything to their credit: bland, faceless, uneventful. Sounds of a band just about out of steam. Sure, hit single "I Can't Dance" has a unique character, but it's a character I want to slap silly for being so incredibly stupid. The overall sound-picture of the album is natural and earthy, at least much more so than the previous album, but the drum/percussion sounds are still artificial and feeble. Tony Banks' keyboards don't reach that hypnotic wall-of-sound effect of his glory days, but there is a substantial lushness to them in spots. Michael Rutherford is, unfortunately, all but invisible. "Driving The Last Spike" is a longer track, enjoyable, promising more than it actually delivers perhaps, but this is remedied when "Dreaming While You Sleep" rolls around, an emotional journey pushed by Phil's convincing tale- telling. With a bit of a dark edge, this is a good song amidst a sea of unremarkable material (smack in the middle of the album). "Living Forever" offers a few Genesis hallmarks recalling their first few albums with Phil on vocals, but just barely.strands of hope for the desperate fan, more like. Finally, if you've made it through the hour-long duration, your tolerance is rewarded with "Fading Lights". Not just one of the best Genesis tracks of their streamlined era, but one of the best Genesis songs ever. (Would've been nice to hear some real drum sounds on it, but at this late stage you take what you can get.) "Fading Lights" works much like "Afterglow": sublime, vast, dreamlike, on the simpler side of epic but still a thing of wonder. A song to sink into, a good moment of reflection, and a last offering of greatness from this fading legend.

Report this review (#10631)
Posted Thursday, March 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars This FINAL Genesis studio album should have been titled "We Can't Write Good Music Anymore", instead of We Can't Dance. The only reason that this album even gets one star is that "Fading Lights" and "Driving The Last Spike" aren't terrible. The worst thing that ever happened to Genesis was the day that they realized how much money they could make if they wrote pop tunes (a la Collins)......and this album was the disgusting offspring of their greed and loss of musical integrity. 'Nuff said......
Report this review (#10633)
Posted Friday, April 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars Like trying to avoid the inevitable breakup with a lover, this album is Genesis' sorry end. You know, everything from the conversation to attempts at intimacy just hurt because you know breaking up is inevitable. And what makes it so you hard is you used to be so in love....

The awful quasi-title track, I Can't Dance, is a clear indicator of how awful this album is. Phil Collins - with the reluctant agreement of Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford - decided it would be clever to release an absurdly minimalist single that had no melody, no rhythm, and an inane lyric repeated over and over. Collins' gag was to see how many people would be tricked into believing it's really a song, sort of like hanging a blank canvas in an art gallery and seeing how many people ponder its "meaning."

Jesus He Knows Me is another great trick: social commentary with a catchy pop hook? No, just a lousy song. The other tracks on this interminable album are equally pointless and uninspired. And sure enough, after this album Collins realized the relationship was washed up and he quit the band. One album later, Genesis broke up for good.

Like breaking up, this album really hurts.

Report this review (#10634)
Posted Sunday, May 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars To produces something as great as this after something so poor as invisible touch shows that when it's needed the trio could pull off some fantastic work. We can't dance has 2 fantastic tracks, both lengthy and in true prog style have various changing tempos e.t.c. Though it's not a masterpiece from genesis it is still worth getting even if you're not a great prog fan. The tracks "Jesus he knows me" and "I cant dance" are good tracks and they have likable tunes.
Report this review (#10635)
Posted Friday, May 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3 stars because of the progressive tracks "Driving The Last Spike", a beautiful ballad (of course not a Collins ballad, because Collins didn't write 10-minute-songs), "Dreaming While You Sleep", "Living Forever" (which, in my opinion, is the best track on the album) and "Fading Lights". "Way Of The World" also sounds proggish (neo-proggish), and I quite like "Never A Time", but I have to say I hate "I Can't Dance", one of their most silliest songs ever (except "Illegal Alien" and "Who Dunnit?", which are sillier). This album has over 40 minutes of prog (or prog pop) tracks, and the rest is pop. It lasts 70 minutes, and so more than the half album is proggish. Don't avoid it, except when you think that they died with "ATTWT", "Duke" or "Abacab".

the Sorcerer

Report this review (#35738)
Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I give this album such a high mark for a few reasons... The first is that the band seems to have sought a slight return to their roots without going completely " retro." In other words, they finally struck a balance between their true nature and the " pop parade" they have become so infamous for the better part of their career.

I also feel that in terms of pure playing ability, that is performance, it is the tightest they have been in quite some time. Noteworthy tracks are many but in my opinion, it all begins (even though it is the final track) with " Fading Lights." If you doubted the band's ability to still produce an epic and masterful progressive rock piece... this should dispell any such notion.

The pluses far outweigh the minuses on this project. It truly is a delicate blend of old school Genesis and new.Maybe they understood it was to be their final album together or they were preparing to go in another exciting direction before Phil's departure. Whatever the case it was one of the finest efforts from the band in many years. Not even " Jesus he knows me" and the ultra silly title track could sully the overall enjoyability of this, the final Genesis album. As the rating criteria would suggest... this is an album that is worth having in any collection. If you haven't heard it. You're missing out.

Report this review (#42650)
Posted Friday, August 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Well, at least they tried.

And to a degree, they succeeded. "Fading Lights" is the most vital, all-out prog number they've done in years. Banks' synthesizer tones are lively, and the whole piece has lots of forward drive. Definitely a damn sight better than bloody "Domino" in any case.

Unfortunately, that's about it for this album. "Driving The Last Spike" and "Dreaming While You Sleep" are, typical for late-Genesis attempts at something "prog", pointless and meandering. Mainly worthwhile if you need a cure for insomnia.

The rest of the album doesn't even deserve discussion. More excremental backwash from Collins' solo career and Rutherford's work with Mike & The Mechanics. Anyone who's heard "I Can't Dance" knows immediately what I mean.

Report this review (#46285)
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars This one is exactly like Invisible Touch. The same formula. Genesis did not deteriorate from Invisible touch here, nor did it improve (well they used a formula here). This one was meant for wider audience and big sales in US (it all started with Land of Confusion and they used Jesus he loves me in the same line). Again Genesis never succumbed to popular style lyrics in its lifetime. It has some juice in it that does not have anything majestic, but not really crappy.
Report this review (#47410)
Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars Not really worth it at all I'm afraid. This album is long, slow and tedious to listen to. Not all bad, but when you compare to what this band had done, it's a pretty poor album. The only one worse than this was Calling All Stations.

It starts off somewhat good. No Son of Mine is a decent enough song for a soft rock band, with good lyrics. It's a slow song, which pretty much sets the tone for the album. Most of the songs are slow, some are downright boring, and the ballads (which there are plenty of) are dreadful.

Their are two 10 minute epics on this album though, so it's clear they were still trying to appeal to the prog base. The first one, Driving the Last Spike, is a disappointment. Good lyrics, but it just sounded like there wasn't much energy put into it, and it dragged. The same thing with Fading lights, although this song kind of benefits from the slower pace, at least for the first part. The second half they really needed to kick it up a notch, but it still really drags. The drumming and keyboard playing are slow and unimpressive, which is kind of depressing considering what they were previously capable of. Fading Lights is the best song on the album. You can hear a sample of it here though, so you know it doesn't get any better that. If you like it, pick the album up, but don't expect anything better than that.

Report this review (#54183)
Posted Tuesday, November 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Is it prog? Nope! Is it rock? Maybe? Pop? OH YEAH! Is it good? Yuppers; great. But anything has to be than "Invisible Touch"; O.K., so that's not hard to do, is it?

I, for one, dig this disc, a lot. On "No Son Of Mine", with Banks' subtle synths and Rutherford's typically "polite" guitar, one feels a sinister element creeping in, which envelopes the listener with the abrupt, loud, dark chorus. I admit to being blown away when I first heard this song, because Rutherford seems to be so delicate during the verse, only to explode during the chorus. It's great, and sets the stage for more to come. "Hold On My Heart" is a great ballad, but the lyrics could've done with a better, more soulful delivery. I love "Jesus He Knows Me" for its sarcastic lyric. Bravo, guys!

Most of the album is top-notch, with great writing, soulful vocals and wonderful playing and production. What I didn't like was as follows:

The title track: In a word: INANE! It's lacking a strong melody, a halfway decent hook and good lyrics. Guys; come on! Above it all, Phil doesn't sing here; he mewls like a cat in heat, and it doesn't become him. I also found "Fading Lights" and "Driving The Last Spike" to be kinda mediocre, at best. It's ironic, because when they were a prog band attempting to do pop, (I KNOW WHAT I LIKE or YOUR OWN SPECIAL WAY), I disliked it. Now, with them fully immersed in pop, attempting to do prog is a mistake. This is why I only give it 4 stars. What I have done in the past is to program out those tracks. I end up with a concise 9 song disc that pleases all the way 'round. In the end, this is merely an opinion.

Report this review (#56950)
Posted Friday, November 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is easily a five star album for me. It has plenty of great songs on it whether they be short hits like Jesus He Knows me or long epics like Fading Lights. Brilliant keyboard work from Tony Banks throughout. If you are new to Prog then start your Genesis collection here and work backwards.
Report this review (#68302)
Posted Saturday, February 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This overly long album is better than you may first realise because there is a list of really strong tracks that stand the test of time. The trio work together so well on this album. I reckon the cream of the crop are:

No Son Of Mine - emotional and catchy single. Jesus He Knows Me - clever satire. Driving The Last Spike - good story worthy of a place on a Genesis album. Tell Me Why - emotional and political? Collins type solo affair. Living Forever - progressive Genesis. Listen to this one again now. Hold On My Heart - above average Collins type solo affair. Fading Lights - quality progressive Genesis. Play it now.

Report this review (#72256)
Posted Saturday, March 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars A message to genesis fans everywhere!!

Diehard genesis fans (like myself) have been very harsh to genesis' later albums mainly spanning from duke to abacab, now, i know genesis probably better than anyone in the world, strange seeing as i am 14, anyhow, no matter what anyone says, my favourite albums are 1. duke 2.foxtrot 3.The Lamb... im a huge fan of early and later genesis. We cant dance actually has some excellent pop songs on it, i admit its no close to the edge but just dont take it so personally that genesis' later stuff is not as progressive, like the album for what it is!


Report this review (#76761)
Posted Sunday, April 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The final Genesis album with Phil Collins at the helm vocally and on the drum kit and also the last true Genesis album to go along with it, We Can't Dance was released 5 years after Invisible Touch was released and in 1991 their brand of pop rock with progressive tendencies was becoming a dying breed of music. At this point in their careers you can see a band tired and running thin on ideas, but they gave it their best and for the most part came out with a pretty solid album that yielded some great progressive pieces as well as a mixed bag of pop songs that range from melodic and full of melancholy to upbeat fast tempo pieces that are rockers at their core. If you're expecting a resurgence in the classic sound of Genesis you'll be sorely disappointed with this effort, but if you more or less like the 80s works from the groups you should like this album as it has all the flare that those albums had but kicks it up a notch.

The album opens with the harrowing mid-length piece No Son of Mine, dealing with child abuse and being disowned. Collins' passionate and heartfelt vocal would make you think that he's disowned by his own father/mother. Solid musicianship also helps this song get the point across with Rutherford taking making more use of the guitar (as he would do more often since the self-titled album). Jesus He Knows Me is a rocking number that in the end is a bit too silly and contrived for my liking. It's an okay track at best, and along with the opener and I Can't Dance was a hit off of the album. Driving the Last Spike is the first song on the album to go over 10 minutes and it's one of the more progressive pieces on the album. The lengthy middle section has some great work from Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford as well as some superb drumming from Collins. It's not the best song on the album but it is a strong piece in the end. I Can't Dance is one of the more blatantly commercial pieces on the album. Rutherford's jagged guitar performance and Collins' emotional vocals come off effectively despite it being a pretty derivative piece overall and offering nothing truly exciting to the table (despite Rutherford's great guitar performance). Never a Time is an AOR drenched pop tune that isn't particularly strong and doesn't really have a biting edge, and it's terribly formulaic at that.

Dreaming While You Sleep is a mid-length piece, reaching a tad over 7 minutes, with Collins electronic percussion swirling with the anxious synthesizers and subtle organ of Banks and the underlying lead guitar of Mike Rutherford. Although the track has no real evolution to it, it's a tasteful rocker that hints at some progressive rock at its core, but it really isn't progressive on the whole. Tell Me Why has some nice guitar work from Rutherford but is rather simplistic in terms of musicianship and predictability. Not a fantastic track, but not too bad overall. That seems to be the trend with the rest of the album until the stellar 10 minute outro Fading Lights, actually. Although it's refreshing to hear a more guitar oriented mix, it's all a bit too by the numbers if you ask me and there's nothing that is really out of the ordinary. Living Forever does feature a pretty nice Banks keyboard solo towards the end, though. Hold on My Heart, though, is probably the worst song on this album with a completely overblown soft rock feel that sounds like something Celine Dion would do (although this album was released before Celine Dion was making music if I'm not mistaken). Expect nothing really interesting or really awful at the same time until you reach the climax and the best piece of the album in Fading Lights. Beginning with percussion remnicent to that of Peter Gabriel's Biko and an atmospheric synthesizer intro, Collins' emotive and convincing vocal performance breaks into a rocking section where Banks gives one of his best keyboard solos in recent memory, matching that of some of the pieces off of And Then There Were Three... Mike Rutherford rounds it all off with an emotive guitar solo that really hits some spots Hackett would have. In the end, it's a perfect epitaph for the last song Collins would sing on the last record he would work with Genesis on (besides the subsquent tour).

In the end, We Can't Dance is a nice blend of Genesis hitting their roots (or at least trying to and coming up close in certain instances) and them trying to emulate the sound that made them superstars. For the most part, the final Phil Collins studio album with Genesis is arguably the best one (post Duke that is). It has flare, it has taste, it has style, it has probably the best post Duke Genesis song available in Fading Lights (although there are 4 or 5 songs that give it a run for its money). I don't think that most people who like the Peter Gabriel Genesis will like this album if they're hoping for something in that vein, as this is completely different from that (although Peter Gabriel wasn't straying too far from the sound this album had in his solo career). I'm in the middle on this album, as there are some great songs mixed in with some truly mediocre pieces, but I think it's an enjoyable listen for the most part. It's good in my opinion, but not essential to an early Genesis fan's collection. 3/5.

Report this review (#87476)
Posted Wednesday, August 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I have to confess, that although this album hardly has anything to do with progressive music, I find it highly enjoyable. This is an excellent pop album, which, whenever I listen to it, manages to make me smile and sing along. Tracks such as "Jesus He Knows Me", "I Can't Dance" and "Fading Lights", in my opinion represent the cream of pop Genesis, and make this album very pleasurable indeed.
Report this review (#103319)
Posted Saturday, December 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars The last (?) album of the "then they were three " era. I put a questionmark since they announced a few months ago (October 2006) a "reunion" tour for 2007 (to which I will not attend). They have not said that future studio work was impossible, so let's see. The pity about this tour is that they even did not contact Steve for it (this would have been completely different of course). This is at least a news posted on his website. This is pretty sad since he mentioned that he could have been interested in the project. Maybe next time (if there is a next time). Peter was contacted as well, but he could not make it for personal reasons. So, there is still hope for a true reunion. I know that it sounds quite nostalgic, but what a good moment this could be !

I must admit that the opener is a good song. In line with their work since 81 but above par. It will be the first single of the album. "No Son Of Mine" will do better in the UK (Nr. 6) than inthe US (Nr. 13). "Jesus" will be the fourth one, not doing very well (actually it is quite weak, even for this Genesis). Nr. 20 in the UK and Nr. 23 in the USA. With "Driving The Last Spike" the climax is reached (although it is not to be compared to songs of the early years of course). This is a nice piece of music : very much in the "Domino" vein. Good work and the highlight of this album. The title track is the second hit-single from this album. But I really can't stand it (it will reach Nr. 7 both in the UK and US charts). "Never a Time" is a short and nice little ballad, a bit too mellow. "Dreaming..." is another typical attempt to an "epic" : but this song is boring and repetitive. Classic drum playing from Phil during those times. "Tell Me Why" is a light, poppy song like they have written quite a few since 1981. The melody is catchy though. One of my fave of this album. It is their fifth single from this work (only reaching Nr. 40 in the UK). "Live Forever" is a funky tune with some keyboard solo ŕ la "Home By The Sea". Not my cup of tea. "Hold on My Heart" is their third "hit-single". The mood reminds me a bit of "Carpet Crawlers" and I like to listen to it from time to time. It will not get higher than Nr. 16 in the UK and Nr. 12 in the US. "Way Of The World" is quite similar to "Tell Me Why". It will be released as the B-side of "Hold On My Heart". "Since I Lost You" is just another mellow ballad. The closing number "Fading Lights" is the longest track (by seven seconds) of this work. Like in "Home", the keyboard solo lacks in emotion and sensitivity. Dull, dull, dull. This album is as poppy as "Invisible Touch". Still, it will be the first one since "Duke" that will fail to reach the Nr. 1 spot in the UK (still peaking at the second one). In the US, the album will reach Nr. 4. As I mentioned in the intro of this review, no one knows (per December 2006) if this will be the last album of this line-up. Wait and see. Two stars.

Report this review (#104993)
Posted Sunday, December 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars So the so-much criticized Collins' era of Genesis comes to an end (at least until this 2007 comeback tour) and being one of those prog fans that also enjoys good pop as well, I think this is a great album that deserves not to be overlooked.

Genesis' "popification" was never a sharp turn and instead was a slow transition that I think no other classic prog band achieved so successfully (listening to Yes' "Big Generator" is not a terrible thing because it's pop, it's terrible because it is HORRENDOUS pop), and at the same time there's always a sense of their prog roots lurking in their music.

Take for instance the storytelling epic of "Driving the Last Spike" or the astoundingly emotional closer "Fading Lights". Okey, so the days of complicated keyboard solos has been very far away for a long time now for Genesis, but the beauty of the music in these (and other) tracks cannot be denied. The guilty narrator in "Dreaming While You Sleep" brings back memories of the haunting lyrics of Collins' "In the Air Tonight" or Genesis' "Mama", and "No Son of Mine" is a hell of an opening for this album, tackling a hard theme with a great and powerful melody. "Living Forever" also has a sense of combining Genesis' pop ventures with a quasi-prog instrumental ending, and finally (within the positive side), there are two songs that are simply great FUN: the gorgeous criticism of tv evangelists in the fast rocker "Jesus He Knows Me" (for me, one of the best songs by this band ever) and the jean-commercial ridiculous world of the catchy "I Can't Dance".

On the downside, you can find a way-too-solo-Collins-like ballad with "Hold on my Heart", a way-too-solo-Collins-like-preachy-anthem in "Tell Me Why" (Tell me why you have to be so black and white and obvious, I ask back), and a way-too-emotional-depressing-solo-Collins tribute to Clapton's dead son in "Since I Lost You". Yeah, the worst moments in this album are the ones in which you find no difference to listening a Collins-solo one. Oh, and then there are two harmless pop songs called "Never a Time" and "Way of the World". They're just ok.

All of this anyway makes for a great album, although a tad overlong. Having 80 minutes at your disposal does not mean you have to fill 'em all, Roine Stolt! oops, wrong band.

Overall, if you enjoy pop with a prog touch, do not dismiss this album!!!!

P.S: An "improvement" in sound in comparison to "Invisible Touch" (an album that I enjoy tremendously, I might add) is that the REAL DRUMS ARE BACK! And the hell they are: the drum snare sounds like it's gonna blow your head off.

Report this review (#105492)
Posted Wednesday, January 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars After Invisible Touch, the general consenus amongst proggies was that Genesis could go no lower. Well, the band picked up the gauntlet and reunited to make this companion piece. They don't succeed in making it as bad as the last album, but this is still an awful album. Phil Collins took a break from his lucrative solo career in which he practically invented adult contemporary, much to the chagrin of music fans. He sold millions based on hits like "Su-s-sudio," an song that made me want to sl-s-slit my wrists. He also used a drum machine, which makes perfect sense for a former drummer. However, I guess the allure of Genesis millions spurred him away from his solo millions and he brought Tony and Mike back to beat the dead horse one last time.

Once again, no song is overtly enjoyable. Now the band added two long songs to try to fool the faithful into purchasing. "Driving the Last Spike" should be titled "Driving the Last Nail" because the band seals its coffin with this release. The lyrics here are suprisingly good for this stage in the band's career, but the music ruins the message. Fading Lights is beautiful in tone, but it's useless. These two "epics" pass like kidney stones. The rest of the songs mercifully pass quickly. The only redeeming quality is that Tony Banks decided to stop playing second fiddle to Collins and asserted some of his prior glory, though it doesn't match up to his classic keyboard work.

Here is the problem with not only this album but all of Genesis' later works: they write awful pop. Pop istelf is not bad. The Beatles were pop, and they are the greatest band in history. The problem here is that the songs lack focus or even catchiness. This album, along with Invisible Touch, show the final ragged breaths of a once mighty beast. This is a pitiful excuse for a swan song, but the recent reunion between Collins, Rutherford, and Banks promises to craft an album equally worthy of hate.

Grade: F (+)?

Report this review (#107622)
Posted Monday, January 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars In spite of having completed in some sense the turn to the land of conventionalism, for me at least this is the best they had done since "Duke". I agree with the fact that this album can sound awarkd and quite poppified from the point of view of the classic patterns of progressive rock, patterns defined in great measure by this very band, by the way, but I think that they managed to come up with a quite remarkably release with moments strong enough to remind us of the old days.

I have to make clear that this album contains and repeats the habbit of including filler and single-oriented songs which compose the most commercial and predecible part of the album. Songs like "Jesus he knows me","Hold on my heart" or "We can't dance" are clear examples of that, and even in this case, they are the best poppier songs they released since they picked up this habbit.

Again, there are some songs which combine a conventional approach with more complex and subtle touches, like in "Living forever", "No son of mine" or "Dreaming while you sleep". Again, some might find these songs not so different from the obvious typical pop songs. I might conceal that, but I think they are more sophisticated at least than most songs you could listen to by this time.

And again, finally there are some songs that give the album the credit it deserves and avoid that it could be considered as a simple repetition of "Invisible Touch" and contribute to make the difference.

These tracks are basically "Driving the last spike" and "Fading lights", being two excellent long compositions, composed in an era when almost nobody dared to create such long and intricated songs. The first one is more of a tragic ballad, but it is very touching and beautiful. The second one is an ode to past times, remembering us that this band was once the pinnacle of progressive rock. You can't deny that at least good old Phil chose an appropiate way to say good bye, or at least 'see you later'.

I think this album should be given a better recognition than the one it has received. It is a matter of taste I guess. The fact is that I like this album. But if you are strictly attached to the past, well, I think you should avoid it :shrugs:

Report this review (#108791)
Posted Thursday, January 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
3 stars Naturally, being one of THE most important prog-rock groups in history, Genesis are responsible for astonishing one's mind for the better, and for the worse.... I deeply enjoy their 70's albums , and select tracks from the 80's albums, but I don't go for the commercially successful ' Invisible Touch' (which is way too plastic and contrived in my mind, with Banks, Collins and Rutherford obviously lying to themselves...) but 'We Can't Dance' is a 50/50 assessment....

It has its fair share of 'Hit Singles', which were more acceptable than previously. What I enjoy with this release is the compromise between commercial acceptance, and the will to produce intelligent prog-related pieces, as they have given us with this album ; 'Driving the Last Spike', 'Dreaming While You Sleep', and 'Fading Lights'. Whilst being the longest compositions of this double LP, they are a satisfactory balance between engaging prog- rock, and accessible 'pedestrian' related entertainment. Genesis fans will of-course enjoy this release, prog-heads, maybe, some will enjoy, and others will pass it by. I respect it for what it is, and, allocate it a 3 star evaluation. And I agree it's the most exciting material since 'Duke'. Not bad at all, provided you are not that hard to please.........

Report this review (#110526)
Posted Saturday, February 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the departure of Steve Hackett, Genesis became an pop-oriented group with some prog influences. on these years they"ve made a lot of crap, like the And Then There were Three album and Abacab. as well as some fantastic stuff like Duke, this album and some songs from the Genesis album and Invisible touch (like Home by the Sea and Tonight, Tonight, Tonight). We Can't Dance is in my opinion the best Genesis album as a trio. It is by no mean progressive, but it isn't pop rubbish as well. in fact this album is a mix of really good pop songs and some awesome proggier songs. talking about songs, here we go...

No Son of Mine: Excellent song, with some serious lyrics about a child who ran away from home, probably because of abuse to him, or to his mother. The clocks were a good idea, as well as the whole song. the keyboards are very good, but the best thing here is the guitar solo at the ending. 10/10

Jesus He Knows Me: this song is very funny. it's agitated an it has some humourous lyrics about TV Evangelists. Overall it's an very nice song 9/10

Driving the Last Spike: This is the proof that Genesis can still tell awesome stories. in this almost-prog epic about the england railway construction, the trio shows some excellent work, a beautiful keyboard theme, and an fantastic work on the guitar and on the drums. by the way, it's so nice to have real drums back! 10/10

I Can't Dance: I Don't know what to say about this song. it's so simple, pointless, and still good. The lyrics are quite funny, and the guitar riff, along with the keyboard sound is great, but i still think that this song needed an guitar solo.7/10

Never a Time: Nothing special about this one, it's just an love ballad that reminds me of In Too Deep, but not as good as it. 5/10

Dreaming While you Sleep: Another great song, with nice lyrics. Mike Rutherford does a excellent guitar solo in this song. It's quite emotional and works very well. 9/10

Tell Me Why: Just another ballad. this one is better though, but it still can't surpass some older ballads like In Too Deep, or Follow you, Follow me. 6/10

Living Forever: excellent piece. looks like Silver Rainbow, but it's 100% better. The keyboards are very nice, and the solo at the ending is very good. 8/10

Hold on my Heart: This song looks like an Phil Collins solo song. this song is very nice. It's calm and it has an great keyboard and guitar work. but it completely lacks on the lyrics department (as most of Phil Collins song do) 8/10

Way of the World: simple and great. Way of the World has nice lyrics, and a nice drum beat. Unfortunately, this is not real drums. At least it has an nice keyboard solo. 7/10

Since I Lost You: This song was written in memory of Eric Clapton's son. But it's the lowest point on this album. This is the kind of song that'll skip 90% of the time. 4/10

Fading Lights: By far the best track on this album and the second best song that Genesis did as a trio (losing only to Home by the Sea). The long instrumental section is amongst Genesis best work (not only as a trio). Simply wonderful. 10/10

Overrall 8/10 = 4 stars

Report this review (#114224)
Posted Sunday, March 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
Crossover / Prog Metal Teams
4 stars Genesis - We Can't Dance is a huge step ahead compared to their previous album; at least that what I think. My first contact with this album was seeing the four videos - I Can't Dance, Jesus He Knows Me, Hold on My Heart and No Son of Mine. I think these singles were meant to have the impact of the other 80s Genesis hits; I Can't Dance is nothing but a joke, in all senses - funny lyrics, funny video, but nowadays I skip this song when listening to the album way too often. Jesus He Knows Me is a little bit better,it's a good song . No Son of Mine and Hold on My Heart impressed me instantly as after quite a long time (since early 90s) I never got bored or grew tired of them; great feeling, good lyrics.

But then there are Driving the Last Spike, Fading Lights and Dreaming While you Sleep; Genesis hadn't written such good songs since Duke. To me Fading Lights is one of their best songs ever; Tony Banks provides one of his best work, like in the good ol' days. The other two songs are very well written, very good lyrics (IMO).

As for thew other songs, I find them enjoyable, Since I Lost You (not everybody's cup of tea, I know) and Never a Time are two emotional ballads; Living Forever, Way of the World and Tell Me Why are catchy and well written.

I cannot say that this album is a great addition to any prog collection, but still deserves to be given a chance; there's very good song writing on this album, and I consider this album superior to the post Duke albums (Abacab, Genesis and invisible Touch). I find Phil's vocals also better here than on the albums I've just mentioned.

On a scale from 1 to 10, i'd give this album an 8. Therefore 4 stars from me.

Report this review (#116080)
Posted Friday, March 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars The final GENESIS album from the three core members, alone together since 1978.

Kudos for the boys for taking on subjects that were fresh and controversial in the early 1990s. The first two songs, both singles, are about child abuse and fundamentalist hypocrisy respectively, and other tracks deal with worker exploitation and the remorse of a hit-and-run driver. Powerful stuff, and it's long been one of the hallmarks of progressive music that it deals with subjects left alone by commercial pop music.

So what a pity it is that the arrangements don't match the subject matter. And it is the arrangements that are at fault here, not the music itself. Shortened, and with a different selection of instruments, these soungs could have been excellent. However, they make a pig's ear of each successive track. 'No Son of Mine' has its say in the first three minutes, and holds us for three more, only to repeat the first half. 'Driving the Last Spike' and 'Dreaming While You Sleep' have too many pointless interludes, places where in previous albums BANKS would have provided some sympathetic piano or synth. The same could be said for the prog- lover's favourite, 'Fading Lights', though this song annoys me for another reason: the chorus is a reworking of 'Ripples'. The net effect of this is to render the album a plodding, padded progression.

It came close to being a worthy finale but, despite some excellent moments, ultimately falls short.

Report this review (#116925)
Posted Saturday, March 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars I hate to give albums one star, especially from a band that I love so dearly, but this one was pretty weak. There were two decent songs here, Fading Lights and Driving the Last Spike, not the greatest thing they've ever recorded, but still not bad.

But overall, this album's pretty boring. Makes very nice background music, I'll give it that. But there really is nothing of note hear. There is an over-abundance of sappy love songs and various elevator music filler. It's hard to believe, from listening to this album, that Genesis was once an edgy prog rock band.

Report this review (#125261)
Posted Saturday, June 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
2 stars We Can't Dance was the final album Genesis made with Phil Collins, disregarding any future resurrections. Like the last two albums, the music was primarily written for the new pop rock fan base, with a slight nod on a couple songs to their die-hard fans of their progressive rock era. Overall the album is slightly better than their 1983 self-titled album and Invisible Touch from 1986. There are a good number of pop rock numbers on here, with the exception of Driving the Last Spike and Fading Lights, the latter showing a return to their prog rock sensibilities. Another notable departure was a return to actually using an analog drum kit on more songs than relying on electronic or programmed drums. An improvement, yes, but Banks keyboard work is still uninspiring and Mike Rutherford is still tall, but also uninspiring.

The three core members ended a long string of albums with something that at best would draw a blank face from the average Genesis fan. A sad ending to what was one of the most influential and important symphonic prog bands of the 1970s. Rutherford and Banks would take one more stab at the Genesis name in 1997, but for the most part, this was it for them. Collectors and fans only. All others, I'd recommend getting something from the 1970s. Two stars.

Report this review (#127335)
Posted Monday, July 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars In 1986 when one of my favorite bands released their newest album I faithfully bought it, played it, got angry and then washed my hands of them and vowed that I'd never spend another shiny penny on anything they put out in the future. While admittedly not as despicable as 1983's "Genesis" fiasco, I had expected them to make unconditional amends with a triumphant return to great music on the highly-hyped "Invisible Touch" but it was only a slight improvement and I felt insulted by its slick mediocrity to the point of outrage. So when five years later they released "We Can't Dance" I made it my mission to avoid and ignore it as much as possible. I succeeded.

Sixteen years later I'm rooting through my wife's sizeable, scrambled pile of old cassettes and I come across this album. I figure that I've held a grudge long enough and decide to pop it into the player and listen to it without bias. Lo and behold, I'm taken aback. It's a whole lot better than I expected and I now consider it to be the best material they recorded since 1980's brilliant masterpiece, "Duke."

It was definitely a bold move on their part to start things off with a song that tackles a subject as profound as seeking acceptance and love from one's estranged father but that's what they do with the intriguing "No Son of Mine." Right off the bat I notice the ultra-clean audio quality and the fact that the drums are real this time. Phil Collins' vocal chops are strong and confident and the song has the kind of dynamics that made them a true juggernaut of progressive rock in the 70s. The crisp tempo of "Jesus He Knows Me" is next and again they fearlessly take on another hot topic, shameless television evangelists who immorally fleece the meek and the gullible. It has a terrific arrangement and a clever, reggae-styled breakdown in the middle that works like a charm to keep the song from getting stale. Any tune that helps to expose brazen false prophets and self- anointed holy men for the charlatans they really are is okay by me.

"Driving the Last Spike" shows Genesis returning to their prog roots. Tony Banks' deep, atmospheric keyboard work provides a calm beginning and Phil's singing is strikingly pure. This involved tune about a humble but dignified survivor of the hard-laboring, dedicated crews that built the English railway system in the early 19th century is a gem and when Collins' huge drums come kicking in the whole song expands into epic proportions and it never lags for a second. Bravo, boys. Unfortunately, the dull "I Can't Dance" follows and it's a big letdown to say the least. Its vapid lyrics and goofy sound effects reduce it to little more than a novelty tune. "Never a Time" is a decent pop number and Mike Rutherford's words describing the somber end of a relationship are honest and mature but the song would have worked better on one of Phil's solo albums. The good news is that the lull these two tracks establish is temporary and things get better with the next cut.

"Dreaming while you Sleep" is a dark tune about a hit and run driver's unrelenting guilt that is quite haunting. It starts with an interesting rhythm pattern pulsing under the verse and chorus but it's Tony's expansive keyboards and Phil's arresting drums on the bridge that really make the song come alive. "Tell Me Why" wrestles with difficult philosophical questions about existence without becoming too heavy for its own good. It's a contemporary tune for sure but it never turns trite and the electric 12-string guitar provided by Mike gives it a different color, setting it apart from the other numbers. A mean guitar tone introduces "Living Forever," a song about being obsessed with striving to prolong one's life instead of just enjoying the ride but the real surprise here is Collins' inventive use of brushes instead of drumsticks. Very cool. Banks shines brightly during the instrumental mid- section that is a clever combo of funk and prog sensibilities.

Genesis' bread and butter in the 80s consisted of their seemingly inexhaustible stream of sappy love songs and that's what "Hold on my Heart" is. It's not a horrible piece of work but it's old ground they covered ad nauseum back in their MTV days and here it only serves to retard the momentum of the album. Next up is "Way of the World" and it begins with a happy, up-tempo shuffle that is deceiving because the tune is about the futility of the human condition. It's not what I'd call prog but it's a well-written song, nonetheless, and there's a lot to be said for that considering the miserable stuff these guys were spewing out in the "me" decade. "Since I Lost You" follows and it's one of the weakest tunes included. The piano has a warm sound like an old upright sitting in a living room somewhere and the poignant lyrics written with pal Eric Clapton's tragic loss of his son in mind are very touching but it can't make this tepid song avoid being instantly forgettable.

I get the feeling these three amigos knew this would in all probability be the last studio album from Mike, Phil & Tony together and the final track, "Fading Lights" supports my theory. I even detect the nostalgic inclusion of a melody lifted straight out of "Stagnation" (from the "Trespass" LP in 1970) to give it an ironic aura. In the extended instrumental segment we are treated to a fantastic "live" drum sound from Collins, Banks' phenomenal keyboard artistry, Rutherford's understated guitar performance and the kind of stirring accents and powerful peaks that characterize the very best of this legendary prog band. The epic ends with Phil wistfully singing "Far away, away/fading distant lights/leaving us all behind/lost in a changing world." For Genesis the world had changed into one they didn't belong in. Sad but true.

There may be others of you who, like me, were so disgusted by their uninspired 80s drivel like "Another Record," "Illegal Alien" and "Anything She Does" (just to name a few zingers) that you swore off this group and considered them too deeply immersed in commerciality to fool with ever again. I understand. Yet I encourage you to indulge an hour of your time with this album sometime and give it a fair hearing. You might be impressed. It's no masterpiece by a long shot but there are more than a few musical creations here that make this aging Genesis fan proud. 3.6 stars.

Report this review (#128158)
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars This album is much like their last two in terms of consistency. There is some stuff that is good, some stuff that isn't, and some stuff that is great. For some reason I don't enjoy it as much as the last two. My favorite songs are "Jesus He Knows Me" , "Dreaming While You sleep", and "Fading Lights" A lot of the other songs seem to blend in with each other and not stand out. I don't dislike the title track but it doesn't do much for me. "Driving the Last Spike" is pretty good too but other than that, nothing seems that special. They're just pop songs- not terrible, just not what I like.
Report this review (#129819)
Posted Sunday, July 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Something of a return to form after the disappointing Invisible Touch. Its main problem is that it is too long. I know the boys wanted to take advantage of the CD medium and use the full 70 plus minutes available. But what this means is that whilst there are some great moments, they have to share the billing with some weak sappy ballads. I think there are four great tracks here: No Son Of Mine, Driving The Last Spike, Dreaming While You Sleep and Fading Lights. The first is a strong opening single. Driving The Last Spike is a great story telling epic where the whole band are on top form, particularly Phil whose lyrics and vocals are superb. Dreaming While You Sleep is a very moving song about a hit 'n' run driver. Fading Lights harks back to former glories and would've been a great way for the band to sign off. Of the other tracks, Living Forever has some nice proggish moments and Way Of The World is a nice tune, though the lyrics are pretty naff. That leaves us with the (almost) title track and Jesus He Knows Me, which are the customary comic tracks. Tell Me Why, Hold On My Heart and Since I Lost You belong on Phil Collins solo albums. Had they restricted this album to the first six tracks I mentioned plus the excellent outtake "On The Shoreline" (the B-side of I Can't Dance), they would've had a 7 track album clocking in at just over 50 minutes that would have been very good, if not quite on a par with the 70s albums. As it is, I'm going to give We Can't Dance three stars, well really three and a half.
Report this review (#133354)
Posted Thursday, August 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars It hurts me to say that I hate "We Can't Dance", but it's kinda true. At this point Genesis entered the 1990s, a place they did not belong with the changing soundscape that Nirvana ushered in. I really try to just refer to "Invisible Touch" as their last album, but alas, they released "We Can't Dance", so it must at least be aknowledged. I just can't stand that by 1991, even though they were still selling lots of records and selling out football stadiums scross the world, Genesis had become a parody of themselves. The songs on "We Can't Dance", while trying to have a social message (maybe that's the problem) sound contrived. I will end the review positively by saying that "Fading Lights" is a nice sprawling, somber song for Phil Collins to end his career with Genesis.
Report this review (#135337)
Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars Don't bought this We Can't Dance bacause... All Phil Collins solo albums are better! For God! But if you want to buy this We Can't Dance here are instructions for a serene listening: 1st: You don't expect Prog. And not expect the good POP of Duke. 2nd: You expect only a Chart POP. And in this sense the music of We Can't Dance is great. 3rd: You expect great performance and production. 4th: You expect the worst Genesis studio album.

No Son Of Mine, I Can't Dance, Dreaming While You Sleep, Tell Me Why and Fading Lights are great Charts POP songs for 1991. Surely superior Charts POP songs for 1991. But this is an album of Genesis... another kings of Symphonic Prog in 70's.

This is my sincere sentence.

Report this review (#160486)
Posted Friday, February 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars First of all I must admit that this is not shining prog from the old days, but then you must admit that those days are gone forever. All of us changed in the meantime, why Genesis should stay the same? But thats totally incorrect to say, that this is a complete crap. There are gems on this one, having real value. If you dont like the poppy ones, just exclude them from your playlist. The remaining ones are really gold. No son of mine recalls me the days when my parents were quarelling before their divorce and you can believe me, the musical world Genesis created here is what a lonely child feels about the ones he once admired. Jesus he knows me musically is not a big effort, but Genesis to me doesnt mean only music, lyrics has the same importance, those Genesis tales were enchanting my childhood fantasy. The song commemorates the big scandal around the liar priest, Jimmy Schwaggart and makes it in a funny and ingenious way. Driving the last spike is a gem, the heart rending story again, story of a simple man fighting the world like all of us do everyday, listen to the unbelievable unity of guitar and rhythm section, all of them serve the vocal and vocal serves only the story, lifting the lyrics up to its place. Thats a wonderful fairy tale for adults about struggling and surviving, I really like it, each time I listen to it I can hear the cries of the dying and can see the true man surviving. I cant dance may sound a crap for first listen but if you understand that its just parody of TV commercials and this whole f...g consumer society, a quarry for human dogs hungry for Genesis hit, it will really make you laugh. Watch the clip, too! Never a time is just a nice pop song, nothing more, but simply eases the pressure before the next tragic story that is Dreaming while you sleep. Can you imagine the pain for someone you hit with your car but left there dying cos you got SO scared of what you did. Her memory remains and prays in your mind forever and this mood is perfectly created by the song. Another gem. Listen to the combination of drum machine and the tama drums hit by PC so passionately. Again all instruments are serving the story here, and I begin to think that in our life the story told is the most important and music only comes second. Tell me why is again for hit seeker, not my cup of tea, I usually jump to the next one that is the second parody on the cd which has personal references in my life. My stepfather is a health maniac and as if this song had been written about him. I remember how I laughed on him when he changed from milk to NOT milk, then fruits for breakfast then green tea, the way he sucked and belived all these were such funny to me and the Genesis magic is here again, I really enjoy how life and music come as one. The long keyboard solo is fantastic, recalls me how nervously he checked what he ate and didnt eat, how excited he was when a new book was published and threw away the old ideas, a real FUN! Hold on my heart is just a nice love song again, Way of the world is the 2nd tell me why, nice short keyboard solo but nothing more, PC type lyrics tryin to tell pithy thoughts the listener but doesnt really succeed. Since I lost you is a bit different cos it sounds like a love song for lost lover but in fact it commemorates Eric Clapton's son who fell out from a window (what parents could do this!) and died so young and it gives another colour to the song. Again, the story behind is more important than the song itself. And at the end comes the best. A complete revival of old Genesis, the long and complex keyboard solo, the perfect percussion, PC shining like never before. This song is one of the 3 best Genesis songs ever and a beautiful swan song. I think PC knew here he would quit sooner than later and waved goodbye to us with this one. This is perfect. The opening keyboard like rising sun, the gentle voice like an old and tired man sad about things that couldnt be repeated and relived, but gradually the song comes to life, Banks starts with his keyboard magic, its passionate, its emotional, brings me back to 70ies, those limping rhythm from PC again, its so compound, I cannot even calculate the metric, the guitar modestly stays in the background, but giving the song that special basic thumping, original Genesis at its best, wonderful closing piece of a 25 year long carrier. When it ends, I feel exhausted of the amount emotion this songs requires from me. And last but not least, take a look at the cover. A father, nice and gently drew figure wearing a funny hat points up to the sky, showing his little sun that the important things are not down here amongst us but high above, and it may occur that times changed and Genesis is not playing the same damned progressive rock anymore, but they still can bring joy to our life, and not playing damned disco and techno like other prog monsters from the 70ies, so they really can say that WE CAN'T DANCE.
Report this review (#161235)
Posted Friday, February 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Why does it have to be so long? This album could have been a 3-star effort if there was an editor telling the guys to filter out the filler. Instead, we have the good material scattered around the disc with numerous forgettable pop tunes between them. Good material or not, it is fortunate that the production improved significantly and the drums are for once REAL again. Nevertheless, the music is inoffensive, unoriginal, safe: typical of a monster pop album. Even the extended songs are very safe, though the closing track manages to be a very good farewell to the fans, progressive or not. Fading Lights shows that Tony Banks has a little prog in him left and he decided to not make pop during that moment. The arrangements are good, the vocal melodies are inspired and emotional, and the instrumental parts, while being a shadow of their best years, are sufficiently exciting to my ears. Unfortunately, the other epic is not progressive. It is a pretty song indeed, with better choice of sounds than Fading Lights, but there is not much of progression in its ten minutes.

Not all of the pop songs are filler though. the opening track No Son of Mine is enjoyable and has the energy of the band at their Duke era due to the drumming. Jesus he Knows me is very entertaining, has a great chorus, and is overall a fun attack on televangelists. Living Forever and Dreaming While you Sleep are decent enough ballads, the former having a nice instrumental section. The others, while unremarkable, have Phil Collins singing with a great voice. The man is definitively a better singer during the pop era than during their progressive phase if you look past the less inspired melodies.

Report this review (#162269)
Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars No Son Of Mine, Driving The Last Spike, Fading Lights, Jesus He Knows Me, I Can't Dance, these are the best songs here. There are also some fillers (Tell Me Why, Hold On My Heart, Dreaming While You Sleep) that made the album a little unequal. But in its globality, it's a nice, though too long, album. Not my favorite at all, anyway.
Report this review (#163967)
Posted Saturday, March 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not essential, but oh, so close. It definitely sounds like Genesis at this point were listening to the then- blossoming alternative rock revolution. Don't misunderstand; I'm not saying that Genesis were PLAYING alt-rock, but some of the similarities are too profound for even me not to notice: shorter (relatively speaking) song times, an insistence on REAL instrumentation, a warmer-sounding production and a focus on more down-to-earth themes, such as in the lead-off track No Son Of Mine, a real chiller with quiet verse-loud chorus arrangement. I still love hearing this tune, if only for the cathartic feeling it gives me to know that someone else (in theory) went through what I did as a kid.

Why is this disc not essential? There are a few reasons.

1. Too long. 12 tracks at nearly 72 minutes is far too long, and by the time track 9 or so comes around, it's already blown its proverbial load. Meanwhile, my finger is itching to hit skip.

2. For all the real instruments on this disc, they should've gotten rid of the drum programming. It makes a mockery of all that Genesis used to stand for. And it's horrifying to hear a song like the quasi-title track, littered with it. Yuck. No thanks.

So, no. Not essential, but still shockingly good. 4 stars.

Report this review (#168609)
Posted Thursday, April 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars is hard for me to decide if this album deserve 4, 3 or maybe 2 stars. there are some good songs, and some not quite on my taste. i like especial the particular sound of drums. the greatest disappoint is i think Since I Lost You. sounds to much like a Phil Colins solo song. the best songs, who maybe deserve 4 or 5 stars are No Son Of Mine, Dreaming While You Sleep and Fading Lights. the first to have some great drum sound, and the lyrics are good.

anyway, it could be much better because they are great musician, who prefer waisting their talent on commercial music. for this i give them only 3 stars.

Report this review (#174174)
Posted Tuesday, June 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars This is the best and most progressive Genesis album since Duke. Fading Lights is an excellent song. No Son of Mine is not prog, but a very emotional and beautiful song. Driving The Last Spike is also a very good song.

I Can't Dance and Jesus He Knows Me need no comments, everyone has heard them. They are, of course, the worst songs here.

This is a recommended album if you have all the early Genesis albums up til and including Duke.

Report this review (#177328)
Posted Saturday, July 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars It certainly is hazardous to explicit this album as a Genesis one, more than a Phil Collins one. In fact this work could find its right place in the Collins discography, more than in Genesis one... BUT, among unlistenable tracks (as in my opinion the most of Collins Discography) we can find something better with Driving the last spike, Dreaming while you sleep and the famous song to smooch with your girlfriend Hold on my heart. The rest doesn't have enough strength to remain in memory, especially in a progger memory who heard from this group amazing music and stories.

Avoid to buy

No more than 2 stars

Report this review (#178975)
Posted Wednesday, August 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars The last studio album with Phil Collins is an absolute mix of everything previous.Some progressive elements,some real pop songs which look like Phil Collins songs solely and some ballad ideas.Almost full 3 stars!
Report this review (#179571)
Posted Thursday, August 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Quite an improvement over the Invisible Touch album. Ok, it´s not a classic in any way, not even by their mid-period standards, but still it has its moments. It would be their last studio album with Phil Collins. Although the album is a bit uneven in songwriting quality, as a band they succeed to give life in most of the tracks with some clever arrangements, a good choice of ´serious´songs with other funnier ones and a top notch production. If you don´t compare this album to their earlier ones you might enjoy it a lot, like I did.

Best songs are the emotional No Son Of Mine, Fading Lights and Jesus He Knows Me (the video is hilarious!). I agree with others reviewers who pointed out that We Can´t Dance (the album, not the song) is a bit long, but nothing is really crap. It was a surprising leap forward after the rather too slick and popish Invisible Touch. But I should warn anybody that has not listen to this album that do not expect anything too progressive here. But those guys were really good, talented writers, regardless the style they chose to express it. 3 stars.

Report this review (#179588)
Posted Thursday, August 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "We Can't Dance" is the 14th full-length studio album by UK pop/rock act Genesis. The album was released through Virgin Records in the UK and through Atlantic Records in The United States in October 1991. It´s the successor to "Invisible Touch" from 1986. After a 112-dates long tour supporting "Invisible Touch" in 1986/1987, Genesis went on a longer hiatus, and the three members of the band instead worked in their respective solo projects. Especially lead vocalist/drummer Phil Collins experienced great solo success, but bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford also had success with his Mike and the Mechanics project. There was some doubt if Collins would return to work with Genesis again, but writing and recording of new material began in March 1991.

The sessions lasted until September 1991 and continued the collaborative songwriting approach of the two direct predecessors, with the band jamming and writing the songs as ideas came along (as opposed to the band members bringing finished ideas or whole compositions to the sessions). That songwriting approach had been greatly inspiring for the band on the last couple of releases, and worked again on the sessions for "We Can't Dance", which spawned fifteen tracks. Twelve of which ended up on the album. Some of the outtakes were used as single B-sides ("On the Shoreline" and "Hearts on Fire").

"We Can't Dance" features both short vers/chorus structured pop/rock songs with mainstream appeal, and longer more sophisticated compositions, which may not satisfy fans of the band´s 70s progressive rock output, but still can be labelled progressive rock in some form. Or maybe just sophisticated rock, but tracks like the 10 minutes long "Driving The Last Spike", the 7 minutes long "Dreaming While You Sleep", and the 10 minutes long "Fading Lights" are quite adventurous and structurally interesting pop/rock songs. I of course wouldn´t expect anything less from Genesis, who through the 80s were very successful in pairing easily accessible pop/rock songs with more intricate and complex material on all their releases.

Some of the best known tracks from the album are "No Son Of Mine", "Jesus He Knows Me", and "I Can't Dance", and all three are brilliant compositions. "No Son Of Mine" is a slow building melancholic track, which to my ears is one of the best tracks in the band´s discography. Masterfully composed and sung with great passion by Collins, telling a tale of domestic abuse. "Jesus He Knows Me" on the other hand is an up-tempo energetic pop/rock song with humourous lyrics about TV-evangelists and how they lure money from people promising God and heaven. "I Can't Dance" is another light-humoured track with a nice heavy riff and a groovy rhythm. Both of the latter just work and you can sing along to them.

"We Can't Dance" is a very long album featuring 12 tracks and a total playing time of 71:26 minutes and sadly the album does feature some fillers. Or at least tracks which aren´t up to par with the best material on the album. Tracks like "Tell Me Why", "Way Of The World", and "Since I Lost You" could for example easily have been left off, and few would have noticed or cared. "We Can't Dance" was co-produced and engineered by the only 28-year-old Nick Davis, and he and the band have achieved producing a very well sounding album. Compared to its direct predecessor, "We Can't Dance" is a little more guitar oriented, although Tony Banks keyboards and Collins vocals are of course also some of the dominating features in the soundscape.

Upon conclusion "We Can't Dance" is another quality release by Genesis but it could have used a little more editing and the firm hand of a producer, who dared tell the band to cut a few tracks. There are simply a couple of fillers too many on the album, some of the longer tracks also develop at a very slow pace. I´m personally very fond of a tracks like "Driving The Last Spike" and "Dreaming While You Sleep", but I understand those who would rather watch paint dry, than to sit through the slow building structures of those tracks. Overall there is more quality material here than the opposite though, and as always even the less interesting Genesis tracks are better composed than most other output by similar artists. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#180685)
Posted Sunday, August 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars This album could have really been special. Unfortunately, it gets really bogged down with pop crap and filler. I think if you take away some tracks and add the 2 b-sides you could have a 4 star album here.

The centerpieces of the album are Fading Lights (one of my favorite tracks of any period), Living Forever, Driving The Last Spike and Dreaming While You Sleep. So out of 12 tracks, you have 4 really good ones. Add in that I love On The Shoreline (one of the b-sides) and even Hearts In Fire (the other b-side), which is better than the rest of the tracks that MADE the album. What else can stay? Well the first 2 tracks (both hits) No Son Of Mine and Jesus He Knows Me are decent. You'd have to keep the quirky title track I Can't Dance. I'd trash the rest!

So we have a 9 track album, shorter and no out and out AOR pap, the obvious Phil Collins influenced tracks. And I think with that, you'd have a 3.5 star album. Dump off I Can't Dance and it's an 8 track 4 star album. Sadly, that's just fantasy soooooo...we have a 2 star album which is saved by the aforementioned 4 songs.

Report this review (#188243)
Posted Friday, November 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars The last of my Genesis album reviews (I did Calling All Stations a little while back), I will not go through each and every track, but give a brief commentary.

Firstly, I cannot believe it is 18 years since this was released, the last Collins era studio album. I can get the fact that it is 34 years since Gabriel left, but this amount of time...I'm getting old.

This album is probably in the 3.5 star range, but I have rounded it up to four stars, principally because it is such an important moment in the history of our genre - the last studio LP (discounting CAS) by the most influential (IMO) prog band of all time, and the one band that probably did more to bring the genre to the masses.

Having said that, there are also some fine moments. No Son of Mine is one of THE great Genesis singles, a sharp and focussed track all about family alienation led by some excellent keyboards by Banks, who really returns to form on this LP. The longer, prog, tracks Dreaming While you Sleep and Driving the Last Spike, are also great value for money, both telling real stories and featuring a band who, by now, can play tightly in their sleep.

But the real winner for me on this is the last track, Fading Lights, a song clearly devised by Banks and featuring a crashing, sound filled solo by him in the middle section following a beautifully understated opening section by Collins vocals. This is, unless Phil has another very expensive divorce, the last ever studio recording by this band line up, and, if it is, it is a fine way to go out. At the time it felt like a goodbye, and it is even more now.

Four stars - a fine and noble end to a fine and noble recording career from a band I continue to love to this day.

Report this review (#202413)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars So OK, I've just lost rather (this time not long) short review, but it was a review and so this is not gonna be OK, not by any chance. However, I intend to finish the job that I started, so here is what I can remember / think now. Basically, this is the same story as with their other dark age albums. There's nothing new to say (except "Shapes" were different than others, still dull, but darker atmosphere).

2(+) for some better songs, but there are also annoying ones ("IIIII can dance, IIIII can dance). It's last album for old Phil, but honestly, does it make a difference ? This band didn't made transition to quality as many others (great 70's, bad 80's, slowly improving 90's and great current 90's again), this dug itself deeper and deeper into pop excrements. But after all, like I already said in other reviews, it is listenable, if you seek relaxation and easy- listening music. Nothing more.

Report this review (#259939)
Posted Friday, January 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
1 stars Over the years, I've observed that many people (especially Gabriel-era fans who speak dismissively of the Collins "sellout" era) tend to lump this album in together with its predecessor, as if they were basically the same album or two sides of the same coin. Years of listening to the Collins era of Genesis, though, has led me to believe that this is a major mistake, and while I'm nowhere near a huge fan of IT, I still consider it a far better album than this one could ever be. That one had some flaws, yes, but nothing as deep and as fundamental as the flaws that affect this album.

The single biggest problem with this album was the fact that it took five years for the band to come out with a followup to IT. This was a problem for three major (two related) reasons. The first is that, in those five years, it became painfully obvious that Phil Collins needed Genesis a whole lot less than Genesis needed Phil Collins. After achieving so much commercial success in his solo career, Phil had less of a reason than ever to go back into the studio as just one of the guys, with his ideas receiving equal weight with Mike's and Tony's. The only way that he could be lured back into the studio for another Genesis album was if his level of control was at least somewhat the same as what he could expect in making one of his own albums. The result, then, is that this album comes painfully close in many places to sounding like a Phil Collins solo album, with Mike and Tony as just featured musicians. There are exceptions to this, but they're just that: exceptions. Tony's influence is clearly muted a lot, and his synthesizers are mostly undistinctive (even when he was annoying in the past, you could still count on him to stand out!), while Mike seems like he could have been swapped out for just about anybody.

The second problem came from the five year gap itself. The band had regularly released albums every year or every other year since the early 70's, and even when the band took a break between Genesis and IT, the gap was only three years. One of the effects of creating new music on a regular basis was that the band had created a clear narrative for its historical development (one of the most interesting narratives in rock music history, I would argue), and there was a clear sense of momentum in its development. For better and worse, IT was a logical successor to Genesis, as Genesis was a logical sucessor to Abacab, as Abacab was a ... sorta logical successor to Duke, and so on. In taking so much time off, though, the band lost its creative momentum and broke the narrative thread: I really have a lot of trouble seeing how the tracks on IT, apart from In Too Deep, predict this album in any way. Instead, the band had to pretty much start from scratch, and the raw materials they used for their reboot were not ideal.

The third problem came from the deterioration of Phil's voice. I've always preferred Peter's singing to Phil's, but I also think that, starting in about 1980 (not much before then: I've heard a bootleg from the '78 tour and Phil's singing was still kinda non-descript), Phil became a pretty strong singer for the band (whenever he avoided excessive sap, of course). He figured out how to bring some serious power into his singing, as well as a neat rasp/roar in the higher registers that made him really stand out. Plus, as shown in songs like "Mama," he'd become an ace at singing pissed off love songs. Somewhere between IT and WCD, though, Phil's voice settled into its familiar 90's mode: extremely syruppy, and with a thin piercing quality that would jut into the pain regions of my brain. There are some elements of his previous best work, but they're few and far between. Maybe it was just him getting older (he turned 40 in this period!), but whatever it was, his vocal prime was gone.

So let's look at the songs, then. Three of the first four songs, three of the big hit singles from the album, are quite strong, and get the album off to a deceptive start. "No Son of Mine" is overlong, and it takes a little bit of time to get to the chorus (the best part of the song), but the lyrics are pretty moving, and overall the song is a good one. Even better is "Jesus He Knows Me," probably the only track on here that feels like a successor to the best IT material: its attack on televangelism is somewhat trite lyrically, but the lyrics are still fun, and it's a solid up-tempo pop song with a great chorus. The third song in the list is the best known of the album, and a lot of fans hate it, but I for one enjoy the living daylights out of "I Can't Dance." It's just a really great pop song, from the grumbly guitar riff to the silly lyrics to the really enjoyable chorus that features a throwback to Phil's really cool high-pitched rasp. It has nothing to do with anything Genesis had done to that point, and it's a ridiculous way to get introduced to the band (I have to confess this was my introduction; when I was on the cross-country team in 7th grade, the team's star runner would regularly be heard singing it in practice), but I enjoy well-written pop songs as much as anybody does.

Sandwiched between "Jesus He Knows Me" and "I Can't Dance," though, is a track that serves as an ill harbinger of the rest of the album to come. See, even though the style of the music was closer to solo Phil than to Genesis, the band clearly wanted the album to have some appeal to older fans. As on previous albums, this meant making quite a few of the songs pretty long, with a couple functioning as full-fledged "epics." "Driving the Last Spike," at ten minutes in length, was apparently supposed to serve somewhat the same function on this album that "Tonight x3" served on IT (a standard pop song stretched into pseudo- prog territory through the length), but this track doesn't hold a candle to that one. This track is basically a 3-minute standard Phil Collins song, with Phil singing about a "serious" topic (about people who worked on railroads in the western United States in the 19th century), stretched into ten minutes, and I find the effect amazingly bad. The arrangements are incredibly monotonous, full of standard heavenly guitars and moody synths (except for what sounds like an organ every so often), and except for when Phil sings the line, "As they waved goodbye to their fathers," I don't feel any resonance whatsoever from the singing. I could compare this song in quality to "One for the Vine" (which I don't especially like) but frankly I'd much rather listen to that one than to this. For all of the boredom coming out of the song, it at least had a few distinct parts, some clear variation in the keyboards used (both synths and piano), and most importantly a really creative, powerful Hackett solo stuck into the last minute. It's also definitely much worse than "Tonight x3": that track had some clear conflict and tension (in a good way) in the interaction of the ideas from the band members, whereas this track overly feels like Phil domination with some bones thrown to the others.

Following "I Can't Dance," we then hit a stretch that is easily the most disappointing seven song stretch in the entire (pre-CAS) Genesis catalogue. It is here that the Collins influence becomes utterly overpowering, and anybody with the least bit of allergy to such things should stay away from here. Three of the tracks could easily be swapped out for pretty much any generic Collins ballad: "Never a Time" is a pleasant enough throwaway, but "Hold On My Heart" is enough of an argument on its own for the destruction of every Adult Contemporary album ever made, and "Since I Lost You" is just tacky tacky tacky. "Tell Me Why" and "Way of the World" are slightly up-tempo, which helps, but short on strong hooks, and both of them go on awfully long given how little happens in them of note. "Living Forever" is another song with "meh" hooks, but the band throws a bone to fans of the band's longer instrumental bits, so that might please some (not me, though). "Dreaming While You Sleep" actually has a good amount going for it, from an intriguing lyrical topic (somebody killing a girl in a hit-and-run, getting away with it, and having to live with the guilt for the rest of his life) to some interesting instrumental interplay, to some actual strong variation in the melodies; it's too bad that it in no way deserves to last seven minutes. Still, I like the song more than not, and it's basically a keeper.

The album then ends with a track that's clearly more influenced by Banks than Collins. "Fading Lights" is clearly supposed to serve as the album's version of "Domino" or "Home by the Sea," as it's ten minutes long, features a lengthy instrumental passage, and features Collins singing lyrics that clearly came from somebody other than himself. Unfortunately, this comes nowhere close to meeting the standards of those two songs. The song begins and ends with the "regular" song, but this main song is just as generic Adult Contemporary in the melody as anything else on the album, and the lyrics are just Banks lamenting about getting old. And the instrumental passage, ugh: the band was clearly going for somewhat of a "majestic" vibe here, but keeping the mid-section at a constant mid-tempo pace while Banks plays various semi-inspired keyboard lines for five minutes was about the least inspired idea the band ever had for an instrumental passage. At least "Domino" had the good sense to have different songs within the suite, and to speed up the song in the second half: this is just boring through and through.

So all in all, this is just a pretty sad end to the Collins era of Genesis. I like some of the songs on here, and part of me wants to boost the rating a bit, but there's also a lot of REALLY BAD material here. If you really, really like the Collins era, you may like this, but even that's no guarantee. Get this if you can find it for a dollar (for the good hits, plus maybe "Dreaming While You Sleep"), but don't spend more than that.

Report this review (#279395)
Posted Sunday, April 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars We Can't Dance, and We Can't Play Prog!

OK, you know where this is going to end up and it won't be pretty! If this is prog I am going to sell my prog collection to the highest bidder or sell England by the Pound or perhaps Trespass on the nearest Broadway Where the Lamb Lies Down to take a Foxtrot. Phil Collins openly stated on the 'Live In Rome' doco that the band began to garner a female audience and this only occurred when the music changed. If that's what the band wanted, to branch out on their target audience, that is what they received, but at the expense of glorious progressive music.

Genesis' music changed to such an extent that if you listen to the prog material such as 'Duke' and compare it to this they are from alternate universes, at polar opposites from one another. I don't mind a band experimenting with styles but this is selling out by the pound. The single smash hit 'Jesus He Knows Me' is proof positive that Genesis know how to write songs and do it well, and I am a real fan of the opening 'No Son Of Mine', especially the lyrics, and the emotive themes. Both are excellent and very infectious as far as melody is concerned. Collins sings well as usual and with fixed emotion.

There is no doubt the band is talented and you cannot take that away from them with the likes of Banks, Rutherford and Collins. The musical direction of the band is unsurpassed on their classic albums. Gabriel and Hackett were the prog geniuses and with them gone the band struggled to stand up in the difficult 80s. Let's face it, every prog band did and then at the beginning of the 90s prog slowly began to emerge as a dominant force. Genesis did not care for the past of course and opted for the fresh 80s sound of infectious choruses and poppy synthesizer riffs. It wasn't the newcomers that were infected by this, they embraced it and thought Genesis were a great new pop group who dominated the charts, they were completely oblivious of "Foxtrot". The problem stemmed with the prog fans who longed for that incredible progressive sound of the band; a sound they discarded.

Instead we get the deplorable "Invisible Touch" single dominated album, and years later this effort, which is only a notch above that album. The lengthy 'Driving The Last Spike' at 10 minutes promises much but delivers very little and live it is even worse.

'I Can't Dance' is an atypical poppy riff heavy danceable thing but it has the effect of polluting your mind and you can't get the dang chorus out of your head, aka a top 10 hit. The film clip is rather good as it is hilarious in its own way, Collins hamming it up big time as he tends to do in these latest tracks.

The forgettable tracks sandwiched between are real throwaways including, 'Dreaming While You Sleep', 'Tell Me Why', 'Living Forever', and 'Since I lost You'. No prizes for guessing that these are primarily Collins driven ballads and have no real redeeming features unless you are into power ballads or romantic claptrap. They merge into the wallowing synth-soaked money making machine that pummelled us in the decade of dance. I am simply giving this music a wide berth and I have played these tracks a grand total of one time and you won't convince me they are worth returning to. That's why I love prog, to indulge in complex, innovative music and to steer clear of these tepid poppy tracks. 'Hold On My Heart' is OK because I have heard this on the radio and it somehow appealed to my guilty pleasures. If the melody is strong enough you can forgive the tepid emotional drivel. At this point, you are perhaps thinking I am an anti-romantic individual. I can tell you that I am not, but when it comes to music, I am sick and tired of the sugar-coated radio friendly themes of 'girl meets boy, they fall in love, and then out of love and Air Supply appear and croon a lovely little song about it'. There's just too much of it out there and it saturates the air waves and makes you think that love is everything that makes the world go round. Yes would disagree on their 'Tales From Topographic Oceans', Pink Floyd would disagree on their 'Dark Side of The Moon'; these are the albums that changed a generation in music, but these other albums that were churned out with the likes of songs such as 'Way Of The World', 'Since I Lost You' and 'Fading Lights' ? well, I am speechless.

Genesis would do better than these on subsequent releases as we have seen with their live material especially the masterful DVD "Live In Rio". I would give this a miss and grab "The Platinum Collection" as everything on this that's worthwhile is there. This is quite a disappointing album with three good songs. Collectors need only apply.

Report this review (#279909)
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars The album "We can't dance" by Genesis from 1991 is not a bad album at all. Much is made about the pop songs from this album ('Jesus he knows me', 'No son of mine', and 'I Can't ) Dance') versus the prog sections of this album ('Driving the last spike', 'Dreaming while you sleep' though it should be 'dreaming while you drive' shouldn't it? and 'Fading Lights').

That said, I find rarely mentioned "Living Forever", "Tell me why" and "Way of the world" more interesting.These songs try to straddle a middle ground between 'prog' and 'pop', or maybe they are just pop songs but rather than sticking to 'pop' or 'prog' conventions these songs are fairly original. Also 'Never a time' was an interesting ballad, wasn't as predictable as 'Hold on my heart', nice guitar from Rutherford on that one.

My favourite track off this would have to be the ballad "Since you've been gone", it's performed so passionately, you can really feel the emotion on that one.Of the rest, the song' Fading Lights' would be my pick. Another emotional one, it feels like a 'farewell song' for Genesis, with a kind of trip back in time in the middle with the band jamming away an excellent instrumental piece that sounds like it could have been cut in the late 70's. But the other part where Phil is singing about 'distant fading lights' definitely feels like the band looking back and saying goodbye to it's fans. Even though Phil Collins didn't leave for another five years, it's obviously being said here, in a spectacular way.

On the downside, this album is a bit too long, at 70 minutes, though a lot of them are a lot longer than that these days. I originally had this album on vinyl, and it was actually a double vinyl LP. The album is also quite serious over the 70-minute duration, but still not a bad album. Well produced, band playing very well, good hooks.

There's not really a bad song on the album, but one of the least memorable of the Genesis albums. That said, the two songs 'Fading Lights' and 'Since I lost you', and possibly 'Way of the world' and 'I Can't Dance' make more of an impact and will perhaps be remembered.

Report this review (#283218)
Posted Sunday, May 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars A very underlooked album, this is the first album ive heard by Genesis, and i have to admit, i really liked it, the catchy pop melodies and harmonies really suit Phills voice and most of the songs are very strong, there is also a few longer songs that i would still considr prog like the fantastic DRIVING THE LAST SPIKE and the outro FADING LIGHTS, a main highlight for me is the opening track NO SON OF MINE, i just love the melody of that song, all in all i cant really complain there is the odd flaw/ maybe one or two filler songs on here (TELL ME WHY. LIVING FOREVER) but for the most i just really enjoyed it, a solid release;

No Son Of Mine - 10/10 Jesus He Knows Me - 8/10 Driving The Last Spike - 10/10 I Can't Dance - 7/10 Never A Time - 8/10 Dreaming While You Sleep - 8/10 Tell Me Why - 6/10 Living Forever - 6/10 Hold On My Heart - 9/10 Way Of The World - 7/10 Since I Lost You - 8/10 Fading Lights - 9/10

MY CONCLUSION? this is a very underated album by the one and only Genesis, i just think its a good solid album, not perfect but still a very good effort..

Report this review (#289800)
Posted Friday, July 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I was looking forward to reviewing this album. Not really. Genesis were still a popular group when this came out. But they were clearly passed their prime, both as a prog band and as a hit making machine. In the mid-80s teenagers and 20-somethings liked Invisible Touch. But in the early 1990s not too many people under 30 were listening to this album. I only own it because I went through a Genesis completist phase. I think that both IT and the follow up Calling All Stations are better than this. Don't get me wrong, they're bad albums, just not as bad as We Can't Dance is. The only album I would rate lower than this would be From Genesis To Revelation.

The singles off this album were some of the band's weakest. "No Son Of Mine" has it's moments, while "Jesus He knows Me" is kinda catchy. The latter is about corrupt televangelists. I've always liked the line: "she don't about my girlfriend, or the man I met last night". Funny. The song "Living Forever" is better than I remember it, but it still sucks. It's the most proggy song on the album after "Fading Lights". "Dreaming While You Sleep" is the standout track here. Almost as good as some of their better 80s songs. "Fading Lights" is the longest and proggiest song. I only really like the instrumental part that starts three and a half minutes in and ends around eight and a half minutes. This is the best playing the band did on record since at least "Home By The Sea/Second Home By The Sea".

The production sounds like it was influenced by what Collins did with his 1989 album ...But Seriously. He threw away the drum machines, synths and gated snare and tried to get a more organic "live" sound. It must be Banks and Rutherford who wanted the awful synth and drum machine sounds they have on this album. The only things keeping me from giving this 1 star is "Dreaming While You Sleep" and the instrumental section of "Fading Lights". The rest can suck it. 2 stars.

Report this review (#305808)
Posted Wednesday, October 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars After a break of 5 years, Genesis deliver another monster hit album to follow the success of Invisible Touch.

This is another great pop album. Relax and enjoy it for what is.

Highlights are No Son of Mine, Jesus he Knows Me, Driving the Last Spike (10:09), I Can't Dance, Dreaming While You Sleep (7:17) and Fading Lights (10:16) which as an appropriate closing track for what is to be Collin's last Studio album with Genesis. This also features an extended Banks solo which is worth the wait.

With a total playing time of more than 70 minutes a couple of the weaker songs could have been dropped.

5 stars overall. Essential in any collection (or perhaps your mum's) but not in the prog section.

ProgArchive rating: 3.6 stars.

Report this review (#351513)
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The last album with Phil Collins (I do not say it's the last good album the band because I did not hear "Calling All Stations") and other good work good Genesis.So good as "Invisible Touch" (as progressive as, for so to speak), "We can´t Dance " is full of memorable songs as the opening track "No son of mine, " "Driving the Last Spike, " "Dreaming While You Sleep, " "Way of the World" and "Fading Lights", which shows a clear band's attempt to return to the sound of the past.

On the other hand, the 80s pop rhythm is still present, as noted on tracks such as "Jesus He Knows Me" (expendable), "I can not dance" (a false title song?), "Tell Me Why" and "Holding On My Heart. "

Most of its flaws, this is an excellent álbum.Se you like Genesis unprejudiced listen it.4 stars.

Report this review (#373126)
Posted Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars We Can Make Money but not Good Music

On a winter afternoon, a good friend called me from Argentina,shouting that GENESIS had returned to their roots and released another great Prog album. Being that this guy and I spent hours listening classics as "Foxtrot" and "Nursery Cryme" trusted him, so despite my prejudice because of the infamous "Invisible Touch", went to the store and bought a cassette version (wasn't ready to spend US$ 26.00 on another Genesis release after W&W).

After listening the whole album, thanked God for going with the cheapest version, being that .I didn't found a single second worth to be listened, the album was even worst than it's predecessor because it didn't had an excellent instrumental like "The Brazilian"

Mellow songs, tedious vocals, boring performances, lack of variations, etc was the only things that I found in this release, not even "No Son Of Mine" (which was sold to me a some sort of new "Musical Box" by my friend) was worth a second listen, but the worst came with the repetitive and less than mediocre title song, that made me want to destroy the cassette player.

I won't waste my time or the time of the reader commenting more of this boring and tedious songs so will only add that by this point, GENESIS sounded as the favorite Collins session band, because the differences between Phil's solo music and "We Can't Dance", were almost imperceivable.

If I rated "Invisible Touch" with one star despite "The Brazilian", I should go lower with this album, but it's impossible in our system, so one star it is (and too much in my opinion).

Report this review (#379423)
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars We Can't Dance continues the pop sound that Genesis adopted just before the '80s hit the scene. This album also marks the last time that Phil Collins would appear on a Genesis album. Though the music here is still largely pop music, I've always considered this album to be superior to the pop albums they've done in the past since the release of Duke. "No Son of Mine" is one of the first Genesis songs I had ever heard, and the guitar effect on the song is interesting and the song as a whole is catchy and dark. Not a bad tune, but also not progressive. "Dreaming While You Sleep" seems like slightly blues-inspired synth pop, but is too long for its own good. Nothing really develops in the song. "Fading Lights" is another passionate synth-ballad that is lightly progressive, and stands out on this album, but is highly insignificant in the entire Genesis context. A lot of the songs here seem passionate, but also seem quite synthetic. I recommend this to pop fans and collectors only.
Report this review (#429407)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars The end of an era. Phil's last gasp. An album full of pop-rock with 3 saving songs that almost redeem it. "Driving the Last Spike" is a 10 minute tune about the building of the railroad across the United States. It is, by far, my favorite track on this album and it is always interesting. Phil's voice is in top form and the band is tight as always. "Dreaming While You Sleep" is an almost Peter Gabriel (solo album, not Genesis), type song. "Fading Lights" ends the album on a prog-ish note. However, between these 3 gems are some real bombs. Poppy and fluffy Genesis only the way they know how to create. The 3 good tunes here save the album from the 1 star rating that I may have given it. Not a lot of prog here. 2 stars is the verdict.
Report this review (#436237)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars What to say about my least favorite album by my favorite band? It's still a good album! It just doesn't reach the heights of some of their other works. The most noticable difference is that there seems to be a slight lack of energy compared to before, and some of the songs sound like they would stand better on their own rather than where they're placed in the album. There's not really anything bad about the guitar and keyboard tones in the album, but they don't catch my attention quite as much as say the ones on Selling England By the Pound or even Invisible Touch. The bass sure does sound good on "Dreaming While You Sleep", though. And the synth tones are actually very appropriate on the last song, "Fading Lights", where Tony Banks truly comes alive, making his keys sound exactly like lights in the sky. Definintely the most progressive track, although "Driving the Last Spike" qualifies for that, too, as well as being a well told unique idea for a song. Elsewhere, the album alternates between ballads and rockers, and while the ballads work better in this case, "No Son of Mine" is one of their most effective later period songs, with a haunting slowed-down guitar intro and a superb vocal from Phil Collins. "Living Forever" also works well, mainly for it's very obsevant lryics about an important subject to consider, thinking and living independantly. "Way of the World" is one of the better performed and effectively arranged numbers, and even "Tell Me Why" has it's own melancholic hopeful charm. Besides "Fading Lights", the best moments are probably "Never A Time" which stands out in terms of emotion, even on a very serious, emotional album, and coming out of the bridge going into the last verses of "Hold On My Heart" is a moment of brilliance. The rest of the album doesn't really do a whole lot for me, but I can understand why it is enjoyed by some, and I never regret enjoying the chord sequence to the chorus of "Jesus He Knows Me" when I do get around to putting the album on.
Report this review (#462335)
Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
2 stars 'We Can't Dance' - Genesis (4/10)

Although a general consensus among prog fans is that 'Invisible Touch' was Genesis' lowest musical point, I have to say that I really enjoyed that album. Although it obviously touched nowhere near the same glory as the band's early output, it was by all intents an intelligently written and tastefully performed pop album by my standards. Especially when compared to the rather dreadful self-titled album, I never understood why 'Invisible Touch' was so brutally panned, but with its follow up 'We Can't Dance', I can somewhat see both sides of the story. While there is a small handful of good pop tracks on this 1991 album by Genesis, the album is an overly long, plodding mess of gentle ballads that really shows the line blurring between the band's output, and Phil Collins' solo material.

The first two songs on 'We Can't Dance' are both memorable pop tracks that I remember vaguely from my childhood. 'No Son Of Mine' starts out in perfect Phil Collins canon, and could very easily have fit on any of his solo albums, though while it doesn't give me the impression of a legitimate Genesis track, it is a very well written track. It begins slowly, but with the chorus, some rock is thrown in, and the melodies stay strong throughout; at times melancholic, but filled with hope, as much Collins material is. The song takes a surprisingly long time to build, but that is to its benefit; it is a less immediate track than I may have expected. 'Jesus He Knows Me' is a much poppier track, but still quite good and nicely upbeat, despite some ironically twisted lyrics about psychopathy and delusion.

Sadly, although 'We Can't Dance' starts off as a fairly good pop album, it goes downhill fast. I was hoping for 'Driving The Last Spike' to be a refreshing jolt from the pop, and maybe even a song that brings the album up an artistic notch. Genesis obviously tantalizes their listener with the prospect of a prog piece with this song's nearly ten minute length, but sadly it does not deliver. Although there is an interesting and promising theme of ghosts and people dying while building the railway (prog rock has a tendency to border on the morose), the song is a very ambient and rather harmless piece that feels like a ballad that got stretched out about six minutes too long. Besides the rather humorous but unpleasant grumbler 'I Can't Dance', the rest of the songs follow this sort of musical formula; being focused highly on Phil Collins' rhythms and Phil Collins' voice. Not too surprisingly, the album turns out much like a solo project by the band's drummer, although it is probably not as bad as some of the more puritanical proggers out there may testify it to be. The music here is generally very mellow, but the music is generally intelligently arranged, and there's still material here that is worth a few listens, although there is nothing on the album that leaves much of an impression.

'We Can't Dance' is not a horrible album, but the latter two thirds of the album are viciously dull, and the music seems to lack the energy that had me really like 'Invisible Touch'. Bordering on ambient music at times, this is still pop music we are talking about, but- to give the band some credit- there is a little more going on here than most of what might get tossed on the Top 40 radio, any day.

Report this review (#484739)
Posted Sunday, July 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars A gentle mix of fish and cows.

I remember the release of this album very well. It spawned some big hits too. When I purchased this album, I was surprised to find a couple of ten minutes long songs too. Intriguing !

The album starts with two of their greatest hits; No Son Of Mine and Jesus He Knows Me. The latter one is a great song and timely social comment on a scourge that still is with us. Money grabbing business men disguised as Christians. This song is by far the best song on the album. The first epic Driving The Last Spike leaves me cold. A Phil Collins driven ballad with no dynamics. The title track follows and it is a pretty bad song which I actually liked a lot when it was released. Time has changed. The rest of the songs are anonymous...... until we arrive at the final ten minutes long epic Fading Lights. This epic actually reminds me a lot about the Wind & Wuthering album and it is a good song. It is probably the final good Genesis song too. Bring me some hankerchiefs because I am mourning the passing of this band.

This is by no means a good album. But it is a pretty decent album. Will I ever play it again ? No. But this album is not a turkey.

2 stars

Report this review (#581380)
Posted Saturday, December 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars No Son of Mine- A very emotional opener that sometimes puts me to tears cause of its impact on me. Love this tune. Prog, a little bit

Jesus He Knows Me- A quirky song about TV evangelists with a nice beat and full of interesting content. Prog, not really

Driving the Last Spike- A long song that tells a decent story about building the railroads in England in the 1880s. Nice epic song with awesome musical moments and transports me to that time period. Great song but prog, some of it.

I Can't Dance- This F'ing song. I love this quirky song with the great riff and silly sounds with kinda bland lyrics but I think that's what it was going for. I enjoy the crap outta this one but most hate it and I see why. Prog, hell no

Never a Time- A simple pop song with nothing much interesting but I do enjoy this song in its simplicity. Prog, not at all

Dreaming While You Sleep- Very interesting with a nice drum loop and keyboard percussion (alot of that on this album) and some synth and guitar in it. The lyrics deal with a Hit & Run and how it effects someone personally. It tells a good story and does kinda sound Peter Gabriel-esque. Love this song Prog, kinda

Tell Me Why- In the vein of Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins dealing with homelessness and the issues with less fortunate in this world. Phil did it better. Prog, no

Living Forever- It's really cool to hear Phil play with brushes and it gives the song a great feel. It could've been a bit more for me but still enjoy it. Prog, almost

Hold On My Heart- A successful ballad from this album which lyrically is good but musically kinda boring. Prog, no way jose

Way of the World- Kinda straight forward track with not much to offer for me. Forgettable and not Prog

Since I Lost You- Sad song about the death of Eric Clapton's son at the time. Hasn't aged well to me. Prog, nope

Fading Lights- YES. This is a great song which is kinda saying good-bye to Phil Collins (inadvertently of course) the mid-section is a great jam that always captivates me. Prog, yes in a modern way

Overall, I adore this album and think it is a classic with a great bunch of songs and some Prog stuff. 4 Stars. Highlights: No Son of Mine, Jesus He Knows Me, Driving the Last Spike, I Can't Dance, Never a Time, Dreaming While You Sleep, Living Forever, and Fading Lights

Report this review (#599143)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
1 stars "There is never a time to say cos it seems to me we've lost our way" These opening words from "Never a time" sum up the group at this time when they had completed their transformation from Genesis to Generic. The previous few albums, while bland and imaginative in their production, did contain some strong themes lurking Dodo-like beneath their over-produced surface. All of the old Genesis grandeur and quirkiness has gone now. The interesting chord professions and memorable melodies and replaced by insipid pop tunes, the original lyrics replaced by faux-anguished love-songs and the usual earnest fingerwagging. What is really distressing though is the lacklustre generic style applied to every track. Inappropriate 'crying' guitars, 'atmospheric' synths, and drums that are either 'pounding' or 'mechanical'. In some ways this generic production was more of a pity on say, Invisible Touch, where there was a least some musical ambition. Here there are several long songs but they have absolutely no development, they merely achieve their length but repetition. One thinks that they were put on the album as a)filler and b) so that an unsuspecting prog fan might see a 10 minute track and think that there may something progressive about it.
Report this review (#835821)
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Just a few lines while listening to Fading Lights via progarchives player... A bit unfair really to see this album with one star rating or two... Here, Genesis were really a bit more sophisticated in their pop period procedure and its obvious throughout the two records. Of course, Prog here is just a sense emerging from the inner structure of the long songs - Driving The Last Spike, Dreaming While You Sleep and especially on Fading Lights(easily the best song here and a stronger reminder of the more glorius past), while on the other side their pop rock songs, in my opinion, tend to be much more decent than the ones from Invisible Touch - see, No Son Of Mine, Jesus He Knows Me (one of the cleverest and funniest video clips of that year), Tell Me Why and - why not actually - Hold On My Heart with its almost airy atmosphere. A decent goodbye from a giant band in a period where Prog Rock was in the stage of reinventing itsself. easily three stars!
Report this review (#836273)
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars We can't dance from 1991 is well, nothing really impressive, is far the times when symphonic prog was at the peak with beautiful duels between keyboards and guitars were present. Here we have some pop/rock tunes , of course are well performed, some pieces are good like No son of mine , or Driving The Last Spike that is to me the best track they ever done since Abacab album. This is no progressive rock anymore, no complex passages here is an album to be listened in a quiet evening sommer. This sounds like Phil Collins solo album, that type of pop/rock easy to get into. So 2-2.5 stars nothing more, ordinary but not bad.
Report this review (#848137)
Posted Thursday, November 1, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album has followed the same path that all Genesis albums have followed since And Then There Were Three. A few prog related songs, a few pop rockers and a few ballads. This receipt made them multinational stars and a boatload of money. Genesis sure wasn't going to change the formula at this late date. So please, no more of the "This is another Phil Collins solo album in disguise"!

The problem here is the same that many bands had in the late 80's and 90's. Since CD's had over 70 minutes available on each disk, many bands felt obligated to fill it. We Can't Dance is an album that would have benefited from some editing by leaving off 2 or 3 songs.

"No Son of Mine", "Dreaming While You Sleep", and "Jesus He Knows Me " are all smart, excellent songs with an interesting story to tell and "Driving the Last Spike" ups the ante as a ten minute story song about the building of the railroad and the human cost involved. "Hold on My Heart" is the now requisite slow love/ lost love ballads that reaches the upper levels of the singles charts. "Never a Time" is more of the same. "I Can't Dance" gets a ton of negative reaction but I enjoy the crunchy guitar and it is a bit of fun.

"Fading Lights" is an excellent song with a Tony Banks solo that we heard less of with each passing album. A great song for a great trio to bow out on.

3 stars almost a 4 if they dropped some of the fat.

Report this review (#890626)
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars By the time ''We Can't Dance'' hit the shelves in 1991, Genesis was already one of the biggest and best bands in the whole world. Phil Collins was one of britain's biggest stars, accumulating # 1 hits and grammys everywhere he went and Mike Rutherford was enjoying some solid success with his Mike and The Mechanics albums (their song The Living Years reached #1 on the Billboard Charts in 88).

So, the three men got together again in the studio to compose songs for their next album. But the big question in those days was: How would it sound? The answer: An excellent blend of prog, rock and pop songs all together, combined in one beautiful white package.

Now what impresses me the most about Genesis is that they were one of the most diverse and talented bands ever. For this record, they composed 70 minutes of music and by that stage, they were not thinking about writting for only one specific audience or genre. They were throwing objects on the wall to see what would stick.

So, for the true Genesis fan, who loves, respects and enjoys everything that these guys have put out, what's not to like in here? I have heard comments like:

-Oh, but it's too long or Maybe if they had trimmed down or condensed the record.... - A lot of stuff could have been in ''But...Seriously (1989)'' - We Can't Dance or Never a Time could have been Mike and The Mechanics tracks.

Why are you still complaining? There's something here for everybody, everyone. Just enjoy the ride. Nobody talked about trimming ''The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway'' or ''The White Album'' by the Beatles. Ok, I'm gonna give you a solution: Why don't you make you own ''We Can't Dance'' album?!. Go to nearest store and buy a CD-R and burn it with only the songs that you like. Now what do you think of that? So, shall we continue?

The sound is massive, emotional and the drums play a big role. They were back but with a different sound from Invisible Touch. The ticking of the clocks at the start of the album has something mystical, perhaps also a something of a countdown. As the drama builds around their warm new sound Genesis seem mature, calm and determined. Determined to take us on a ride of what they had learned throughout the years as succesfull musicans and artists and embrace the world.

''We Can't Dance was released late in 1991 and became the most successful Genesis album so far. It topped the German album charts in 1991 and 1992 for 24 weeks and sold more than three million times in Germany alone. Sales numbers in the tens of millions, a stadium tour, lots of hit singles and entertainingly funny promo videos ? yes, Genesis were a big marketing machine in the early 90s sponsored by Volkswagen. Behind the façade of a couple of musicians out of reach who had found the key to making it very big there is a varied album that was to become their last studio record with Phil Collins.''

Who wouldn't have wanted to be in a band like that? Anyone?

Report this review (#894704)
Posted Wednesday, January 16, 2013 | Review Permalink
1 stars R.I.P Genesis.

After Phil Collins took to the helm of Genesis, they continued to produce some nice albums. I am actually quite a fan of "Invisible Touch" and I do like Phil Collins' solo material. But this album is overall, a rather embarrassing mess. With an exception of "No Son of Mine", there is nothing here that I personally find remotely interesting.

By this time, Genesis had rather a bad reputation among prog fans, but all of their releases up until "We Can't Dance" were fairly strong in my opinion. While I can see that this album may appeal to someone looking for some feathery 80s pop tunes, I would not recommend this album to anyone.

One star.

Report this review (#914525)
Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars If someone wants me to leave the room they will play the "We can't Dance" track. I do enjoy "No Son of Mine", "Hold on My Heart", "Driving the last Spike" and much of the content of this album. It is way better than anything on the previous few albums discounting "Mama". This is still pop music however it is a much more mature pop sound than it was previously. I see "Fading Lights" as Genesis's goodbye track. This is an album that I enjoy and I do hold on to it fondly. Other than for the "We can't Dance" track there is nothing here that is, to my mind, throw away stuff. I have found that Genesis aren't the only band who "sold out" during the 80's and nineties and perhaps it was more the fault of the recording companies and executives than of the band members of a great deal of music. Things became about the money that could be made from music - the more the better - than about the art of music. Big Business got ahold of the music world. I can't in all honesty give this album a 4 star rating when I look at music as an art form however I do like this album. So 3 solid stars it is.
Report this review (#946875)
Posted Saturday, April 20, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've been following Genesis for over 30 years, and a Progger for 40. No one will argue that Genesis -- my favourite band bar none -- has had its ups and downs in its career. I was heartbroken to learn that this was indeed the last Phil-era Genesis album. But I cannot give this album any less than 4 stars and consider it a noble, heads-held-high swansong for a tremendous band. If I had my druthers, I would have shaved three tracks from the record: "Never a Time", "Tell Me Why" and "We Can't Dance" and rechristened it "Fading Lights." Now we have one of the best Genesis albums since "Duke." This wishful editing aside, The album stands on three epic tracks: "Driving the Last Spike", "Dreaming While You Sleep" and the haunting, melancholic "Fading Lights." There are great pop songs on the record as well, like the "Mama"-esque "No Son of Mine" and the ironically sprightly "Living Forever." I hate to think that some fans consider this album a knock-off like "Invisible Touch." For me, it's a magnificent send-off for a magnificent band. And I don't think anyone over 40 can listen to "Fading Lights" without shedding a tear or two.
Report this review (#969192)
Posted Sunday, June 2, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album is in my collection for a mix of nostalgic reasons (it was an album played a lot during my childhood) and for the closing track Fading Lights, and its extended instrumental section which I love. Some of the other tracks on the album are good too (Dreaming While You Sleep sticks in my memory, while Driving The Last Spike is an epic that sometimes captures me and sometimes not) but it is undeniably a less progressive, more one-dimensional and commercial album than the original Genesis would have contemplated releasing.

Of special note, Phil Collins is still a great drummer and there's some nice playing on here, albeit in a more straightforward vein. Sometimes I find myself tuning out the rest and just listening to that.

All in all there are tracks I skip and tracks I look forward to, and tracks that in the right mood are good once you get past the idea that the band play a different style to what they did in the seventies.

And yet, with tracks like Fading Lights I can't shake the feeling that if you took the highlights from the last three albums they produced and weaved them together cohesively on a single album, it could have been a release for progressive rock lovers to celebrate.

Report this review (#1000497)
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 | Review Permalink
2 stars Something of an improvement over "Invisible Touch", but only marginally so.

"We Can't Dance" is probably the "softest" of their entries - lots of smooth keyboard washes and an execution that is precise almost to the point of distraction, and not much of a bite. That can tend to give even the better tracks a real feel of sameyness, and combined with an excessive amount of filler serves to sabotage what probably could have been at least somewhat better.

The opener, "No Son of Mine", is a solid pop tune about domestic violence, featuring a slowed-down and processed guitar groan (prerecorded for live performances) over an ominous churning rhythm section as the intro. Some decent keys, mostly live drums and a decent guitar solo to finish. "Jesus He Knows Me" is the group's take on American televangelists. So-so lyrics and a chord progression riff we've probably heard a thousand times, but it's energetic and well-executed at least. "Driving the Last Spike" is probably one of the centerpieces, telling one man's tale of his work on building the British Railway system. While it's certainly not going to make anyone forget "The Cinema Show" or "Return of the Giant Hogweed" as an epic, it's definitely one of the best tunes here and progresses nicely through a series of moods. "I Can't Dance" is a sendup of jeans commercials, with a fun guitar riff and a ton of electronic percussion. "Dreaming While You Sleep" is a haunting tale of the ruminations of a person to blame for a hit and run accident, with some nice guitar work but a bit too pervasive of a drum machine. "Living Forever" has a nice (if overly soft) closing keyboard solo and a neat enough main body to hold your interest. The environmental track "The Way of the World" is another high point for me - great chorus and a suitably muted but engaging verse section. And "Fading Lights" features a great keyboard solo in the middle (though the vocal portion is arguably stunted by the all-too-frequently-heard-here soft keyboard washes).

So, it looks pretty good here, right? Well, if only these songs were used, this might have been a pretty good album. The problem, though, is that all the songs taken together (as was true on the eponymous album as well) simply don't hold up all that well. There's not enough distinguishing most of them from each other to truly grab and hold your attention. Drum machines are often used to a distracting degree. The keyboards are mostly soft, lilting and restful. No overly muscular tracks like "Land of Confusion", "Anything She Does" or "Just a Job To Do" to shake things up a bit. Just not enough variety here.

And then there's the filler, a problem which plagued "Invisible Touch" as well. Songs like "Never a Time" and "Hold On my Heart" are just middling pop songs which do nothing to enhance this album. "Tell Me Why" is a failed treatise on world hunger. And while "Since I Lost You" has the touching theme of Eric Clapton's grief for his deceased son, it ends up sounding like a Motown reject about a failed romance.

So, with a lack of variety in sound, some utterly disposable filler and not enough muscle, the solid playing and weightier subject matter aren't enough to buoy this album much more than a quarter-step above its predecessor. Two stars - and a nagging feeling there could have been so much more here.

Report this review (#1079136)
Posted Tuesday, November 19, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars As always, Genesis put some prog into their albums, and in this case, more than in the others, and surely that is "specially il signore Tony Banks". This album is the first that the band recorded under the CD format, with 70 minutes long. It mixes prog, some pop, some rock, just really a good album. On the prog side, the highlight is without doubt the 10 minutes long Fading lights, an existential track with lyrics written by Banks. Over a drum machine pattern and a keyboard maitress, the track creates a melancholic atmosphere to get after into an stunning instrumental interlude in which the three musicians make up a great counterpoint. Banks is the main player here, in the vein of Duke's Travels sound. Finally the track fades out through this melancholic feel again. Driving the last spike is other of the highlights IMO. Which 10 minutes long again, this track is based in a storyline written by Collins about a rail workers drama. The song flows from a initial soft part with a great melody line to an stunning central section over an electric guitar riff (almost in the U2 way) and a full keyboard background. Dreaming while you sleep is other of the prog numbers, developed over an interaction between keyboards and guitars again (in a non conventional way) and with a great chorus with a really big drum sound with Collins singing with all his power. Living forever is the other prog piece. Surely written by Banks but adequately filtered by Collins and Rutherford, the second half constructs a superb keyboard solo till the end. There are some other great songs, like No son of mine, sung with much emotion and with a great melody line and this keyboards touches. Or Way of the world, another good track. The pop ones are I can't dance, a world wide hit, based on a simple but effective guitar rif, Jesus He knows me, which I like too and Tell me why (in the vein of the Collins tracks from Dancing into the light album). The ballads are not great thing. Since I lost you is the best for me, written about the dead of Eric Clapton's son, is a track with much feeling, a good electric piano base and a short but great guitar solo. Hold on my heart is a rather conventional track and Never again, maybe the wicker track of the album. A good addition, for 4 stars.
Report this review (#1082002)
Posted Tuesday, November 26, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars I am very pleased with this Genesis record from the year when I was two years old. The last vinyl record by Genesis is strong and interesting and at least their best work since Duke 1980. If it just where for the first alf of the record I would have given the record four stars because those tracks are so strong. This is the last record with Phil Collins as a member and perhaps we will se a reunion in the future. I hope so very much. I they could gather all five it would be like heaven but even a reunion of the three would I praise and dance for.

We can't dance consists of intelligent pop music and I could nearly call it art rock or art pop, although not progressive. "No son of mine" is a powerful starter(8/10) which I like very much. The verses are so emotionally sung and the refrain is an explosion. "Jesus he knows me" then is faster and even poppier but almost as good as the last one(8/10), "Driving the last spike" (9/10) is the best track on the album and absolutely one of Genesis best tracks since 1977. It has depth and emotion and varies from calmer to harder parts and this track is like a Genesis final och goodness. The title song then is good and catchy (6/10) but not more than that. I will also mention "Tell me why" as a song I like and think is a little more interesting than the others(7/10). Otherwise it's most good and nice late-Genesis compositions with great Collins vocals and good music. The tracks nine and eleven is less interesting than the others.

Over all this is a very pleasent record by my heroes Genesis. I will give the record three well deserved stars!

Report this review (#1082844)
Posted Thursday, November 28, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars I've never been a particular fan of both Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins, and I could care less who was the better head of Genesis. It surprises me how much progressive rock fans hate Collins so much, though. I mean, just because he wasn't a so called 'prog rock genius' like Gabriel, doesn't mean that he deserves all the hate he gets.

But when Collins took over the band after Gabriel's departure following Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the band exploded onto the market. Ask anyone, people will say that they know Phil Collins as the head of Genesis more than they would say Gabriel was. This doesn't mean, as most people would suspect, that Collins threw away all essence of progressiveness the band used to be. In fact, this true goodbye to Genesis fans wasn't all bad. Of course Collins wasn't perfect; the band produced some pretty garbage-y releases like Invisible Touch (mainstream pop-rock), but I think this one sort of saved their asses from being completely hated forever more.

The album starts out with the alright quasi-dark 'No Son of Mine', which is a fairly underrated gem of the album, however the second song 'Jesus He Knows Me' is a bit too poppy for my tastes. 'Driving the Last Spike' is a decent comeback, but it doesn't start to get going until the perverted fantasy song of 'I Can't Dance' comes on. Maybe I was too harsh, it's not totally a lust-song, and the song itself is rather good. It's jazzy, catchy, and all the right things you'd expect out of a Collins-era song. 'Dreaming While You Sleep' is a cliche ballad, nothing special at all. Not bad I suppose, but nothing especially good, but not bad.

My main problem with this album is how many of the songs are bland. It's not that they're bad songs per-say, but it is true that it feels like they weren't trying very hard to produce original material. However, the closer epic of 'Fading Lights' is an extraordinary piece of progressive rock, and has understandably been deemed by many as the best song on the album. It is one of my choice picks as well.

So overall, I think that this album is not a bad finisher to this band. I would go as far as to say that Calling All Stations (though there are some songs I like on it) isn't as good as this album. I wouldn't say essential, but good

Report this review (#1261824)
Posted Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | Review Permalink
Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
3 stars This was the last album of Phil Collins with Genesis and the one who he was the most involved. He has written some lyrics and there are many songs that could have been on his solo albums. But with Tony Banks still in the band, you have to expect to have some songs with a more progressive edge to please the old fans. "No Son of Mine" has a dark atmosphere and a big drum sound that remind you of the song "Abacab" or "Mama". It's repetitive, but it really works. "Jesus He Knows Me" is the parody we have all seen on MTV, that gives you the urge to hit the floor. "Driving the Last Spike" is the story of those who have been killed constructing the railways. The tempo is picking up after a long ballad intro with some nice keys and drums part. Mike's guitar is quite heavy at one point. "I Can't Dance" is the worst song ever written by the band meant to be a joke. Never a Time" is a Phil Collins kind of song, an inoffensive ballad. "Dreaming while You Sleep" starts like another ballad but when the drums kick in its change for the better before returning to the slow pace of the beginning. And with "Tell Me Why" things start to get ugly until "Fading Light" that take a heavy turn with a solid instrumental section with the most interesting keyboard line from Tony Banks. This is an excellent addition to your "Pop Collection"... but for your Prog collection, I will give 3.5 stars
Report this review (#1780465)
Posted Saturday, September 9, 2017 | Review Permalink
3 stars #11 Review

I have seen many people over the internet talking about this album like they listened just to 4 songs and nothing more, and that's the problem of this album, it has lots of songs and almost every one of them its a bland song, quality over quantity there it is said somewhere. When i first heard this album, i started it with the most known ones and i wasn't really fond of them, but they added another layer that i never saw on this band or i mean on the band members, specially on the funny songs, and one of those things is that they were one of the only famous bands at the time that never knew how to dance and where nobody danced to their music, and i think that's a good thing, music often gets simplified for dancing, it's as if dance has been ruining music for quite sometime now and people haven't been realising about that.

As always, i review by song.

1.- No Son Of Mine 7/10 This song really gets epic when it starts, everything here is building tension at every second and the lyrics are superb, but there are 2 problems, the song gets a little repetitive and the chorus sounds a little too happy, but i really don't know how to fix it. The video is really good.

2.- Jesus He Knows Me 5/10 This song is full pop, the start it's a little interesting but then it gets pretty catchy but repetitive, it's well made for a pop song i guess, the video and the song are funny and the lyrics are well done.

3.- Driving The Last Spike 7/10 This is one of the songs that feel really like Genesis, the sound sets a really lonely atmosphere, and i like it, Genesis has always had a great sound. This song is long and pretty chill, but it gets increasing in feelings, it reminds me a little of Domino. It gets a little repetetive but the drum work does a well job at keeping me interested, still, the song is a little bit slow (in lyrics pace). Really good lyrics, they do more to the feelings than the instruments, that was the objective.

4.- I Can't Dance 4/10 This was barely a 4 out of 10, but it is because of the same reason of Jesus He Knows Me, the vocal work here takes it, but the lyrics aren't that good, it's still funny tho, it has a nice video and i don't feel so alone now because they danced in the same way that i walk.

5.- Never A Time 5/10 It's a boring copy of "It's gonna get better" from the "Genesis" album, it still has good lyrics and sounds good, but not as good as the song where this got its inspiration i guess.

6.- Dreaming While You Sleep 7/10 It's a pretty catchy song that sounds good, it does one of those "Phil Collins Moments" with the battery and him increasing the tension on his voice. It's really repetitive, but less repetitive because it's a good song.

7.- Tell Me Why 5/10 I really like what Mike did in this song, it adds like an old-european sound with the guitar. It has good lyrics too and the song is a little repetitive as well. It's a bland song.

8.- Living Forever 8/10 This song starts with a drum that stays interesting until the end, it has good lyrics and a nice solo from Tony Banks, this song is a highlight from this album, not the best yet tho.

9.- Hold On My Heart 6/10 I really like the start and this song sounds really good live. It's pretty slow and repetitive, i wish that they worked more on this song, it feels incomplete.

10.- Way Of The World 7/10 Pop, it reminds me of the king of pop a little, but then the Tony Banks effect kicks in, Phil Collins sports interecting lyrics and vocal range and i don't think that this song could be danced like an MJ song, so it was just the synth at the back that sounded like one of his songs. In resume, this song it's a good pop song with some little Genesis spice there and that's good. And it has a little Banks solo near the end.

11.- Since I Lost You 5/10 You can't go more Phil Collins with this song + a little guitar solo from Mike near the end. It's a pretty repetitive song, really sad and slow, even a little boring.

12.- Fading Lights 10/10 This song starts with synth drums and every technique in the modern Genesis book, but it's pretty sad and it sports nice lyrics and vocals from Phil, i have cried with the start of this song. Then Tony starts kicking in a little... real drums enter, Mike starts jaming and this songs transforms in one of the best songs made by the band in a lot of time. I always imagined this son in a trailer, like "GENESIS IS BACK!", but sadly this is like the swang song... with a twist because they continued (i'll review that later). What can i say about this song? Everyone does a perfect job, this song is masterly done and a good way to finish everything, it makes me feel like they never left prog (and they secretly never did).

I was expecting for this album to get a better score at first, but overall it's a 63/100, wich translates to (roughly) 3 stars, i really recommend to check out some of these songs, specially the last one.

Now i made a rubric where i point how the scores define the stars, the only exception to the rule it's the review of Spot the Pigeon, but i explain why there.

5 stars = (score >= 90) 4 stars = (score>=70)&&(score<90) 3 stars = (score>=60)&&(score<70) 2 stars = (score>=50)&&(score<60) 1star = (score < 50)

Report this review (#1867758)
Posted Friday, January 19, 2018 | Review Permalink
3 stars It's probably best to think of the 1980s and early 1990s Genesis as a different band from the 1970s one. You shouldn't throw this on expecting sophisticated pastoral prog - but what you do get is the sort of sleek, relaxing art pop with occasional rock sensibilities which the 1980s Genesis were so good at. It's part of that wave which the likes of Prefab Sprout, the Style Council, Hall and Oates, 90125-era Yes, or Genesis' old pal Peter Gabriel in his poppier moments all contributed to, and seen through that lens the only real problem with this album is that it came out in 1991, at a point when that style had largely gone out of fashion.

Still, the passage of time has helped brush over that issue, and this is an enjoyable enough release. The jaunty Jesus He Knows Me is perhaps one of the most savage takedowns of televangelism ever, but the rest of the album takes a more relaxing approach. It's not prog by any means - it's pleasant yacht rock that had the misfortune to miss the era of that style's peak popularity but is otherwise a relaxing, chill example of that genre.

Report this review (#2022353)
Posted Thursday, September 6, 2018 | Review Permalink
2 stars I used to think of We Can't Dance as basically Phillip and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Album. Now I see it as a veteran band's sincere, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to stay relevant.

We Can't Dance can be seen as four sets of three songs:

I. Decent pop/rock: "No Son of Mine," "Jesus He Knows Me," "I Can't Dance." Five singles were released from We Can't Dance in the US, and these are the three that hit the rock airplay chart. None approaches "Turn it On Again" or "Misunderstanding" - - and "No Son of Mine" is way too long - - but this is the best material here.

II. Longer-form we're-still-prog songs: "Driving the Last Spike," "Dreaming While You Sleep," "Fading Lights." Ugh. I mean, they are trying, but in my opinion it's just not working. Each song here has a kernel which probably could have been developed into a Decent Pop/Rock Song. There is also an occasional cool riff here and there, but most of it comes off as a stretch. (I mean that literally; these songs average over nine minutes each.)

III. Mushy adult-contemporary schlock: "Never a Time," "Hold On My Heart," "Since I Lost You." After Phil Collins's singles started charting higher than Genesis singles, some people began complaining that one Genesis song or another "sounds like a Phil Collins song." That was meant derisively, but in my opinion, it depends on the song - - for example, how bad would it be for a Genesis song to sound like "In the Air Tonight" or "Inside Out"?

But on the other hand, how bad would it be if a Genesis song sounded like "One More Night" or "Groovy Kind of Love"? Unfortunately, with We Can't Dance, we get to find out.

IV. Filler: "Tell Me Why," "Living Forever," "Way of the World" OK, look: We Can't Dance is more than 72 minutes long. What harm would've been done by leaving these songs off the album? Without them, We Can't Dance still would've been ten minutes longer than Invisible Touch or Genesis or Abacab.

Some have pointed out that We Can't Dance represented a return to more of of "rock" sound - - that the band had realized that they'd "gone to far" with Invisible Touch and its remix-friendly pop/dance fare. Personally, I think the change of direction on We Can't Dance was more a reflection of the times. Invisible Touch was their biggest hit ever. Why change the formula?

Invisible Touch debuted on the Billboard Top 200 album chart on June 28, 1986. Synth-heavy rock was at its peak, with 5150 (Van Halen), Raised on Radio (Journey), The Other Side of Life (Moody Blues) and So (Peter Gabriel) all in the top 10. On the other hand, when We Can't Dance debuted at #4 the last week of November 1991, the other rock albums in the top ten were Nevermind (Nirvana), Use Your Illusion II (Guns N' Roses) and Metallica (Metallica).

Things were changing in the music business, and by 1991, Genesis was reacting to those changes, not shaping them. We Can't Dance is not a good album, nor an important album. Kudos to the three members of Genesis for realizing that drastic measures would be necessary for the band to remain relevant - - though sadly, such measures were unsuccessful. Nonetheless, no matter how great or terrible We Can't Dance is, it hardly tarnishes the Genesis brand identity. We'll always have A Trick of the Tail, Seconds Out, and the rest of the highlights of the Collins Era.

Report this review (#2166674)
Posted Sunday, March 17, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars A bit stronger album than many give it credit for, but a far cry from their glory prog days. Still, it does have a couple standout tracks, and there are a few quite good songs here (although firmly in the the more pop-rock style), and the album comes in at a whopping 71 minutes, basically a double album in length, and I never fault a band for giving their audience more music for the same price. Yes there are some lackluster tracks here that just go by relatively unnoticed, but more than enough good songs to make a decent album, and overall, just a pleasant listening experience. Not too exciting, but nice. Best songs: 'Dreaming While You Sleep', 'Fading Lights', 'Living Forever', 'Tell Me Why'. Worst song: 'I Can't Dance'.
Report this review (#2594776)
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2021 | Review Permalink
3 stars Genesis retreat from their most commercial sound and objectives to embrace a more natural sound suitable to their age. Although the album is long, Genesis have enough to say, fortunately. Even though you spot two compositions over 10 minutes, don't get fooled - this is a primarily pop album with some prog textures at times and a vaguely progressive keyboard solo in the last track. Pop tracks are excellent (to the commercially-driven audience), Collins still has a great voice. Banks showcases tasty keyboards but stays restrained with playing. Even when he stays in the forefront, it's more about atmosphere than past explorations. There are one of two weaker songs but overall, I think that majority of Genesis fans were positively surprised after their1986's more outdated effort.
Report this review (#2849705)
Posted Thursday, November 3, 2022 | Review Permalink
2 stars 'We Can't Dance' was released when CD's were starting to become a popular audio format. The album is seventy-one minutes and thirty seconds in duration, which is quite lengthy for a Genesis record. Like many albums released in the 90s, 'We Can't Dance' suffered from superfluity. The band tried to squeeze as much music they could onto a single disc, resulting in some "filler" tracks.

"No Son of Mine" starts with an atmospheric chord progression and a synth noise that sounds like an elephant. It's a great pop song with a catchy chorus melody. "Jesus He Knows Me" is an upbeat rock song with interesting Mike Rutherford rhythm guitar. The music video is one of their best. "Driving the Last Spike" contains a heartfelt vocal performance from Phil Collins, and is a bit better than "Domino," if you were to compare it to another one of their 80s epics. It is a bit long for my liking, but overall, the music is good. "I Can't Dance" is awful. Phil Collins' vocals are appalling and the instrumentation is similarly egregious. This is possibly the worst Genesis song of all time. "Never a Time" is a good, smooth pop song. "Dreaming While You Sleep" is an insipid song, but the chorus is decent.

"Tell Me Why" is a superfluous track. "Living Forever" starts with an odd shuffle beat, but the instrumental section is appealing as it contains an interesting Tony Banks synth solo. "Hold On My Heart" is another smooth pop song that I enjoy quite a bit. Mike Rutherford's lead guitar playing sounds like Santana. "Way of the World" is another filler track. "Since I Lost You" is a song dedicated to Eric Clapton and his son who died the year 'We Can't Dance' was released. The song has a 50s doo-wop flavor. Unfortunately, the song is lackluster and doesn't move me emotionally whatsoever. "Fading Lights" is the final track and, in my opinion, the best song on the album and one of my favorite Genesis songs. I refuse to regard 'Calling All Stations' as a Genesis album, which is why I see "Fading Lights" as the band's swansong. For that reason, it's an emotional piece of music for me to listen to. Phil Collins' vocals are passionate, and there is a classic jam that the band play that features wonderful Tony Banks keyboard work. This song certainly elevates what is a pretty mediocre album.

In conclusion, 'We Can't Dance' is a weak Genesis album, but I appreciate that the band pursued a different sound as there are more acoustic drums on this album than on previous Genesis albums. Nevertheless, the slight change in sound doesn't compensate for the uninspired music found on this album. 4/10

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Posted Sunday, July 16, 2023 | Review Permalink

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