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Genesis We Can't Dance album cover
2.66 | 1348 ratings | 96 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. No Son of Mine (6:38)
2. Jesus He Knows Me (4:16)
3. Driving the Last Spike (10:08)
4. I Can't Dance (4:01)
5. Never a Time (3:50)
6. Dreaming While You Sleep (7:15)
7. Tell Me Why (4:58)
8. Living Forever (5:41)
9. Hold On My Heart (4:37)
10. Way of the World (5:38)
11. Since I Lost You (4:09)
12. Fading Lights (10:16)

Total Time 71:27

Line-up / Musicians

- Phil Collins / vocals, drums & percussion, drum machine
- Mike Rutherford / guitars, bass
- Tony Banks / keyboards

Releases information

Artwork: Felicity Roma Bowers with Icon (design)

2LP Virgin ‎- GEN LP3 (1991, Europe)

CD Virgin ‎- GEN CD3 (1991, Europe)
CD Virgin ‎- GENCDY 13 (2007, Europe) Remastered by Tony Cousins, mixed by Nick Davis

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GENESIS We Can't Dance ratings distribution

(1348 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(15%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (28%)
Poor. Only for completionists (19%)

GENESIS We Can't Dance reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
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).
Review by daveconn
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.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.
Review by Guillermo
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.
Review by slipperman
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.

Review by Progbear
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.

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by ZowieZiggy
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 ā 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.

Review by 1800iareyay
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 (+)?

Review by 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.........

Review by Cristi
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by russellk
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.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Chicapah
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.

Review by Zitro
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.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
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.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
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!
Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Quite an improvement over the Invisible Touch album. Ok, itīs 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 īseriousīsongs with other funnier ones and a top notch production. If you donīt 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 Canīt 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.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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. Itīs 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 bandīs 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 wouldnīt 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 bandīs 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 arenīt 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. Iīm 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.

Review by lazland
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.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by tarkus1980
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.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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).

Review by colorofmoney91
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.
Review by 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.

Review by b_olariu
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.
Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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
Review by Warthur
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.

Review by patrickq
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.

Latest members reviews

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 sq ... (read more)

Report this review (#2940464) | Posted by Magog2112 | Sunday, July 16, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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 wi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2849705) | Posted by sgtpepper | Thursday, November 3, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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 a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2594776) | Posted by BBKron | Thursday, September 16, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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 f ... (read more)

Report this review (#1867758) | Posted by FalconBleck | Friday, January 19, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1261824) | Posted by aglasshouse | Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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 tr ... (read more)

Report this review (#1082844) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Thursday, November 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1082002) | Posted by genbanks | Tuesday, November 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 be ... (read more)

Report this review (#1079136) | Posted by Mr. Gone | Tuesday, November 19, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1000497) | Posted by benbell | Thursday, July 18, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 t ... (read more)

Report this review (#969192) | Posted by cjde341 | Sunday, June 2, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 musi ... (read more)

Report this review (#946875) | Posted by sukmytoe | Saturday, April 20, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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", th ... (read more)

Report this review (#914525) | Posted by The Mystical | Saturday, February 16, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 M ... (read more)

Report this review (#894704) | Posted by Uncool | Wednesday, January 16, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#890626) | Posted by tdfloyd | Thursday, January 10, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 j ... (read more)

Report this review (#836273) | Posted by Silent Knight | Thursday, October 11, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 s ... (read more)

Report this review (#835821) | Posted by Cheesehoven | Wednesday, October 10, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#599143) | Posted by criticdrummer94 | Thursday, December 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#581380) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, December 3, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 w ... (read more)

Report this review (#462335) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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' ... (read more)

Report this review (#436237) | Posted by mohaveman | Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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