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Genesis Calling All Stations album cover
2.46 | 1129 ratings | 101 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Calling All Stations (5:43)
2. Congo (4:50)
3. Shipwrecked (4:22)
4. Alien Afternoon (7:50)
5. Not About Us (4:37)
6. If That's What You Need (5:12)
7. The Dividing Line (7:44)
8. Uncertain Weather (5:28)
9. Small Talk (5:01)
10. There Must Some Other Way (7:53)
11. One Man's Fool (8:45)

Total Time: 67:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Ray Wilson / lead & backing vocals
- Mike Rutherford / guitars, bass, backing vocals
- Tony Banks / keyboards, acoustic guitar, backing vocals

- Nir Zidkyahu / drums & percussion (1-5,7,10,11)
- Nick D'Virgilio / drums & percussion (4 first half,6,8,9)

Releases information

Artwork: Wherefore ART?

CD Virgin ‎- GEN CD6 (1997, UK)
CD Atlantic - 83037-2 (1997, US)
SACD + DVD Virgin ‎- GENCDR6 (2007, Europe) Mixed by Nick Davis

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GENESIS Calling All Stations ratings distribution

(1129 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (27%)
Poor. Only for completionists (31%)

GENESIS Calling All Stations reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Owl
1 stars Why did they even bother?

Funny thing is, Ray Wilson actually has a good voice, but it would've been better utilized elsewhere. The songs are so generic and uninspired, not mention quite forgettable.


Review by Sean Trane
2 stars As Phil M. says: why did they bother , I answer : why did we bother? This is no better than Abacab but really did we gave them a chance . Actually , the saddest thing about this album is that even Collins proved to be expandable for them to make a mediocre album. To be quite fair , there are a few numbers that intrigued me at the time , so I did get a few listen in , so i guess I did bother. A sad end to a long carreer where the second part was not up to our tastes .
Review by Marcelo
1 stars Not much to say about this Genesis (???) album. I just remember when a friend told me that "Calling All Stations" would be the Genesis return to his progressive roots. Well, I wasn't too much optimistic, so my disappointment wasn't too much when I listened it. Ray Wilson's voice wasn't too bad, Nir Z's drummer wasn't too bad... but, positively, I reconfirmed once again the Genesis' death in 1978. This album? The homonymous song is good, "The Dividing Line" is very good and "Congo" is just a FM radio hit. The others are boring tracks, there are not surprises nor really progressive music. I wonder why once great Genesis name was used here again...
Review by Proghead
3 stars I never thought there came a day where I didn't really miss Phil COLLINS departure from GENESIS, but came that day in 1996, maybe GENESIS would find someone to bring the band on track. Not quite, but they wanted a GABRIEL soundalike, so they found a Scotsman by the name of Ray Wilson. Then for a drummer, they found some guy with a weird name (I presume Armenian) which I can't remember his name, and for extra help, they get in another drummer, an American who went by the name of Nick D'Virgilio, a guy who has earned his fame through SPOCK'S BEARD, one of the biggest names of modern prog rock.

"Calling All Stations" is really a mixed bag. There are songs that still sound like '80s pop, which is real odd for a 1997 recording, but true. "Congo" is that example, which got play on MTV and VH-1 for maybe just one week. There are some ballads I can't stand like "Shipwrecked" and "If That's What it Takes". "Small Talk" and "Not About Us" can be also thrown out the window. But "Alien Afternoon" is the band's attempt to return to prog rock, but actually it sounds more like a neo-prog band trying to sound like GENESIS (even though this is GENESIS). Actually a pretty good song. There are a couple of good songs here as well, but there is a lot of questionable material, it's little wonder why this album bombed. Not essential by any stretch of the imagination, but could've been worse.

Review by Hibou
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars And then there were two? Indeed, remaining BANKS and RUTHERFORD have enlisted a new vocalist in RAY WILSON. This man is certainly not a bad singer but his gravelly voice does not exactly enhance the GENESIS sound. This being said, I might very well have considered buying "Calling All Stations" is even if I didn't know it was a G album. There are some fine moments on it, among which "The Dividing Line" ranks as my personal favourite - a tight progger where NIR ZIDKYAHU's drum play manages to eclipse any old memories of PHIL COLLINS. Although some tracks such as"Calling All Stations" and "Congo" have TONY BANKS' signature all over them, most sound a little forced. Even the last track, "One Man's Fool" reminds me of a less successful version of "Fading Lights" (ah, just can't avoid those comparisons...). Many tracks sound a bit stuffed up, making the album a little hard to digest at times. By no means is this a bad album; I do pick it up every so often, especially when I'm in need of a quick TONY BANKS fix.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Don't blame the singer

Let's accept straight away that the only reason this album bears the name "Genesis" was to guarantee it a much bigger audience than it would otherwise have gained. Only Rutherford and Banks are still present, joined by ex-Stiltskin singer Ray Wilson. Given the similarities between the voices of Gabriel and Collins, this is therefore the only Genesis album which really doesn't really sound like them vocally. Yes, the music on some of their later albums was somewhat different to what might have been expected, but the voices and instruments still had the Genesis sound. Wilson is a good rock singer though, and he plays his part well.

With the departure of Collins, it was to be hoped that the band would move back towards their prog roots, but the ghost of Collins is still there with ballads such as "Not about us" and funkier tracks like "Congo". There's very little sign of prog at all on the album, and indeed the lack of any meaty instrumentals is particularly disappointing. Surely this was a golden opportunity for Rutherford, and Banks especially, to use the extra space they had to develop their basic songs into something substantially more. Instead we get Mike and the Mechanics type songs.

I am however letting my frustrations dominate a review of an album which still has much to praise. The title track builds superbly until Wilson sounds so uplifted by the music that he has to be unknowingly carried away. "Shipwrecked" has some lovely keyboard work by Banks, particularly on the powerful intro. "Uncertain weather" is a lovely exercise in suggesting a moving story behind an old photograph. once again sung to great effect by Wilson. The problem is, it's all just straight forward songs. Even the longer tracks such as the last track, which stretches to almost 9 minutes, have nothing more that a basic structure.

In summary, an opportunity missed.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The title track is excellent, Ray Wilson is OK as a vocalist but missing that unique sound that both Gabriel and Collins possessed. Therefore much of the album slips into a ' comfortable' bracket. Alien Afternoon is also a great track and Dividing Line but overall you can see why they did not manage another album with the same line up. they had to canel the USA tour after poor ticket sales in 1998. I was fortunate to see them in Cardiff and what was great to watch was Ray Wilson's best endeavors to mirror the originals. It would be great to see them get together one last time i.e Collins, Rutherford, Banks and Hackett. Gabriel is no doubt spending 20 years on his next great album!
Review by Guillermo
1 stars I don`t consider this album as their "worst", as I consider their "Genesis" album from 1983 as their "worst" album. So maybe this album deserves 1 and a half stars. The main responsibilities of the quality of this album fell to Banks and Rutherford, who composed almost all the songs (with 2 or 3 songs with Ray Wilson`s colaborations) before they chose the new singer. Maybe the main problem with this album is that is a "Dark" album from start to finish, including the cover design. Ray Wilson is a good singer, but I think that his voice wasn`t right for GENESIS. Banks and Rutherford did a "brave move" with this album, but unfortunately, the songs are almost with the same "colours", I mean, "Dark". The quality of the recording of this album is very good, and both drummers played very good too. There are some good songs:tracks 1 to 6 (particularly "Alien Afternoon" and "If That`s What You Need", a very good song which could have been sung very well by Phil Collins, and it could have been a hit if they released this song as a single instead of "Congo"). "One Man`s Fool" is another interesting song, one of the best. The rest of the songs also have some interesting things, but sometimes they are too long, or have some sections which are repetitive, or even some keyboard solos similar as on previous albums (like the synth solo in "There Must Be Some Other Way", which seems played very similar as the solo in "Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea" from the "Genesis" album of 1983, almost with the same synth sound). This album was successful mainly in the U.K. and Europe, but unfortunately for GENESIS it wasn`t successful in North America and in other parts of the world. So, their North American tour was canceled, and the album went out of print in the U.S. some years ago. Another thing which didn`t help GENESIS was their "DarK" image in the promotional photos and in the video for "Congo". Also, Wilson is younger several years than Banks and Rutherford, maybe too much younger. Maybe they should have chosen a singer more of their own age, in my opinion.It seems that there were plans for more albums with Wilson as singer, but in the mid of the year 2000, it was announced that Wilson wasn`t anymore their singer, and in September 2000 Collins appeared with Banks and Rutherford (and Daryl Stuermer) in a special almost acoustic mini-concert dedicated to their manager Tony Smith, who won an award as manager. It seems that it was a "one-off" concert, and since then there have been many rumours about GENESIS reforming with Collins and also sometimes with Gabriel and Hackett.Chester Thompson said in one interview that he approached Banks and Rutherford (when he learned that Collins have left the band) and asked them about becoming GENESIS`s official member and drummer, but they said "no" to Thompson.
Review by slipperman
1 stars I hope Genesis never records again, but if they did it wouldn't be hard to come up with a better career cap than 'Calling All Stations'. Genesis limped to the finish line with this thing. Though it was far from perfect, 'We Can't Dance' would've been a more satisfying finish. And it's not that Phil Collins is gone. In fact, that was a welcome exit, considering he was bringing way too many Collins-solo type songs to the Genesis table - he forgot he was a great drummer along the way too. No, it's that 1) these songs are weak, and 2) vocalist Ray Wilson is no good for this legendary band. I know it's impossible to live up to his predecessors Collins and Peter Gabriel, but all he does is give this watered-down material an even thinner veneer with vocals that are total smooth-guy AOR wimp-o-rama. Sorry, I'm not a big Corey Hart or Kenny Loggins fan.

The guitar sound is possibly worse than on 'Invisible Touch', like it's been stretched through a million washings in the great digital washing machine that ruined so much prog in the '80s. The keyboards have a bit of warmth, but they lack in size, washing out all around the rest of the sounds. Most songs fail the memorability test, with "Congo", "Shipwrecked", "Not About Us" and "Small Talk" being memorable only because they're particularly awful. I'm an adult, but I feel insulted when a favorite band gives us what can be called Adult AOR Pop. a frustrating trait of post-prog (ie. over the hill) prog bands (King Crimson most definitely NOT included here). Give me something challenging, inspiring, exciting, illuminating.anything but this easy-listening dross. I do find solace in a few songs, most of which carry a darker, more brooding thread, like "Uncertain Weather", "The Dividing Line" and "One Man's Fool". But the sonic canvas throughout the album is a flat line, nothing popping out or climaxing, barely any true dynamics occurring, making things feel a bit lifeless. It's only opener and title track "Calling All Stations" that offers some real drama, a good bit of tension with some gorgeous atmospheres, as well as an emotive vocal performance from Wilson. It's easy to have high expectations about the rest of the album after this song hits, but it never happens. Drab and depressing, 'Calling All Stations' is only for the most dedicated (ie. foolish) diehard.

Review by Slartibartfast
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
2 stars I added this album to my collection in 2004. Was actually unaware of its existence as I had lost interest in keeping up with Genesis after Invisible Touch. Not likely for me to go back and add any CDs to my collection between this one and Abacab. It was quickly overshadowed by my discovery of Djam Karet at the time. Since I decided to keep it in my collection it does show up periodically in my rotation scheme. I decided to give it another listen before I reviewed it. (Ok, I did skip over the more pop oriented numbers.) I'm not the harsh critic of prog that many are and as such have no problem with this being called a Genesis album. Rutherford and Banks do come across as stuck in the '80's with this one and trying to have pop success while throwing a few bones to fans of the old stuff. From what I heard, when it didn't work out, they gave it up. Probably a good thing. A quick internet search indicates R and B have quit making any new music since. With all the income coming in from the '80's stuff, I'm sure they can afford to. Here's hoping that they take the opportunity to do something more creative in the future. Hackett has occasionally ventured into pop territory but recently has put out some inspired prog (To Watch the Storms). For my tastes they will have a hard time ever topping their work from the '70's. I'd have to rate One Man's Fool as the best track here. Probably the only one to depart from the '80's sound. Also the longest track, go figure.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Seventeen years of hard times for the old Genesis fan since they produced "Duke" which was their last good effort (IMO). I saw the supporting live tour for it (1999) and I must reckon that it brought me back sometimes to "my" Genesis. They even played an accoustic set sitting on the edge of the stage (like Led Zep) and interpreting bits of "Supper's", "Moonlit" amongst others, just to give you the shiver ... but let's go back to this album. A major change in the line-up of course since Phil left some time ago to continue/ start his (very successful) solo career. Ray Wilson replaces him in the lead vocals and does a pretty good job. He is not a very well known singer though. He used to be the leader of the British band Stiltskin which produced a CD in 1994 ("The Mind's Eye). After his Genesis adventure, he will re-from the band and they will issue another CD in 2006 "She". As he said during the tour while he was introducing the acoustic medley : he was on "old" Genesis fan (although he was born in 1968) being only five while they produced "Supper's Ready" ! He will contribute to three songs : "Not About Us", "Small Talk" and "There Must Be Some Other World". On the drums, Genesis will enroll two drummers : Nir Zidkyahu who is an Israeli session drummer. He will be playing on several songs and will join them for the supporting tour. The other drummer is Nick Di Virgilio from Spock's Beard. Surprisingly enough, he will have the same itinerary as Phil. After the departure of their leader (composer, singer and keyboard player) Neal Morse, he replaced him in the lead vocal together while staying on the drums !

The title track of the album is a good song : very few since 1978 have reached this level even if it is quite FM oriented (like "Congo"). "Shipwrecked" is a nice and melodious ballad : could have been released on some of their earlier efforts ("And Then there Three" sounds the best reference for it). "Alien Afternoon" start quite like a poppy tune but turns out in one of their very few prog song of the last sixteen years. Very nice. "Not About Us" is another wonderful song (a bit similar to "Shipwrecked") : great melody, full of emotion "Uncertain Weather" is of the same vein. It goes on with "If That's What You Need", which again is a great emotional ballad. PG is not far away... Ray will also tell during the live set : "I was a kid when I was listening to Genesis. I had never dreamed to be the singer of this band". And he achieved it! "The Dividing Line" has its weaks (the intro), but still it is better than their previous average stuff. The finale is just great though : good keys and drumming (hey man, I must be dreaming) ! Of course, there are no epics, nor memorable songs for the future to come on this album; but there are almost no poor tracks either : only "Small Talk" and "There Must Be Some Other World". It will reach number two in the UK charts which is not too bad (in the US though the album only reached Nr. 54). I really belive that this album deserves three stars.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
1 stars Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford decided to continue the Genesis name without Phil Collins. They brought into the fold a new singer named Ray Wilson who has a smooth, almost husky sounding voice. His voice is nice, but very different for Genesis-style music. The result of all this was the 1997 release of Calling All Stations.

Banks and Rutherford didn't return Genesis to their progressive rock roots (as was rumored at the time), nor did they continue in the exact same direction Collins had taken the group. They sort of took a new angle to pop rock with ever-so-slight prog tendencies. Unfortunately, the result did not fare well among pop rock fans, prog rock fans, or any fans in general. For me, Genesis now sounded like it had more in common with Alan Parsons (without the Project) in musical style. Basically pop rock songs (that sometimes went on longer than they should), with uninspired keyboard atmospherics (rather than the melodic playing we all loved from Banks), and uninspired drumming (I know some reviewers will disagree with that, but it really is uninspired). Why they didn't take advantage of the skills of Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard) is beyond me. I'm sure Nick enjoyed playing with Tony and Mike, but I have to wonder if he ever thought in the back of his mind that this was some really boring stuff. At least it was good for his resumé (I think?).

For all practical purposes, this shouldn't even be considered a Genesis album. It has the feel of a collaborative project that Banks and Rutherford were a part of and lacks the cohesiveness of prior Genesis albums, even the bad ones. I've had this album for 10 years now and still wonder why I have it. Every time I try to give it another chance, I find myself skipping midway through every song. That has its advantages of course. I can listen to the whole album now in 15 minutes or less depending on how much brain degradation I'm willing to put up with. One star.

Review by 1800iareyay
1 stars I must be losing my mind. I never thought I'd wish for the Collins-led Genesis. Calling All Stations deserves a mention simply because Rutherford and Banks mustered up the cajones to make an album without Collins. Sadly, that is all it deserves a mention for. Wilson's vocals are good, and Nick D'Virgilio's kit work is some of the best drumming on a Genesis album since Collins' golden days. However, Collins' bile summoning lyrics seem like Dylan-esque fits of brilliance when they rub up against these banal tunes. Rumors abounded that the band would take the lineup change as an excuse to return to their progressive roots. Instead, they venture further into pop territory than ever before, and set an all new low, which is in a way impressive.

Wilson's vocals do not match the lyrics or sound at all. As a member of the post-punk scene, he sounds woefully out of place on a pop album that teases fans with promises of prog. I wonder why he even accepted. I suppose the money was good. Rutherford's riffs and Banks' keyboards are excruciatingly mediocre. This album is so bad it makes Invisible touch and We Can't Dance look better by comparison. It is yet another blunder in the once proud band's career and should be avoided at all costs, because it rather hard to put an ice pack on your soul, which aches tremendously after listening to this.

Grade: F

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars NOt as bad as I initially thought it would be, nor the īreturnī to their prog roots as I read somewhere. In fact, it has some decent pop rock songs in it: Congo, Itīs Not About Us and others. And even some interesting prog pop tunes like Alien Afternoon But there are also lame stuff like Shipwerecked. Ray Wilsonīs voice is fine, but sounds nothing like Gabriel or Collins, so I really did not see the point of calling this a Genesis album. Rutherford-Banks Project? That would be more fitting, I guess. No wonder this album was not a success. And I am no too sad we did not see a follow up.

Still, it is done with the usual profissionalism and has a good production. If you like pop rock songs youīll find some good tunes here. But, please, donīt look for anything that sounds like Genesis. Not even 80īs Genesis. It does not!

Two stars. For (hardcore) fans, collectors and completionists. And for pop rock lovers in general.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Calling All Stations" is the 15th 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 September 1997. Itīs the successor to "We Can't Dance" from 1991 and features one lineup change as lead vocalist/drummer Phil Collins left Genesis in 1996. He is replaced here by Ray Wilson (Stiltskin). Banks and Rutherford auditioned several singers but ultimately Wilson was chosen in close competition with David Longdon (later of Big Big Train). Wilson joined Genesis well into the writing sessions for "Calling All Stations", but did receive a couple of writing credits on the album. The drums on the album were recorded by the two session drummers Nir Zidkyahu and Nick D'Virgilio.

Changing lead vocalist was always going to be difficult for a big act like Genesis, but they had done it once before in the 70s when Collins took over from Peter Gabriel, and that change was arguably successful (at least meassured on album sales and popularity), but by 1996 Collins had been the lead vocalist in Genesis for 20 years, and having simoultaniously been greatly successful as a solo artist, his voice had become almost synonymous with the sound of Genesis...which is probably why Wilson never seemed to be fully accepted as the new lead vocalist in Genesis. "Calling All Stations" was a fairly successful release in Europe where the band also toured in support of the album, but they had to cancel their planned US tour, as a consequence of poor ticket sales, and subsequently Banks and Rutherford decided to discontinue the band.

Itīs a bit of a shame really, because Wilson has a strong voice and a pleasant delivery, although he doesnīt have the most distinct sounding voice or vocal style. "Calling All Stations" is still unmistakably the sound of Genesis, featuring omnipresent keyboards by Banks and some intricate guitars/bass by Rutherford. But Wilsonīs voice does make "Calling All Stations" an album which stands out as unique in the bandīs discography.

The album features 11 tracks and a total playing time of 67:25, which is pretty long for an album, and "Calling All Stations" unfortunately isnīt devoid of less remarkable tracks/filler material and it could have prospered from being a little shorter/having a couple of tracks cut from the tracklist. There are some pretty strong compositions on the album like the opening title track, the "hit" single "Congo", "Alien Afternoon", and "The Dividing Line", but it is an album where many of the songs seem a little too long and sound a bit the same. Itīs a production issue too, because the keyboard heavy production gives the music a massive atmosphere, which doesnīt suit some of the tracks. Itīs a dark, melancholic, and pleasant listening experience, but some of the tracks scream for a more bright and less keyboard heavy production.

"Calling All Stations" is not a bad release by any means, but itīs not one of the better albums in the bandīs discography either, and should the change on the singer position have worked in a longer perspective, there are simply too many features on the album which donīt work as well as they could. You canīt put a finger on the musical performances, but the songwriting and the sound production choices (the choice to fade-out most tracks is for example intensely annoying) arenīt up to par with the bandīs usual standards. Still a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is nowhere near half as bad as I expected it to be. Actually, at times it can be a very entertaining record. The biggest problem here lies not with the music, but with our conceptions due to a band name.

When one takes 3 members out of a 5-men formation, it will be quite difficult for the end results to be satisfactory, especially when what has been removed is pure talent. So, under that light, it's quite obvious that this album bears the GENESIS name only because the two founding members of that band decided against using a different, unknown and hence less commercial band name. Musically, this has little relation with what Banks and Rutherford achieved in conjunction with Gabriel, Hackett, and Collins.

This is not symphonic prog. Probably this is not progressive rock at all (even though songs tend to be longer than the average rock track, and even though there's a strong feeling of atmosphere in most of them), but just good old rock, maybe art rock in a way. So, the biggest error a person can make is coming into this disc trying to find the new "Supper's Ready" or another "A Trick of the Tail." Anybody who buys this album with those expectations in mind will be really, really disappointed.

But for those of us who weren't expecting old GENESIS and who discovered this record long after the band's career was over, it's quite a surprise to find a very enjoyable album. Yes, it's simple, it's not symphonic, but at times it's good, good rock.

Obviously, the musicianship is never even close to what was found in earlier records. Not because of lack of actual ability (I'm pretty sure Banks and Rutherford were even more technically proficient in 1997 than in the previous two decades), but because the music is absolutely far less demanding than in all the preceding albums, and also because some great talent was not there anymore. Banks' keys and Rutherford's bass are OK, simple and effective, never virtuosic. The drummers (both of them) are as accomplished as Phil Collins, yet the music of course doesn't demand much of them, especially when compared with, say, "Robbery Assault and Battery".

The vocals and guitars are the real victims here. Let's not bring Gabriel into the equation as he was history long before this album was released. But compared with Collins, Ray Wilson just has no magic to his voice. Maybe he's actually a better singer than Collins, but his style doesn't fit the music perfectly all the time. And in the guitar front, even though Rutherford as a guitarist never reached the peaks he reached as a bassist, in earlier albums he had to do more. Here the demands imposed on him are minimal (again, bringing Hackett into the conversation would be useless).

The music, as said before, is rock, light rock, maybe art rock. At times it takes the character of hard rock, at times it's radio-friendly rock. It has a little bit of ASIA, a little bit of AOR bands, a lot of 80's flavor (even though the album dates from well into the 90's), and for those who haven't heard old classics but are knowledgeable on new bands, a good comparison would be 4-men Spock's Beard, all the way down to D'Virgilio vocals who have some relation to Wilson's (curiously, D'Virgilio plays drums in 4 tracks on this record).

The best song is, without a doubt, the title track. Atmospheric, melancholic, it has a good melody and is memorable. Other good tracks are "The Dividing Line" (the most progressive and hard of the lot) and "There must be some other way". Most of the rest of the tracks are average in quality, enjoyable if forgettable. Maybe the worst is the most famous one, "Congo", especially for its atrocious lyrics.

In the end, an enjoyable disc that suffers because of the name of the "band" that released it. Really, this isn't GENESIS. This is another band, which plays decent rock music, and that happens to share with that legendary outfit the same keyboardist and bassist. I give it 2.5 stars, and as always, the round-up brings us up to 3.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
3 stars The last Genesis' studio album to date!The most underrated Genesis' album,too!And I don't know what's the reason for that.This is the most progressive album for Genesis in more than 17 years and the best album in 17 years(since 1980's Duke).And it is without Phil Collins.The new vocalist Ray Wilson gives some fresh ideas to the band.And we have some really good songs like Calling All Stations,Congo,Not About Us,The Dividing Line and Small Talk.Of course,far from the quality of the classic albums from 70s,but it's perfect album for relax without any complications in sound.Slightly better than its predecessor it is 3.3 stars,not enough for 3.5!It is good album for the standards of the dark 90s.I hope it is not the last album by Genesis and I believe they can return to form again!
Review by lazland
3 stars Like other recent reviewers of this LP, I, too, have come back to this after quite a long lay off, and it is not nearly as bad as some reviewers would have.

Sure, it deserves no more than 3 stars, but, having said that, for fans of Genesis since the old days, no LP since Duke has, with most of us hanging on to longer Banks inspired tracks and the odd gem of a single such as No Son of Mine.

I like Ray Wilson's voice, and I saw them live on this tour. I thought that Wilson was somewhat hard done by.

The title track is excellent, and I also like the atmosphere in Alienm Afternoon. One Man's Fool is a good bookend to the opener, and I quite like the quirky humour in Alien Afternoon.

Yes, Congo is awful, but the remaining tracks are certainly not out of synch with other later Genesis LPs and at least they tried something different rather than a Collins clone.

All Genesis fans retain their love for Gabriel and the earlier Collins era prog records. However, the later LPs all have their moments, and this one is no different.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars The dividing line

Calling All Stations is the last Genesis album to date and the sole Genesis album to feature vocalist Ray Wilson. It does not sound very much like any previous Genesis album, but that is to be expected with a new lead vocalist on board replacing such a distinctive voice as that of Phil Collins. Different might be a good thing though, and in this case it is! Personally, I think this is enormously much better than the weak Invisible Touch or Abacab albums and up to par with the good but uneven We Can't Dance. From a Prog perspective, there is no individual track on Calling All Stations that is as good as the very best songs from We Can't Dance (like the great Fading Lights), but there is also nothing here that is even remotely as bad as the worst songs from that same album (like Jesus He Knows Me or I Can't Dance). Calling All Stations is very even and consistent.

The new vocalist Ray Wilson does an excellent job, and I am very happy that they choose to work with someone with his own voice rather than someone who tried to sound like Collins/Gabriel. Indeed, it was wise and brave to make something different for once. It is hard to compare the music with other bands; maybe Hogarth-era Marillion and the David Gilmour-led Pink Floyd give some idea, but not quite still.

The songs are all emotional and melodic. And I like most of them. Yes, I even like Congo a lot as well as Shipwrecked! The instrumental work could be better - or rather, there could be more of it. The Dividing Line, though, has some very good keyboards and even a short drum solo!

Recommended for Genesis fans with an open mind.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars First, this is not the best album Genesis did since Then there were three, Duke is better by miles, and second this is not a weak album at all like 80% of the reviewers said here. Realy this Calling all stations from 1997 is not a bad album, of course is no more a Genesis album is more like a Rutherford/Banks album but as a whole is ok. Well is not among their best for sure but has some fine moments and good keys. Now, the voice of Ray Wilson is not bad at all, but is damn usual for Genesis, realy, with all that there are some fine vocal parts in this album like:Calling All Stations, If That's What You Need and Small Talk, the rest of the pieces are ok. The founding memebers of Genesis Banks and Rutherford are not shining here thats clear, but they've tried to do something decent, and most of the time they succeded. They've invited on drums the famous Nick D'Virgilio who has many contributions with bands like Tears for Fears, Spock's Beard, etc. So, the music and the atmosphere has sometimes a dark mood but also is very melodic aswell- ex Calling all statation, but as whole is not bad at all. The music is of course no longer the one that we know from the golden era, that is for sure, time are changeing, and Genesis did with Calling all stations a good job, nothing special but nevertheless an enjoyble album all the way. 3 stars for this little album in Genesiis career.
Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Sad thing that I actually feel sorry for them. What's more important, making good music, making successful music, or making music at all ? And then you have to add 1)for band 2)for casual listeners 3)for musical critics (or their freelance derivative, us, reviewers).

This is normal pop-rock, together with everything it means. It's pleasant music, not as dark as "Genesis", more bright, but also more pop-like. While this albums has rather a lot of melodies, they're mostly not-interesting ones (think shallow, not complicated, intriguing, intelligent). It's not necessarily bad music, the problem is that it's full of nothing. Maybe my expectations were (with intentional finding of prog music) raised, but it only supports my theory that this isn't so much worth listening. There's a lot of better bands.


Review by tarkus1980
1 stars The story of this album began when Phil, finally realizing that he really had no reason to keep up his involvement in Genesis, formally announced his departure in 1996, though he left the door open to work in the context of the band in future projects. He probably assumed that Mike and Tony would just let the band go and not do something like, say, hire a younger replacement and go back into the studio. But, I guess Mike and Tony felt they had something to prove: after all, they had been the core of Genesis since the very beginning, and between them they'd written the bulk of the music in the band's history. Just for that, they certainly had as much right to do what they wanted under the banner of Genesis as Phil did. Plus, Mike and Tony had clearly developed some remorse for the direction the band had taken the last while, because CAS is a much more serious, art-rock- based album (though with a good amount of pop elements thrown in) than the band had done in a very long time. The new vocalist mentioned from before, Ray Wilson, came from a neo-prog band called Stiltskin, and both of the drummers used on the album had prog-rock pedigrees of their own (supposedly Chester Thompson wanted to finally become the band's studio drummer, but he was turned down, much to his chagrin). The path was now clear for Mike and Tony to make the kind of album that they really wanted to make, without having to bend their wills to Phil's increasingly schlocky ideas.

At first glance, on paper, this situation doesn't seem like it should be the breeding ground for such a terrible album as this one turned out to be, but closer inspection makes it seem like this should have been expected all along. Tony and Mike might have had a long history as the core of the band, but by 1997, Invisible Touch was more than a decade old, and that had been the last time they'd been dominant contributors to Genesis. Plus, for all of the random artsy-fartsy trappings they'd thrown into their albums, how long had it been since they'd made an album that was predominantly art-rock? You'd have to go back at least to And Then There Were Three, and probably to Wind and Wuthering, to find a Genesis album that has as much of an art-rock base as this one does, and that had basically been two decades. They probably really thought that they could just pick things back up again from where they left off, but that's an awfully long period for artistic muscles to atrophy, and it probably wasn't reasonable on their parts to assume that they could get back into the swing of things this easily.

When you come down to it, this album has three significant problems: it's unfortunate that those three problems are the vocals, the lyrics, and the music. An elaboration of each now follows:

The vocals: In prepping the world for this album, Tony Banks made a comment that Ray Wilson, in terms of vocal style, reminded him a bit of Peter Gabriel, and I do admit that I can hear it a bit in that Ray has a bit of the same hoarse "smokiness" that Peter did. I've actually heard recordings of Ray doing some of Genesis' older material, and he doesn't sound terrible, so I know that just calling him a bad vocalist is probably an overstatement. On this album, though, he shows a crippling inability or unwillingness to vary the tone and mood of his voice, and it gets on my nerves pretty quickly. I've said it many times in my life, and I'll say it again: Genesis music (especially music written by Tony and Mike) is very dependent on effective vocal performance, requiring interesting shifts in mood and tone, and the kind of singing done on most of this album is simply not going to cut it for music written by them. Plus, there are some moments where I really have to wonder if the part I'm listening to was really the best available take: listen to the way Ray's voice weakens at the end of the verses, before the chorus, in "If That's What You Need," and tell me you don't come away unimpressed.

The lyrics: I get that Tony and Mike wanted to write lyrics that were more mature and more serious than what had dominated the last albums, I do. My issue is that the "maturity" of this album takes a form that I find incredibly obvious and hackish. Pretty much every song on this album is about regret at decisions made in life (basically continuations of "Fading Lights"), or about failed relationships, or of unhappiness at the passage of time and the loss of youth, or similar things. It further hurts that these topics are mostly handled in straightforward, didactic manners, with only limited use of metaphor of lighthearted moments to spice things up a bit. I'm fine with creating a centralized mood through a consistent lyrical theme, but I don't want to feel like I'm listening to the middle-age equivalent of bad teenage poetry when I put on an album. For all of the faults of WCD, that album had "Jesus He Knows Me" and "I Can't Dance" to throw off the monotony, and such diversions are badly wanted here.

The music: Monotonous vocals and dull, oppressive lyrics are one thing, but they're made all the worse when combined with dull, oppressive music. As expected, the dominant instrument on this album is Tony's keyboards, and they're much more focused on setting a big important mood than on doing anything especially interesting. There are a lot of passages that are based around keyboard solos, but those solos are generally duller than anything Tony had done before, and they don't do the album any favors. Mike's guitars vary between uninspired acoustic playing, bits of playing reminsicient of his 80's style, and even some horrific moments where he decides to try and pull off something resembling grunge (grungey guitars and BANKSYNTHS??!!!). Except for parts of the last couple of minutes of the last track, the tempos never take a step beyond mid-tempo, and this goes a long way to making the album a pain to listen to. And finally, the drums mostly plod along in a simplistic way, except for a few "artsier" moments where they clang aggressively and make a racket, without much good effect.

Amidst all of the badness of the album, I have to admit there's a three-track bit near the beginning that, had it been released as a separate EP, would have at least mustered a mediocre grade. "Congo," if nothing else, has that 40-second introduction, featuring a Latin- style instrumental passage that differs from everything else on the album. Plus, it has a chorus that's memorable without being gross, and those two features combined are enough to make me forgive the fact that the rest of the song has the same arrangement problems as the rest of the album (that rising synth line in the chorus is just really tacky). "Shipwrecked" wouldn't have been one of the best tracks on WCD, but wouldn't have been one of the worst either, and there's something kinda sweet about the chorus and the accompanying synth line (the verses are forgettable, but hey, I"m trying to be positive here). And finally, "Alien Afternoon" is really the one instance on the album where a lengthy piece follows the Genesis tradition of lengthy songs that actually have multiple decent ideas and that bother to go somewhere. It's nothing spectactular, but I genuinely enjoy moments like the "gotta get to work on time" lines in the first half (with a decently busy bass-and-drum pattern chugging in the background), and the encoded "we are home" backing vocals in the second half actually work as a nice enough emotional climax. It might not be a diamond in the rough, but it sure isn't dirt, either.

The other eight songs, though, are abysmal. A few of them have decent enough ideas, but the main problem is that they all feel like they'd do better belonging to other songs. "Uncertain Weather," for instance, has a nice enough emotional climax in the "long agoooooooooooo ...." vocal lines, but there's not really any kind of build up to it to justify it, and certainly nothing especially interesting in the rest of the song. "Dividing Line" has a decent enough synth-line (similar to the kind of synth line you'd find on Abacab), but it's certainly not enough to carry the overblown, noisy tunelessness of a track that lasts almost eight minutes. Oh, and the very end of "One Man's Fool," the aforementioned last track, does have a nice bit of exhiliration to it; too bad the rest of the track doesn't.

The rest of the album is irredeemable. The title track is so bad that I find it fascinating: the combination of the synths (set on "shock and awe" mode), and the metallic guitar sounds, and the plodding drums, and the rambling, virtually non-existent vocal melody, and the uninteresting vocal tone, and the whiny lyrics about regretting decisions made in life, make it almost seem like an experiment in creating the kind of song I'd be guaranteed to hate. "If That's What You Need" would have been on the bottom-rung of the WCD ballads, while "Not About Us" would have better belonged to any one of a thousand generic "alternative" bands. "Small Talk" almost sounds like Genesis trying to make a song in the mode of something the Backstreet Boys would have attempted, except with terrible keyboard parts splattered everywhere, and it's probably the worst Genesis song ever. And finally, "There Must Be Some Other Way" is just a giant eight-minute bombastic bore.

So ok, this isn't the worst album ever made, and I can name more than a few parts I like. The bad parts are so overpowering, though, that I really can't get myself to care about the good ones much. Some Genesis fans have bought into this, but I really don't see myself joining that school of thought any time soon.

Review by Chicapah
2 stars I suspect that when it came time to name this album it was extremely tempting to go with "And then there were two" but fortunately good taste ruled the day and they steered clear of the obvious. Having said that, I would've opted for the more appropriate moniker of "Where the f*** did everyone go?" but then that's just one of a myriad of reasons why I'm just a fan of the group and not a member. While I was late getting to the Genesis party back in '76 I caught up quickly, accumulating the albums I'd missed in short order. They then established for themselves a secure place in the top five list of my favorite bands and, despite several missteps on their part, stayed there for a decade until the blatant commercialism of their "Invisible Touch" LP finally convinced me that the prog monster who'd once possessed them was dead and wasn't coming back to visit. I finally got around to listening to "We Can't Dance" from '91 about 16 years after its release and I found it to be better than expected but it was still a far throw from the jaw-dropping grandeur of records such as "Selling England by the Pound," confirming that I hadn't missed much by ignoring it all that time. I took much the same attitude towards "Calling All Stations" except that it only took me 14 years to give it a hearing.

Say what you will about Phil Collins but after the group bled "We Can't Dance" for all it was worth and his pals Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks started preparing for the manufacture of studio album #15 he politely but firmly said "enough's enough already," curtsied and exited stage left. With that turn of events most folks in Mike and Tony's patent leathers would read the writing on the wall and humbly succumb to the inevitable without resistance. But evidently these two cockeyed optimists were convinced that the golden goose known as Genesis had at least one more viable egg to lay so they took on the arduous task of finding more replacement parts. There were studio drummers aplenty (in this instance Nick D'Virgilio of Spock's Beard and a capable stickman named Nir Zidkyahu) who'd gladly help out but lassoing a front man/vocalist was a much trickier proposition. After approaching almost every available male singer on planet earth (including the likes of Fish and Paul Carrack) with the presumptive carrot that consisted of the "privilege" to audition for the open spot they at last settled on a handsome Scottish lad by the name of Ray Wilson, had some new T-shirts made up and set about making a fresh start as the 2nd three-man version of Genesis.

A heavy beat reminiscent of what Collins laid down for "Mama" establishes a strong, familiar foundation beneath the title cut but when the vocal comes in it immediately ceases to sound like Genesis. It's not that Ray stinks; he's just below average in comparison with those who preceded him, two of rock's most inimitable singers. Rutherford's guitar work is fluid and Banks' keyboards are, as usual, broad and filling but the song never takes off to take you anywhere. "Can anybody tell me/tell me exactly where I am/I've lost all sense of direction," Ray cries (and we now have reason to worry). "Congo" is next, a catchy pop rock tune that avoids being condescending yet, on the other hand, exceptional is not an adjective I would ever attach to it. Strangely, as if the song had an expiration date, the fade out is more like a time-sensitive, abrupt edit than a natural ending. "Shipwrecked" is a ballad sporting a very predictable structure. It comfortably fits into the same mold that produced the band's string of mellow hit singles throughout the 80s and into the early 90s (a trend that constantly eroded their reputation as risk-takers). "Alien Afternoon" is a specimen of their unique but corny quirkiness that popped up from time to time in their post-Hackett catalogue of work. That tactic isn't off-putting in small doses but still decidedly less than satisfying when one considers their rich prog pedigree. "Not About Us" is an acoustic guitar-based ballad that further pushes the album into the dubious category of contemporary rock. Not that there's anything so horrible about that particular genre but progressive it most assuredly ain't. The lyrics of "Nevermore to go wandering/never leaving my world behind" may be a tell-tale glimpse into Mike and Tony's conservative viewpoint for this project. No pain, no gain, fellas.

"If That's What You Need" is a case of the same, only different. It's fair romantic fare and all but sitting through it makes me pine for brighter days when Genesis could charm the corduroys off me with love songs like "Your Own Special Way" that didn't make me feel like a schmuck for liking them. Nir's rolling toms and Mike's gritty guitar dominate the intro to "The Dividing Line," a number that at least owns a pinch of unpredictability in a pseudo-prog way. Speaking of drums, Zidkyahu turns in a fine performance and his tubs are well-tuned for the job assigned to him. The apex of the album is "Uncertain Weather." Tony's silky-smooth synths provide a deep backdrop for this stately composition that showcases some of the revamped group's more admirable traits. Its grand, melodic progression harkens this Genesis fanatic back to their last great record, the excellent "Duke." They follow that with "Small Talk," an example of a trio of Brits trying their damndest to write something funky. Their hearts were in the right place, no doubt, but they inevitably overlooked the crucial ingredient of a solid groove to give it life. In their favor they do inject some interesting dynamics that add color but the tune's just too plain to shine. "There Must be Some Other Way" is more descriptive of this effort than they intended, I'm sure, but it's remarkably representative. The number's cavernous aura is commendable but by now the absence of Phil's creative third opinion and influence becomes a factor as the tunes start to run together sound-wise. It's not helped by Banks' extended instrumental segment that meanders without focus, either. "There's nothing much left to say/we have said it once and said it all again/this time we have gone too far/it could never be the same," Ray sings. Can I get an amen? Yet another subtle, moody beginning is too familiar at this point to make the closer, "One Man's Fool," special. Punchy drums cause it to evolve into a faux rocker yet the central problem is that they never leave the confines of their comfort zone and that's unfortunate. Mike and Tony were in an enviable position. They could've done something radical and/or exploratory but they took the low road and played it safe. Too bad.

"Calling All Stations" climbed to the #2 spot in the UK but consumers stateside weren't impressed at all and it failed to break into the top 50 LPs over here. It was so overlooked, in fact, the band's scheduled US tour had to be scrapped due to wholesale indifference. Albums of this nature that have all the earmarks of being a last-ditch attempt at patching a gaping hole in a once-proud ocean liner's hull rarely achieve significant success and this record was not the exception. Yet there are two things Rutherford, Banks and Wilson can take away from this album. (A) Mediocre as it is, it's still superior to the bottom-feeding, eponymous turd the group squeezed out in '83 and (B) kudos for trying their best to perform CPR on the pulse-deficient body of Genesis, efforts that proved to be in vain. No amount of slick, shiny paint could make this old clunker run again when what it needed most was a tank full of high octane, experimental fuel. Two stars.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars "Calling All Stations.... The Genesis Project is a failure.... I repeat, The Genesis Project is a failure..... Over and out!"

Who are these guys? No prog, and now No Collins. Well, without Collins the Rutherford and Banks attack on Genesis reached its pinnacle with this Love Beach of maddening mediocrity and sad sack songs. The main flaw in the album is threefold, the lyrics, the music and the vocals. So there is nothing much left to salvage on this sinking ship. Genesis really hit the iceberg on this one and went unceremoniously glug glug glugging to the bottom of the sea. Interestingly this is the last studio album that I obtained and certainly stunned me for all the wrong reasons. It does not sound like Genesis though tries very hard to maintain a distinct mainstream melodic sound. If this were the main problem it would not be a massive failure, at least in terms of commercial radio airplay success. However unfortunately the radio all but ignored the album and non-Genesis fans would be hard pressed to recall anything from the album. Hardly any of the songs rear their heads on compilation albums for good reason; they are no flaming good! Collins admittedly had his reasons for deserting the Genesis machine and his solo success was unbridled, many people being drawn back to Genesis due to Collins top 10 chart dominations. However if one were to hear this album out of context they may never want to dip their toes into other great Genesis albums such as all the Gabriel era albums and many of the Collins led albums such as Wind and Wuthering.

So what do we have on this album that raises the hackles of the prog community and indeed Genesis addicts? It begins with perhaps the best track, Calling All Stations sounding like a quiet keyboard driven Whitesnake without the teeth. The lyrics symbolise unwittingly the demise of Genesis "Calling all stations, Can anybody tell me, tell me exactly where I am, I've lost all sense of direction, Watching the darkness closing around me, Feeling the cold all through my body, That's why I'm calling all stations, In the hope that someone hears me, A single lonely voice." This fades away after some melancholy lead guitar. Next on the menu is Congo with African tom toms and absolutely horrible vocals that may remind some of Duran Duran.

Moving on, we have Shipwrecked that begins promisingly with a radio switching frequency effect and then the synths chime in. The sugary love sick lyrics meander and succeed in inducing nausea. Banks sounds like he is falling asleep on the keyboards and there is even a retro feel bassline that plods along. The lyrics state "I'm a million miles from anywhere?." And this song is a million miles from progressive Genesis genius.

Alien Afternoon begins with some dreamy spacey ambience that grabbed my attention and then it breaks into horrible percussion and a boring repetitive melody. What a waste as this one had promise, a cool intro and proggy title is thrown out the window to become an absolute throwaway. It runs for almost 8 minutes but is filled with polyfiller repetition and slow Banks synths. It has very messy layered lyrics and too much ad libbing, and frankly should have been trimmed right down. Hit the skip button and move onto Not About Us, a single on the album. It failed on the charts and is a pity really as Ray sounds okay here. Once again though it is not a Genesis sound and it is criminal that they did not simply change the band's name if they were going to go out on a limb with songs like this.

If That's What You Need is a very slow melancholy song that kind of grows on you eventually and is at least catchy enough to be worthwhile. The Dividing Line is another heavy percussion thing with a sombre melody. Ray certainly can sing and proves it here, with a more aggressive approach. The keyboard phrases are pronounced and lock in nicely with a heavier guitar crunch. Uncertain Weather is a very slow Banks dominated synth. It simply flows along like golden syrup; tastes nice for a while and then become sickly sweet.

Don't Talk Back is another awful repetitive thing with buzzing synth and odious lyrics "Say something to me, anything at all, But I want you to mean what you say, I've seen all I want to see, and you mean the world to me, I've lived for each moment to be with you, etc etc etc. Ho hum. Skippeth on to There Must Be Some Other Way and the clonking percussion reminds me that this is the late 90s. Ray sounds the same, crystalline vocals and lovey dovey pain wracked guilt and pain lyrics. Every song is about breaking up or down or out or whatever and it is a far cry from the genius lyrics of 70s Genesis.

One Man's Fool finishes this album as a mercy killing and it is yet another very slow, sombre song. This time the concept is more about questioning the acts of others; "To all who think they know, To everyone that knows that they're right, D'you ever wonder why, D'you never ask the question even in the depths of night?" It is a potent song that drives home the point that perspectives change over time and war can be solved by tolerance and understanding; "One man's joy makes another man weep, Nothing you can do is ever gonna change it, One man's saint is another man's fool, One man's hot is another man's cool, And when the war is over, won, Will there be peace for evermore?" It ends the album on a high point as far as lyrical content, and Banks has a keyboard run at about 3 and a half minutes in, but sadly the album has lost interest for me well before the end. This album suffers from many ailments, Collins, Hackett and Gabriel are distant memories, and unfortunately the mighty Genesis bowed out on a very mediocre note.

Review by Gooner
3 stars And Then There Were Two...

I`m actually new to this album in the year 2013. Simply put, if Big Big Train or Spock`s Beard released this album today if would garner an easy 4 star rating across the board. I`ve hesitated to buy this after reading many bad reviews, but noticed the reviews on progarchives are all over the map. Curmudgeon Genesis Purists vs. The Super Fan. There's a lot to enjoy for both parties. I had never heard the vocals of Ray Wilson, but he fits the music well. For a prog rock fan, this is indeed the best album since `Duke``. The commercial sounding tracks on `Stations` don`t quite go the lengths of those on Duke, however. You won`t find any track simlar to `Turn It On Again``. More like Mike & The Mechanics meets a Tony Banks solo album. Some of this material is quite sparse but engaging at the same time. The track "Alien Afternoon" can stand tall with "Carpet Crawlers" from the early period. It's a classic Genesis track to these ears. A fine vocal performance from Ray Wilson, Collins-like drumming for ND'V and some fine atmospheric guitar from Mr. Rutherford. The rest of the album is just as great. I find that this is the first Genesis album in a long time that didn't make me cringe a-la-We Can't Dance. No dancing, folks...just PROG...and you can buy it for a meagre penny (+ shipping) at Amazon. Take me to the Congo!

Recommended to those who enjoy Tony Banks solo works, Alan Parsons Project, '80s-period Camel, Keats and Squackett.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Nowadays everybody that follows music know about Genesis. The British band that in their heydays was the precursor and one of the best Pprogressive Rock bands out there.

Genesis fans are also very divided, or either you like the 70s or you like the 80s, very few in the middle. They were one of the rare cases of a band that went a completely different way from their initial phase and became huge, a succesful monster.

In 1991 thei released the last studio album with Phil Collins and 6 years later they decided to start again. New vocalist Ray Wilson was hired to fill the singing role while, as usual, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks provided the songs.

Now, granted, Calling All Stations is not a very bad record but it's not a very good record either. The problem with the album is that it's very average in everything. In therms of sound it's not all that different from the previous studio, We Can't Dance (that is very mediocre). Ray Wilson is not a bad singer but the problem is that he's either trying to sound sound like Phil Collins when Genesis is playing a 80's sounding track or he sounds like Peter Gabriel when the tracks ask for the 70's Genesis.

Songwriter wise the album is not very bad but we don't have any tracks that will stand out, it's just a mixed bag not very carefully thrown together. And that combined with the fact that everything sounds like or Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins makes it a bad record. Calling All Stations shouldn't have been released as a Genesis album it should have been released with another name on the cover. Same lineup but a different name could have given them more time to develope the whole project. Releasing it as a Genesis record has a shot in its own feet. So much so that not even the duo Rutherford/Banks mention this era. Differently from Ray Wilson that pretty much survive on Genesis music since then.

After all we have the worst possible thing for a record in Calling All Stations, which is: you're not very good and you're not very bad, you're just average. And average is the worst thing for any record ever released.

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
3 stars This last Genesis album was written by Mick and Tony before they have completed the line-up with Ray Wilson and Nir Zidkyahu. Because of that, the songs didn't have a proper ending. The band admits that they were missing the presence of Phil Collins to put pressure on them in the songwriting department. The first song "Calling the Stations" is a great song, very melodic showing the most impressive performance of Ray. "Congo" has that exotic vibe with some simple structure, kind of a light dancing song. "Shipwrecked" is another of those series of love song that turning bad, sound like a radio-friendly 80's alternative song. In "Alien Afternoon" there's not much going on except some nice vocals effects in my rear speakers. It seems that the song was about to build the melody to prepare for a guitar solo, but this is not the case with Mick Rutherford on guitar. "If That's What You Need " is an inferior variation of "Follow You Follow Me". "Divided Line" brings something new with a bit of prog and where the band decided to give to the drummer total freedom. So we went wild with some intense playing. Tony Banks playing is also quite good on this song. "Uncertain Weather" is a sad song with a good melody. The rest of the album is a bit boring, filler songs in this 67 minutes album. Because this is not a progressive rock album, I can't give 4 stars, but 3 stars with a couple of strong tracks.
Review by Warthur
1 stars The Genesis studio album discography is kind of like a reverse [&*!#] sandwich - regardless of whether you prefer their prog or pop phases the run of albums from Trespass to We Can't Dance were all at successful in their own way - some artistically successful, some critically successful, some commercially successful, and some managing two or even all three of those flavours of success.

This run of albums is bookended by two utter turds, however. From Genesis to Revelation's failures can at least in part be put at the door of Jonathan King - he mucked about with the material without the band's knowledge and added strings to everything, for one thing, and for another he pushed them into making the album when in retrospect it seems clear that they weren't ready for that challenge just yet.

Calling All Stations is not an album whose failure can be laid at the feet of anyone other than Genesis. Some point the finger at Ray Wilson, but I think this is staggeringly unfair - what, do you seriously think the new lad on the vocals had a level of artistic control over this project remotely near to the level that remaining cofounders Rutherford and Banks had? No, this was the Banks-Rutherford show compositionally speaking for the vast majority of its runtime, and it's clear that they don't actually have any new ideas.

You can read a lot into the fact that, despite reuniting with Phil for a reasonably successful concert tour in 2007, and and despite the fact that five members of the classic lineup have contributed commentary and thoughts on the band's work over the years for various documentaries and other projects, there hasn't been a new Genesis studio album for over two decades. Not one with Peter and Steve, not one with Phil, not one with Ray, not one with anyone else. If there were anything in the creative well, if Rutherford and Banks or other key movers really had some material they were sitting on which cried out for the Genesis treatment, they'd have surely done a reunion album by now.

But they haven't, because they know they're done. How do they know they're done? They tried to keep the flame going on this and could only produce the most achingly generic poppy alt-rock known to humanity. Prog fans will find no enjoyment here, and fans of Genesis' pop phase will be aghast at the near-total lack of memorable hooks. Quite simply, the album is unlistenable by either metric.

Review by patrickq
3 stars Calling All Stations is a neo-prog album released in 1997. I think this group was influenced by Genesis. I mean, no one would confuse the singer for Phil Collins, and the album is darker than any Genesis work in years. But the first half of "Alien Afternoon" reminds me a little of "I Can't Dance," and I can almost imagine Collins singing "Shipwrecked" or "If That's What You Need." Plus, a lot of the drumming, especially in the later songs like "The Dividing Line," "There Must Be Some Other Way," and "One Man's Fool" sounds like Collins.

As others have suggested, I think Calling All Stations would be better reviewed if it weren't a Genesis album. But it's not bad compared to the group's previous albums. So the lyrics are a little shallow in places, and the instrumentation is a little restrained, but what else is new? In my opinion it's in the same league as Invisible Touch and Genesis. And to me, it's clearly better than We Can't Dance.

I agree with a lot of reviewers who have criticized the sappiness of "If That's What You Need" and "Not About Us," and I must admit that I expected that the schmaltz would evaporate as soon as Collins left. However, I do have a soft spot for "Shipwrecked," schmaltz and all. Along the same lines, the much-disparaged "Small Talk" is not progressive: "all of this is with regret; I'm sure you will agree." But it's kind of catchy. I think if I went back in time and gave a copy of Calling All Stations to my twelve-year-old self, I'd've loved it and would still love it today.

And I do, in fact, love two tracks on Calling All Stations. First, "Congo" is a great song. Great melody, great drumming. The "into my heart" bridge is a nice nod to Collins. And then there's "One Man's Fool." More often than not, "Alien Afternoon" seems to be cited as the most - - or only - - progressive song on the album, and it's pretty good. But to me, "One Man's Fool" is clearly "proggier." It even has two movements, the second starting at around 3:50 with what amounts to a second introduction. And as good as the first movement is, the second stands on its shoulders. The lyrics aren't exactly poetry, but they're not bad, especially compared to those on most of Calling All Stations. "One Man's Fool" features singer Ray Wilson at his best, and while the drumming is strong throughout the album, Nir Zidkyahu outdoes himself here.

There's too much filler on Calling All Stations. It doesn't seem like an album needs to be 68 minutes long for the customer to get his or her money's worth. But I can't award fewer than three stars to an album with "Alien Afternoon," "Congo," and "One Man's Fool." It's not Foxtrot, and it's not A Trick of the Tail. It may not even be Abacab. But it's a good enough art-rock album. I'd suggest that fans of post-Gabriel Genesis, or accessible prog of any form, give this a spin.

Latest members reviews

1 stars 'Calling All Stations' is technically the final Genesis album, though I hesitate to refer to it as a Genesis record. Phil Collins left the band at this point and was replaced vocally by Ray Wilson. Wilson has a good voice, but it doesn't suit Genesis' sound. This album doesn't sound like a Genesis a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2940542) | Posted by Magog2112 | Sunday, July 16, 2023 | Review Permanlink

2 stars First, let's get this out of the way: It's not Ray Wilson's fault. You can find videos of him performing "Carpet Crawlers", including his appearance in Steve Hackett's concert in the Albert Hall, and he did a really good job there. In the album itself his vocals are serviceable, and it seems he was ... (read more)

Report this review (#2495117) | Posted by cniel1989 | Monday, January 18, 2021 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I am sorry but this album is pretty much unlistenable for me. Despite starting of with a decent song, it gets worse and worse from there, I miss any musical captivity in this album, which is something genesis always supplied, even on the pop albums. I gave it a listen a few times and I cought my ... (read more)

Report this review (#2235757) | Posted by Stevewantsanaccount | Friday, July 5, 2019 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I think time has softened many opinions on this, their final album. While it would have been more than fitting for Genesis to go out after We Can't Dance, especially with 'Fading Lights' as the last ever Genesis track, I can't hold it against the band for trying to make a go without Phil. The ... (read more)

Report this review (#2167163) | Posted by cjde341 | Tuesday, March 19, 2019 | Review Permanlink

3 stars #15 Review (Updated 27-4-2020) I updated this 3 times already, yet the original review had no remedy so i remade it from scratch, this is the real version that should last after extensive hearing and a better understanding of this underated album. 1.- Calling All Stations 7/10 The title tr ... (read more)

Report this review (#1889452) | Posted by FalconBleck | Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | Review Permanlink

2 stars BEST SONG: Alien Afternoon; WORST SONG: Small Talk Really 1.5 stars, but I'll begrudgingly round it up to 2 on the strength of some of the b-sides. After Phil Collins' departure from the band, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks were still unwilling to call it a day, and who could blame them? While ... (read more)

Report this review (#1125424) | Posted by hughes | Friday, January 31, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 3.5 STARS REALLY I think that this album must be evaluated not comparing it with the others Genesis ones. If I do that it goes down hill, just because Collins is not there. The ausence of Collins implicates three problems: The voice of Genesis is not special anymore (like Gabriel and Collins ... (read more)

Report this review (#1117043) | Posted by genbanks | Monday, January 20, 2014 | Review Permanlink

1 stars So - we said goodbye to Phil Collins relating to Genesis. Was that a good or a bad thing? Of the original band line-up only Banks and Rutherford remain here with a bunch of newbies to the Genesis thing. "Calling all Stations" - this opening track is far more of a rocker than Genesis had pr ... (read more)

Report this review (#946890) | Posted by sukmytoe | Saturday, April 20, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This album is somewhat hard for me to fully quantify. When I first purchased it, I considered it to be a fair improvement over the bands previous two studio releases. However, it has not aged particularly well for me. It's hard to put a finger on exactly why this is the case - it just is. To be ... (read more)

Report this review (#944877) | Posted by Mr. Gone | Tuesday, April 16, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I hadnt heard this CD until 8 years after it was released. I had heard in the past that Collins had left but didnt give it a chance until then. It was great to hear the first chords of Calling All Stations, so raw and heavy. First thing that came to mind was "about time"! Second thing I noticed ... (read more)

Report this review (#933945) | Posted by Undertow | Friday, March 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I bought Calling All Stations when it was first released and over the last 15 years I've listened to it many times. I remember, at first, being a little disappointed with the album. However something about it kept calling me back to it. Lately I've been playing it continually because it ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#919934) | Posted by Driver | Tuesday, February 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 6/10 One end is not so bad for one of the greatest prog giants. Well, when Genesis released this album they had already suffered the loss of Phil Collins, who had launched them to stardom in the '80s - and that's one thing I do not have to complain about. But the addition of Ray Wilson was ... (read more)

Report this review (#640108) | Posted by voliveira | Friday, February 24, 2012 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Pop rock. The most populated genre of them all. The music scene is overpopulated with pop rock bands. These days, it cost next to nothing to record and release a CD on an indiependent label. The lucky ones even get to play a pub or a club. Mostly working men clubs in England. A dying scene, that ... (read more)

Report this review (#561349) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Terminal, no more stations. Introduction As someone might have noticed, I'm doing some reviews these days, mostly 'cause I'm changing music on my mp3 and for a bit of grief too: the time pass, and if 9 years ago (at the time I write this) I was a prog newbie now I'm searching for new music ... (read more)

Report this review (#472597) | Posted by Erik Nymas | Thursday, June 30, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This release of Genesis with new drummers Nir Zidkyahu and Nick D'Virgilio and singer Ray Wilson is a strange combination of a return to their old, or relatively older sound, and a slight watering down of their current ballad style. About half of the music isn't really all that intersting, an ... (read more)

Report this review (#463034) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Thursday, June 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Hmmmm.... While this is an improvement over the god awful release like GENESIS and INVISIBLE TOUCH, it is a pretty small improvement indeed. First: Ray Wilson is no Peter Gabriel and no Phil Collins. He is not bad, just not distinctive. I don't think I could even recognize his voice again on a ... (read more)

Report this review (#436188) | Posted by mohaveman | Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Like many of the early Genesis fans, I had lost interest in the band after the departure of Hackett but for me this also coincided with developing other interests. For about 15 years until the late 1990's I was out of touch with the prog music scene due to other life commitments. I had no reco ... (read more)

Report this review (#350122) | Posted by KeepItDark | Saturday, December 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Released on the tailend of the bands career, this album tends to be slamed by critics and fans alike. Let's review the positive aspects: - The production is very good, I would even go as far as to say it is one of the best ever for this band; - Brian Wilson's voice can imprint a dark tone to ... (read more)

Report this review (#308926) | Posted by unarmedman | Monday, November 8, 2010 | Review Permanlink

1 stars As Ray Wilson sings it "I've lost all sense of direction". All the horrendous clichés which have dogged Genesis since the 80s appear at the start: metronomic hard drumming, formulaic crying guitars, dull platitudinous 'emotional' lyrics about "it tearing me apart", with a new addition: the tired ... (read more)

Report this review (#300999) | Posted by Cheesehoven | Thursday, September 30, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I don't think the problem is what is there, or who was involved, I think that the biggest problem with this record is who 'wasn't' involved. The songs all have the same Synthesiser sound and 80's/90's pop with a more progressive sound to it. Imagine Phillips and Hackett were back in the band. Now ... (read more)

Report this review (#278637) | Posted by Brendan | Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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