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Genesis - Abacab CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.61 | 1471 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Back in 1981 this album came as a shock to many fans of Genesis. Especially the trumpets seem to have done the trick. Nobody expected commercial sounds of this kind on a Genesis album. Abacab is a mixed bag with some material you should find on a Phil Collins album."No reply at all", "man on the corner" and "like it or not" are good pop songs with chart abilities but no Genesis lover was waiting for anything like that. Still there's some adventurous stuff which reminds of their glorious past. For me "Dodo" is the one to get for longtime fans since it is the best epic they wrote for years. Even if it's pompous the influences of pop and funk are present and do fit in their natural style and even enrich it. "Sarah Jane" is the other prog highlight, it seems like a leftover from Duke but nevertheless it is quite appealing. Quite surprising this romantic song penned by Tony Banks has a reggae interlude but it doesn't spoil the listening experience. The title track is another goody even if it sounds totally different from what the band had been doing before. It's obvious the writing process of Abacab started during a jam. Unlike the band of the seventies the rhythm section is most dominant. The keyboards and guitars have been simplified but sound great in their combination, there's even a jazzy atmosphere to it. Near the end the tension is building up and compared to the live version, this ends too soon as it lacks the climax it needs. Unfortunately there are other attempts to try something different which doesn't seem to work out fine. "Keep it dark" is very unlike Genesis but it has this attractive riff and some good vocals but does it have anything more ? "Who dunnit" must be the worse song the band has ever made. They must have been short of inspiration when they recorded this piece of crap. "Another record" is a tad better but not much. There's a promising intro but once you begin to appreciate the solid melody of its chorus the music already starts to fade out.

For me, this album is worthwhile cause of 3 wonderful tracks. Even tough it was a million selling album I wouldn't recommend it as a good Genesis album or even as a solid pop album. This album is one of most outdated sounding items in the Genesis back catalogue. No wonder this was the only album from their limited mini sleeve editions which was still available years after the others had been sold out. Ironic their biggest seller became their worst after two decades. I wonder if it would have sound different if the first Collins album hadn't end up in the charts a year earlier ; it's a shame that Genesis did become little more than the excellent backing band of Collins from 1981 till 1995.

Fishy | 2/5 |


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