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Genesis - Calling All Stations CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.47 | 1086 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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.

slipperman | 1/5 |


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