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Genesis - Live Over Europe 2007 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.23 | 312 ratings

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3 stars In a world where grand pop, rock or metal stars' tours and concerts (full of a banal but foreseeable feedback and excitement) are counter-balanced by old rock troops which play it big to stiff up a lip and other artists who keep playing for close fans - not to mention artists that make out of their concerts their desired mainstream, progressive, avant-garde, underground (etc.) expression (with the reception varying in the same way) - Genesis tried, of course, nothing but an original, impulsive, personal ('up-close') and open act, once the rumble and the rumors stopped and the old-standing trio announced they're touring a comeback and that 2007 will be their year for a change. The consistent Live Over Europe stands as a short snapshot out of what was, almost certainly, a comeback adventure of immense size - without necessarily a complex essence as well.

For a fact, if pop fans have absolutely no problem welcoming Genesis's return on stage (and especially the way in which to return) - the huge crowds at all these concerts were, after all, happy people, no? - prog rock fans (the classic ones for sure) are natural born skeptics since Genesis was bared down to three artists (all three not truly brightest in the genre) and the 80s were a golden decade of pure pop. Where stands Live Over Europe (and the huge comeback tour itself) in regards to the (more than enough times) extreme-sided opinions over Genesis's new rise and new music logic (a surprise and something worth the shot for one side, respectively a ridiculous, over-rated and pointless thing to dream of, attend as a spectacle or go for, on the other side)? Quite nowhere, in frankly my opinion, even if the way Genesis have planned this event and perfected on their chosen style is nowhere near neutral or ready to satisfy both parties - meaning that the trio clearly chose their pop-rock bounces, while the reasons for including some oldies were rather misty, and, even worse, their concerts came with pesky commercial, financial and managerial demands, regardless of anything. Live Over Europe is, still, comfortably nowhere inside the conflict over pop and prog, because it's just a live album, with qualities and downbreaks, with effect on you (as a listener) and a certain worth of a result.

The 2h and 20m total of recordings draws from concerts in Manchester, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Hannover, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Prague, Rome, Paris, Munich & Twichenham. Quite a good tour map, though of course the full concerts rarely suffered changes or different measures as music. A clever mix to the album's recording is how the pieces don't have sharp cuts in the flow, even if they come from different concerts.

Besides the central icon that is the trio (sure, Phil Collins has a comeback himself, but without him the reunion wouldn't have made sense at all, "calling" Ray Wilson back in 1997 having meant disaster), Chester Thompson and Daryl Stuermer are also back playing percussion and bass, so moments like the drums duo are in this way a buzzing and usual entry. The concerts certainly must have had their explosive nature or their show-glow, but a bit less is heard through the CD music (a DVD is, therefore, in order).

About the Genesis pieces, precisely those pop music ones, the feeling between hearing the original, hearing other live albums and this particular one isn't very different, except when the new sound and interpretation is concretely either somewhat fresh or somehow weaker than before - or - when the artists themselves wanna spice up the show and the pieces: Collins sings good, the only breaks happening when he's using on a more romantic, mellow or bored tone. Rutherford and Banks don't do the best performance of their lives, which is why their weakest moments are the false improvisations one. As pop artists, they actually don't know, nor want, to truly improvise, so the songs weaken to some strange sounds, extra frustrating melodies or bad quickly-tuned effects.

About the Genesis music, the main interest would understandably be over the prog/oldie small share - and since some people said Genesis performed well on rehashing 70s music, the interest for the album can rise even more to someone who's ready to check it out. To a certain point, the prog part is the biggest disappointment over Live Over Europe: playing Ripples,Firth Of Filth or Carpet Crawlers is nothing special whatsoever, moreover okay, cool, expressive and into the spirit; nothing more. I Know What I Like or Los Endos, usually annoyingly poppy in the prog original albums, aren't even shaky anymore; they're nice as well. One objection to this entire idea however: In The Cage is miserable! This being said, Live Over Europe's cream of the crop is, in the end, the pop recital, full of the dynamics, beats and high pop that the 80s' dream offered. Progger or not, if you don't like to hear Pop Genesis is one thing, if you can't stand Pop Genesis is another thing, but if you can't recognize that Genesis played best Pop in this concert/live album (and throughout the 2007 tour), it's already pointless.

Finishing with the recommendation, I can only do a sterile one, since I don't find it interesting thinking about what's worthier in Genesis's music (even if the answer is obvious: prog) when listening to Live In Europe. The music of this concert is good, the package and the recording has the same nice qualities, it's a light adventure ... and so. True though, money back not guaranteed.

Ricochet | 3/5 |


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