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Genesis - Nursery Cryme CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 3252 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The first great GENESIS album? They had clearly crawled beyond the pretty cages of "Trespass", fueled by the imagination of fairy-tale-fed minds. And yet for every audible precedent (the role-playing vocals of "Harold The Barrel") is an antecedent (the timid, Trespass-like opening of "The Musical Box"). I've always taken "Nursery Cryme" as an album in transition, sometimes straying far into the woods yet dropping breadcrumbs back to "Trespass" lest they lose their way. The addition of Phil COLLINS and Steve HACKETT does change the sound of GENESIS, but no more than Peter GABRIEL's heightened sense of drama or Tony BANKS' increased use of the mellotron.

The wonder of "Nursery Cryme" is that the band so quickly lost their self-consciousness, diving headlong into their art. Writing a song like "The Return of The Giant Hogweed" took guts as much as talent, as did "The Fountain of Salmacis". It's on these heavier tracks, epic in tone, where a window into "Foxtrot" is found. Listeners will quickly hear elements of "Get 'Em Out By Friday" in the tale of the poisonous plant, while "Salmacis" taps the same rich mythological vein that has provided the setting for subsequent masterworks.

Yet "Nursery Cryme" isn't all elastic nightmares: "For Absent Friends" is one of their prettiest songs, while "Harlequin" is the sort of medieval poesy you'd find on Anthony PHILLIPS' "The Geese And The Ghost". As good as these tracks are, it's the sublime "Seven Stones" that stays with me, a song that would make my short-list of classic GENESIS works. The balance of light and dark tones (and you can credit COLLINS and HACKETT for much-needed contrast) makes "Nursery Cryme" a more ambitious album than "Trespass". Compared to a "Foxtrot" or "Selling England...", this record may suffer from a little stiffness, but it's greatness in the act of creation.

daveconn | 4/5 |


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