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Genesis - We Can't Dance CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.66 | 1353 ratings

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3 stars "We Can't Dance" is the 14th 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 October 1991. Itīs the successor to "Invisible Touch" from 1986. After a 112-dates long tour supporting "Invisible Touch" in 1986/1987, Genesis went on a longer hiatus, and the three members of the band instead worked in their respective solo projects. Especially lead vocalist/drummer Phil Collins experienced great solo success, but bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford also had success with his Mike and the Mechanics project. There was some doubt if Collins would return to work with Genesis again, but writing and recording of new material began in March 1991.

The sessions lasted until September 1991 and continued the collaborative songwriting approach of the two direct predecessors, with the band jamming and writing the songs as ideas came along (as opposed to the band members bringing finished ideas or whole compositions to the sessions). That songwriting approach had been greatly inspiring for the band on the last couple of releases, and worked again on the sessions for "We Can't Dance", which spawned fifteen tracks. Twelve of which ended up on the album. Some of the outtakes were used as single B-sides ("On the Shoreline" and "Hearts on Fire").

"We Can't Dance" features both short vers/chorus structured pop/rock songs with mainstream appeal, and longer more sophisticated compositions, which may not satisfy fans of the bandīs 70s progressive rock output, but still can be labelled progressive rock in some form. Or maybe just sophisticated rock, but tracks like the 10 minutes long "Driving The Last Spike", the 7 minutes long "Dreaming While You Sleep", and the 10 minutes long "Fading Lights" are quite adventurous and structurally interesting pop/rock songs. I of course wouldnīt expect anything less from Genesis, who through the 80s were very successful in pairing easily accessible pop/rock songs with more intricate and complex material on all their releases.

Some of the best known tracks from the album are "No Son Of Mine", "Jesus He Knows Me", and "I Can't Dance", and all three are brilliant compositions. "No Son Of Mine" is a slow building melancholic track, which to my ears is one of the best tracks in the bandīs discography. Masterfully composed and sung with great passion by Collins, telling a tale of domestic abuse. "Jesus He Knows Me" on the other hand is an up-tempo energetic pop/rock song with humourous lyrics about TV-evangelists and how they lure money from people promising God and heaven. "I Can't Dance" is another light-humoured track with a nice heavy riff and a groovy rhythm. Both of the latter just work and you can sing along to them.

"We Can't Dance" is a very long album featuring 12 tracks and a total playing time of 71:26 minutes and sadly the album does feature some fillers. Or at least tracks which arenīt up to par with the best material on the album. Tracks like "Tell Me Why", "Way Of The World", and "Since I Lost You" could for example easily have been left off, and few would have noticed or cared. "We Can't Dance" was co-produced and engineered by the only 28-year-old Nick Davis, and he and the band have achieved producing a very well sounding album. Compared to its direct predecessor, "We Can't Dance" is a little more guitar oriented, although Tony Banks keyboards and Collins vocals are of course also some of the dominating features in the soundscape.

Upon conclusion "We Can't Dance" is another quality release by Genesis but it could have used a little more editing and the firm hand of a producer, who dared tell the band to cut a few tracks. There are simply a couple of fillers too many on the album, some of the longer tracks also develop at a very slow pace. Iīm personally very fond of a tracks like "Driving The Last Spike" and "Dreaming While You Sleep", but I understand those who would rather watch paint dry, than to sit through the slow building structures of those tracks. Overall there is more quality material here than the opposite though, and as always even the less interesting Genesis tracks are better composed than most other output by similar artists. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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