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Genesis - Abacab CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.61 | 1292 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Genesis had not, comparatively-speaking, been a lucrative enterprise, and given the financial hardship the band faced during the 1970s, it's no wonder the band boarded the gravy train of 1980s mainstream music (along with many bands) and never returned. This of course disappointed fans, but at the same time generated a whole new fan base, although effectively creating two bands with the same name. While scarcely progressive rock, this album consists of pop songs, most of which are not unpleasant, with a few of them actually being highly enjoyable.

"Abacab" The title track may be the second longest, but it's a clear indication that the progressive days of Genesis are history. The best part of this song is the catchy vocals, but I can understand how they would be immediately repulsive to longtime fans. There organ is a nice touch, but Banks's synthesizers over generic sounding music (particularly the bland drumming) do very little for me. That said, I still enjoy the song very much for what it is.

"No Reply At All" A plucky number that sounds like 1980s dance party music, this is jaw-droppingly bad (mainly because compared to music of the same genre, it's still terrible). The bass grooves are good, but it'd be tough to guess that Rutherford was responsible for them. The band has Earth, Wind & Fire's horn section complimenting the sound.

"Me and Sarah Jane" There are some pleasing synthesizer arrangements contained within this semi-progressive track. Collins incorporates his electronic drums here (they sound like the same ones that would be heard on his hit song "In the Air Tonight"). Part of the music has a reggae vibe, however.

"Keep It Dark" A strange electric guitar riff forms the backbone of this track, which has bursts of quirky synthesizer and a barely compatible vocal melody.

"Dodo / Lurker" The lengthiest track has an introduction that almost hearkens back to the days of A Trick of the Tail, featuring a bombastic synthesizer opening and some organ work. The reggae-influence creeps back in throughout most of the track also. If the goofy synthesizers had been replaced with the vintage sounds Banks used on earlier recordings, this track might be one of the best things Genesis ever did after the onset of the 1980s.

"Who Dunnit?" Collins's vocals are just as shameful as the silly synthetic music backing him up. I can't hear this song without immediately thinking of the unfortunate fashion, hairstyles, and catchphrases of the silliest decade of the twentieth century, and sadly enough, it inevitably makes me nostalgic (since I grew up then). Still, this song is incredibly ridiculous, hard to follow, and foolish in every respect- quite probably the worst thing Genesis ever did.

"Man on the Corner" A radio hit to this day, I actually appreciate this one, partly because Collins delivers a convincing vocal performance. The music fits firmly in the context of this album, but does so with grace, despite an overtly simple structure.

"Like It or Not" A straightforward pop track, this is nothing noteworthy, but nothing awful either.

"Another Record" Darker music ends the album, at least for the first bit, and then it's back to pop music. This one has a harmonica involves and is closer to upbeat Sting shortly after The Police broke up.

Epignosis | 2/5 |


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