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Genesis - Abacab CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.61 | 1353 ratings

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2 stars The pity of Genesis is this period is that they are still capable of producing good material. However the hollowness of the entire 80s aesthetic, which now sounds more dated than songs of a decade earlier, completely ruin whatever artistic ambitions they may have had.

Abacab, the title track is first. As usual, Genesis start off with an energetic number, and this might be a good track were it not for the synthetic sounds and the relentless hard drumming which was indiscriminately applied to so many tracks around this time.

"No reply at all" is an unfortunate 'funky' number which features earth, wind and fire's horn section apparently. The great gulf between the music of the early 70s and the early 80s is made manifest by the fact that back then Genesis used a mellotron as an orchestral substitute; that sounded nothing at all like an orchestra really, but was capable of interesting sounds in its own right. Now they have the services of a genuine brass section and it sounds unbelievably thin and tinny, as though it is being played on toy instruments. Yet this awful sound predominated through out the 80s and says a lot about the time.

"Me and Sarah jane" is a good song but again the arrangement does it no favours. The drum machine is less effective than on "Duchess" on the previous album. It is one of the better numbers.

"Keep it dark" features a boring riff-based verse with more interesting percussion sounds in the chorus. Mechanical hard drumming predominates again.

"Dodo/lurker" is a better number, but again over emphatic drumming detracts rather than advances the song. The spoken section is weak (Collins has no aptitude for speech despite being an actor) and the concluding instrumental parts anticlimactic.

The so-called song "Whodunnit" is a crime against music. I have hated it ever since I first owned the album and consider it 3 minutes of fingers down a backboard. WORST GENESIS SONG EVER.

"Man on the corner" is a flat ordinary song given a flat ordinary performance.

"Like it or not" is another flat formulaic number. Robotic drumming again.

And so "Another record" ends. This final piece starts off with 'atmospheric' guitar and synth before the usual funky bass, loud mechanical drums etc.

So perhaps three salvageable tracks if they were given better arrangements.

Cheesehoven | 2/5 |


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