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Genesis - Abacab CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.61 | 1292 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars If you go to the Abacab album page and scroll down real fast, the star ratings almost look like lights going on and off. You see 2, 4, 1, 2, 3, 1, 4, 2, etc. star ratings. Without reading the other reviews I can tell opinions on this album are very divided. Abacab for me is one of those albums I neither love nor hate. I've read somewhere that this was the only Genesis album where they could not find the original master tapes when they were remastering the back catalogue in the mid-90s. I don't know if that is true or not. This is the only Genesis album I never had on CD. I got a used original cassette copy in a book store; at least I know my copy came from the original master tapes.

This was the groups second UK #1 album and their first US top ten album. I think this album is a little bit more consistent than Duke was. But nontheless, the best songs on that album are better than most of the songs here. I never liked the last two songs on the album. After having a chance to listen to this again, I still don't like them. Originally "Dodo/Lurker" was supposed to be longer incorporating two pieces left off the album: "Naminanu" and "Submarine". They should have including those two and left the last two there now off. "Dodo/Lurker" is of course the proggiest and best song on Abacab. I think this mini-epic is better than almost anything from the previous two albums. It flows so well, being both a great composition and a great performance.

The title track is a slightly proggy pop song. The drumbeat is simple but I like it. I also like Banks' organ-like synth sounds here. The 'jam' at the end goes on a bit too long and doesn't add anything. "No Reply At All" was the big single from the album. I believe this features the horn section from Earth, Wind & Fire (Collins recently working with EWF singer Philip Bailey). This song would have been better off on a Collins solo album. Between the success of this song and "Misunderstanding", the trio decided they would make a better singles-oriented band than an album-oriented one. Hence the next album was self-titled, marking a new beginning (or 'genesis' if you will).

"Who Dunnit?".....a lot of people hate this song, but I love it. It amuses me that some will complain about this band going pop, then turn around and call this the worst Genesis song. This is not a pop song! More of an avant-nursery rhyme (or cryme?) Love that ending. I'm not sure if "Man On The Corner" was released as a single but it should have been. I like the drum machine and synths here. The lyrics forshadow Phil's later hit "Another Day In Paradise". There is a song on Justin Timberlake's last album that sounds very similar to this.

"Dodo/Lurker" proves the group could still prog it out, but most of the songs show they wanted to go in a different direction. Although there is both good singles and album tracks on the next two albums, Abacab was the last Genesis album to be of any interest to a prog fan. And no, it's not all Phil's fault; Banks and Rutherford as just as guilty of wanting to go in the direction they did. Hell, even Peter Gabriel will have some major hits of his own later in the decade. Some people act like Collins forced the other two to sell out. You can picture them both on their knees, crying and begging Phil, "please, we don't want to sell out, please". And then Phil, holding a gun at them, laughs like he does in "Mama". Anyway, this gets 3 stars.

zravkapt | 3/5 |


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