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Genesis - Abacab CD (album) cover

ABACAB

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

2.61 | 1292 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Different prog fans mark the moment Genesis sold out at different points in their career. Some feel that the band were never the same when Gabriel left, an opinion I can understand but strongly disagree with. Others feel that when Hackett quit, the band were never quite the same, and whilst that's true enough I still think there's plenty of enjoyable - and, yes, progressive - music on And Then There Were Three and Duke.

But Abacab? Abacab is the clean break. Whilst Duke found a compromise between progressive experimentation and updating the band's sound, it's difficult to see Abacab as anything other than a calculated bid for the mainstream. (They even use Earth, Wind and Fire's horn section on No Reply at All, for crying out loud.) I've nothing against bands evolving or even radically changing their sound, but if you're going to turn your back on your existing fanbase and your own legacy as a band and reinvent yourselves so utterly, it had better be in the pursuit of a really excellent idea, a musical vision compelling enough to make the sacrifice worth it.

For a while I just didn't get Abacab - I think because to an extent I was still mourning the old Genesis, which is daft really because it's not like the old albums have exploded and it's not like there aren't plenty of bands out there ploughing the 1970s Genesis furrow. Recently it clicked for me, but it took me developing more of a taste for slick 1980s Miami Vice yacht rock - the sort of stuff that filled out the 1980s career of Hall and Oates, or Phil Collins' solo career, or for that matter Peter Gabriel's poppier moments.

And it's certainly the case that whilst there's no symphonic prog aspect to this album, there's an art pop sheen to it. Yes, you've got your lighter numbers, but then again you have stuff like Dodo/Lurker, which is hardly something which you can say is mindless bubblegum pop.

So in the end I've come around to Abacab, but I had to take a long break for it and broaden my tastes outside of the prog arena before I could.

Warthur | 4/5 |

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