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Genesis - Selling England by the Pound CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.64 | 4296 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Just over a week ago i really disliked Genesis. I found them boring. I found the vocals annoying and the music disorganised. A few listens later and i couldn't put them down. I have 6 of their albums now. I dont know why opinion changed so rapidly but i've always felt like i have been missing out on one of the greatest prog bands out there. I still find them one of the weakest prog giants. I much prefer Yes, Pink Floyd and King Crimson, of that era. I am used to the vocals now, and i find them very interesting and original. I still think that Genesis sound like medieval battle music (kind of reminded me of Rick Wakeman's Knights of the Round Table, but on a lesser degree, that album is just ridiculously over the top)! I have been quite nervous about reviewing this album since it is seen as one of the best pieces by one of the best bands on this site

I find Genesis' lyrics to be very good in terms of concept, they seem to tell a story, often using different characters. I always prefer lyrics that reflect real life, much like Dream Theater and Pink Floyd. Their lyrics suit symphonic prog well it seems as i have noticed Yes and King Crimson exploring mythical lyrics. The album artwork of these bands reflects their music and lyrics well!

Selling England is my favourite and most listened to of the Genesis albums i have. I love the vocals on the intro to "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight", even when i disliked Genesis i found it very good, it pulls the listner into the album. This is an excellent example of symphonic prog rock, probably why they are so popular on this site. I love it when the song progresses through gentle acoustic and piano work through to the lively and quite insane middle section. this track flows beautifully, which is why it is such a nice introduction to the album. I find this piece quite relaxing too. I love the way this piece builds down into that soft outro, bringing an epic to a gentle close.

I love the way this album is set out with shorter pieces inbetween each of the longer pieces. It makes the album flow well. "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" is a strange piece, has some really interesting flute, drum and bass work, sounds kind of trippy! i love the vocals on "i know what i like and i like what i know"! This track makes me laugh sometimes, the lyrics are weird. its a really good piece though, it doesn't really seem that immature, its just good music!

"Firth of Fifth" is a piece that i love, the piano work is tip top from the very begining and maintains itself all the way through, a very good example of strong piano work in rock. FoF is a lively piece and is easy to listen to despite its long instrumental based sections. This is pure prog! "More Fool Me" is a very beautiful piece that builds up gently into some powerful and emotional vocal work. The quiet backing music brings Gabriel alive here for his best vocal work i have heard. This a beautiful track that gives a break between the larger pieces and maintains the fluidity of the album.

The longest piece on this album is "The Battle of Epping Forest", sometimes Gabriel uses weird voices on this track which is a bit offputting, he might be trying to emphasise his lines or play a different character though. It is a very listenable piece never the less but i didn't find this the strongest piece on the album, it is really good and displays lots of great musicianship but it can bit a little tedious and repititive, most of the time i have no problem with listening to this though.

"After the Ordeal" is perhaps a filler instrumental but it works well to build up to "The Cinema Show". This instrumental prelude does not work as well as "Horizons" on the previous album. "The Cinema Show" is my second favourite track on the album after the first track. This is a standout piece on the album, it has some beautiful guitar work, again taking a very gentle approach. I especially love it when it flows into the reprise of "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight". The last track continues this reprise with lyrics that close the album the way it began, in true prog fashion, making it seem like there is an interesting concept or story behind this album. It is hard to hear, but according to the lyrics i read, this epic album is ended with the lines "it's scrambled eggs!".

This album is definetly one of the greatest examples of progressive rock, it has most of the tricks in the book and is one of the strongest symphonic rock pieces i have heard. This album may take a while to get into if you are new to Genesis, i found it a struggle. This album is very gentle yet i think it is enjoyable throughout, it has some mild humour to add to this. Definetly worth checking out, i mean look at how many 5 star ratings this album has got!

frenchie | 5/5 |


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