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Genesis - Calling All Stations CD (album) cover

CALLING ALL STATIONS

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

2.49 | 1014 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Don't blame the singer

Let's accept straight away that the only reason this album bears the name "Genesis" was to guarantee it a much bigger audience than it would otherwise have gained. Only Rutherford and Banks are still present, joined by ex-Stiltskin singer Ray Wilson. Given the similarities between the voices of Gabriel and Collins, this is therefore the only Genesis album which really doesn't really sound like them vocally. Yes, the music on some of their later albums was somewhat different to what might have been expected, but the voices and instruments still had the Genesis sound. Wilson is a good rock singer though, and he plays his part well.

With the departure of Collins, it was to be hoped that the band would move back towards their prog roots, but the ghost of Collins is still there with ballads such as "Not about us" and funkier tracks like "Congo". There's very little sign of prog at all on the album, and indeed the lack of any meaty instrumentals is particularly disappointing. Surely this was a golden opportunity for Rutherford, and Banks especially, to use the extra space they had to develop their basic songs into something substantially more. Instead we get Mike and the Mechanics type songs.

I am however letting my frustrations dominate a review of an album which still has much to praise. The title track builds superbly until Wilson sounds so uplifted by the music that he has to be unknowingly carried away. "Shipwrecked" has some lovely keyboard work by Banks, particularly on the powerful intro. "Uncertain weather" is a lovely exercise in suggesting a moving story behind an old photograph. once again sung to great effect by Wilson. The problem is, it's all just straight forward songs. Even the longer tracks such as the last track, which stretches to almost 9 minutes, have nothing more that a basic structure.

In summary, an opportunity missed.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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