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Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway CD (album) cover

THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.30 | 2878 ratings

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AndyJ
4 stars Genesis's 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' is an album which can divide opinion and create debate like no other...Everyone who listens to progressive music probably has their own opinions regarding 'The Lamb', its impossible not to. Judging from the reviews on Prog Archives there are definitely a lot of strong opinions about this particular Genesis album, and I'd expect no less! Unlike 'Selling England' or 'Foxtrot', which are easily identified as masterpieces of prog, with 'The Lamb' it isn't so clear-cut. Is this album a masterpiece? Perhaps...

There have been times in my own life when I have held up 'The Lamb' to be the single greatest piece of music in all of recorded human history. But equally there have been times when I've been far more sceptical about the record and regarded it with only a passing interest. The truth, like so many things, probably lies somewhere in-between these two extremes. In my opinion 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' is the perfect example of the flawed masterpiece.

But in sitting down and writing my review for this oh-so mysterious album I can already feel it tugging at me, calling to me, wanting to be listened to once again. One thing is certain, 'The Lamb' has never been far from my thoughts at any given time. I still get excited when I listen to it - it's intoxicating, not least of all because I still haven't got the slightest clue what its all about! It's almost like a puzzle or a mathematical equation which demands to be solved. The lyrics are clearly a metaphor for something - I've just never figured out what! I've tried reading other people's thoughts on the matter, spent hours digesting notes on the Internet of interpretations and theories, but nothing seems to feel right to me. In a way it doesn't really matter. The biggest joke might be if Peter Gabriel doesn't even know what it means, and the words were just chosen because they made good lyrics and fitted together well...!

But what perplexes me more is why has this album taken up so much of my time, after-all, the previous Gabriel-era Genesis albums are far superior to this one, right?... 'The Lamb' doesn't have the long and highly enjoyable progressive instrumental passages from previous albums, it isn't as experimental or I might argue as progressive as the bands previous records. In many ways its a bit more straight-forward than the previous Genesis records.

In 'The Lamb' all attention is on Peter Gabriel and his vocals, with little room for musical freedom from the rest of the band. Now there are a few songs on the album which buck the trend and allow for a bit more musical exploration, like the track 'In The Cage' or 'Riding The Scree', but those songs are few and far between. What I find even more perplexing, however, is that a good 25% of the album is more-or-less filler, especially on the second disc. In fact I sometimes even find myself skipping the odd track in the second half when I sit down and listen to this. How can this be a masterpiece then? Well as I said its a flawed masterpiece...

...but I wouldn't change a second of it!

I initially set out to write a 3-star review for this album, but how can I? There may be a a good chunk of filler on here, but there are also some absolutely fantastic Genesis songs which deserve, even to this day, to be listened to by everyone. The good on this album more than does enough to wash away the bad. Is this the greatest record in human history? A few years ago I might have said yes, but really its not 'the greatest'... I'm not even sure I'd put it in my top 10, but regardless it is still absolutely essential for any prog fan though... But you all already know that, right? Reviewing this album isn't anything ground-breaking, in-fact I doubt anyone is going to read yet another review for this already over-reviewed album. I'm not going to change any opinions with my review of this album, I just felt like I wanted to add my own voice to the mix regarding this album.

'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' gets a very solid 4-stars from me, as its probably the fairest rating I can think of... Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to listen to 'The Lamb', maybe more than once!...

AndyJ | 4/5 |

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