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Genesis - ...And Then There Were Three... CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.44 | 1411 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Oh... That's who kept it progressive...

With the departure of guitar god Steve Hackett after Wind And Wuthering it becomes painfully clear who was steering the band in the progressive direction over the last couple years. Gone are the long symphonic compositions such as ''One For The Vine'' or ''Ripples'', these types of tracks are instead sacrificed for shorter, more straightforward songs. After a seeming revelation with the success of ''Your Own Special Way'' and ''Afterglow'' the trio seems to have decided to go for a more commercial road getting off the seeming dead-end street that was the late-70s progressive genre.

...And Then There Were Three... is a very controversial album, loved by some and despised by others, this is an album that has its charms at times, yet at other times shows the clear end of a band which started out so brilliantly. It starts out rather promisingly with the haunting riff and synths that open Down And Out. Unfortunately, this is one of the few songs that really jump off the album to hit you ''right between the eyes''. Fast paced and rockish, it's clear the the band has taken another direction. Slowing once more a more familiar crawl is the second track Undertow, which gets better as it picks up but unfortunately remains fairly average.

Already the two types of songs on the album have been presented -- the fast rockers and the slow tracks (slightly) reminiscent of old Genesis. Which turns out better? Well, as proven by the fast Ballad Of Big it's the fast songs that here prevail. The synth driven Scenes From A Night's Dream further proves this point as the album's best short track with it's excellent melodies and atmospheres along with some killer drumming from Mr. Collins. Of the slower tracks there's a mixed bag to be had. Say It's Alright Joe and Many Too Many are both rather enjoyable tracks with continued airy synths and well done vocal parts. Others, however, such as the pop-hit Follow You Follow Me and the terribly irritating (thanks to an annoying chorus and eyebrow raising lyrics) Snowbound show that Genesis should just stick to the faster tracks in this version of their line-up (something they'd do much better on Duke).

A couple songs where everything really comes together is the few longer tracks on the album. The promising keys that open Burning Rope are not soon let down as the song makes its way through some chilling and somehow beautiful melodies throughout the song. With a clear chorus and fairly poppy undertones this song is one that really shouldn't work, but does somehow anyways -- A stellar standout. The Lady Lies is the other long(er) track on the album and though weaker than Burning Rope it's creepy music and lyrics make it quite the track that's well worth the listen.

A very good album that has a very split following of lovers and haters, this one is very hard to decide a rating for. Being that (many) fans will likely enjoy it while others will avoid it like the plague, and it's not the best Genesis album to start with this one is going to have to get a 3. ''Good, but not essential'' well describes the buyability of this album. While the album's creepy music (the cover pretty well describes the tone of the music) may appeal to many, its pop-rockiness will harshly turn off others. But, if you like all that stuff then give it a shot! You'll likely find something to enjoy.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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