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Genesis - Genesis CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.79 | 1469 ratings

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2 stars This album is really my first full on exposure to 80s pop Genesis, which wasn't quite as dreadful as some would have me believe. The only thing I had previously heard from this era were a couple songs off Invisible Touch and this album's That's All on satellite radio, back in the days when I enjoyed rock from the eighties. Since then I've heard from many proggers on this site of its less than reputable commercial quality, so I had pretty low expectations when first giving it a listen, which were somewhat met, in some senses - on others, surpassed. My parents and I actually just finally hooked up our surround sound stereo system, so I figured, why the hell not. I actually came across this album on tape rummaging through my parents' old music tapes they bought way back in the day, as they really liked (and still like) pop Genesis (in fact I'm pretty sure they hadn't even ever heard of Genesis' early progressive music, quite a shame really). Thus I popped in the tape into the old tape player, and the sound quality was less than mediocre, but definitely tolerable. So I listened to it twice through, I have overall mixed feelings regarding the album's quality. At first, it was kind of nice listening to something simple and relaxing, kind of a break from all the head-spinning prog. But it is nonetheless a pop album, with both good and bad qualities to it, and if this were any other music site I'd probably give it a three, but honestly, these aren't at all great standards for prog.

The Bad: The album overall (especially on my first listen) really wears on me after about two thirds of the way through the album; usually by the time I had gotten to Silver Rainbow (one of my least favorite tracks by the band now), I simply can't take it anymore, so much repetition in almost every instrument and melody with very little of anything on the album really grabbing my attention, and certainly not anywhere close to the throat. I found Mama to be very much that way, the same simple drum beat over and over (evident in most of the album) with very little happening even in the keyboard department, and Phil's corny laughs and noises (however much fun I'm sure he had with that) only adds to the irritation. That's All was not nearly so bad, sort of a nice little catchy song, or even Illegal Alien, which was entertaining for me, as I live in southern California and we have a pretty bad illegal alien problem here from Mexico. That was a bit of a laugh. It's no fun being an illegal alien - unless you're in California!

The Good: I was quite impressed by Home by the Sea, both parts, which I could see probably the only reason why the more prog oriented fan of the band would desire this album, along with Taking It All Too Hard. I found both tracks were quite delightful and well written, especially for pop standards. As well, in the album overall, there is some great keyboard work, supplying both rich atmosphere and (at least mildly) interesting cord progressions. The album is pop, but pretty well written pop. I've always considered the pop music written by progressive artists to be the best out there for some reason, 90125 and Asia being other good examples of this tendency. I think it's probably because if one can write relatively masterful prog music, writing good pop music would be cake (whereas writing prog would be like cooking a filling, delicious dinner with meat and potatoes - quite a bit harder). I think this album is probably another product of that theory.

Overall, the album amounts to a pretty good pop album and a pretty bad prog album, all at the same time. If your a fan of Genesis, you may very well find some good things you like about this album. Otherwise, it certainly isn't fit for any prog collection, whether your talking about symphonic prog or what's been dubbed as crossover prog, and maybe just barely for prog related. A 2.25 for this album.

Draith | 2/5 |


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