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Genesis - Genesis CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.78 | 1219 ratings

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3 stars In My Not So Humble Opinion:

Genesis' eponymous album isn't the proggiest of albums but it's a solid album and works well as a gateway drug.

So the year is nineteen ninety three and I was visiting my Dad. Dad asked me if I wanted to go see a laser show. Well shoot, what eleven year old kid wouldn't want to go see a laser show with their Dad, especially the 'cool musician Dad'? We went to see Laser Genesis and I was mesmerized. To this day I remember the feeling of dread and awe that I had when the giant laser head started laughing along with Phil Collins in Mama. I was hooked from that instant. Within a week, I bought the vinyl album with my hard earned paper route money. This is significant in that it was the first album that I had ever purchased with my own money. Up until that point in life, my money had gone to baseball cards. Soon after, with enough pestering, my Dad bought me my first keyboard (an Arp String Ensemble for those that care) and my passion for music had begun.

Twenty-six years later (holy heck, where did the time go?) this album still has a soft spot in my heart, though it's lost a little of it's luster because, well, let's face it; many of Genesis' albums are much better. Even so, I've purchased this album a total of four times now, the vinyl album, the cassette, the original CD and of course the extra extended remastered version released last year. As much as we give Genesis grief for going pop at this point in their career, "Mama" starts this album off the album with a stunning display of crossover worthy of Gazpacho. The drama begins with the slow gated drums and Tony Banks' ominous chords. Slowly Phil Collins builds the tension until the fateful scream, "But it's getting so hard." If that didn't leave a mark, the laughing immediately following give me a sense of drama worthy of Mr. Gabriel.

"That's All" is your basic blues tune, significant only as it was the song that I drug into my piano teacher in ninth grade as the song I wanted to learn.

"Home By the Sea" is a fantastic song; surprisingly enough, this and it's successor received a surprising amount of airplay on the local Pittsburgh rock station. The first half is a rocking song about a haunted house, a home by the sea if you will. "Second Home By the Sea" is a long form solo by Mr. Banks for the first half of the song. Pop or not, Mr. Banks can still construct a solo in which every note is in the right place; every patch is perfect for the song. At about the four minute mark, the song truly becomes spinetingling. The rhythm pounded out by Mr. Collins is augmented by a wire screeching sound effect by Mr. Banks that brings a full wall of sound bearing down on the listener like a chaotic freight train hurtling straight at you. In the midst of this, Mike Rutherford plays, what I think, are his most beautiful notes as he begins to pull the band out of the chaos and into the outro. Best song on the album. My only complaint is the drum sounds. I really prefer the sound of real drums over the cutting edge electronics of the eighties.

Admittedly, the second side of the album drops down a little from the first side. "Illegal Alien" is one of the more despised songs of Genesis' discography, up there with "whodunit" in some polls. Personally, I don't think it's all that bad. It's a poppy single, appropriate for the times. The humor in this song is a precursor for future releases.

"Taking It All Too Hard" is one of their more palatable ballads. "Just a Job to Do" is a light hearted rocker about assassination, complete with a nice, but repetitive bass line by Mr. Rutherford.

"Silver Rainbow" is a pretty good song though it suffers from the same drum sound as "Second Home By the Sea." Oh, and the lyrics leave a little to be desired at times, . . . "If you're sitting there beside her, and a bear comes in the room," yeah, cause that happens a lot. Just the other day, I was sitting there, talking to my wife, and in fact, a bear did come into the room. It was stuffed and being carried by my two year old. Come on guys, you couldn't come up with anything better than 'a bear walks in the room'? At least go with a horse, you should be able to get a joke out of that?a horse walks into the room and the bartender asks him, 'Why the long face?' Bears! Ok, I'm done now.

"It's Gonna Get Better" is a pretty good ballad, and ends the album nicely . . . without any bears.

All in all, Genesis' self titled album was an amazing album to an eleven year old kid that didn't understand sex, drugs and adopting your musical style to become popular and actually make enough money to retire comfortably. Now I at least understand two of the three (never got into drugs) and appreciate the album for what it is. Nostalgia brings this album up to three bears . . . I mean stars.

Roland113 | 3/5 |


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