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Genesis - Genesis CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.79 | 1247 ratings

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3 stars Now a full-blown hit-making machine thanks to the success of 1980's 'Duke' and it's rush-released follow-up 'Abacab', Genesis' eleventh studio effort finds the group inching even further away from their progressive rock roots. Instead, we have slick, bright, technologically-enhanced pop-rock from the remaining trio of Tony Banks(keyboards, vocals), Mike Rutherford(guitar, bass) and Phil Collins(drums, vocals). However, even though 1981's 'Abacab' proved something of a damp squibdespite the presence of a clutch of fine pop pieces - 'Keep It Dark', 'Man On The Corner' and the lengthy title-track spring to mind - this self-titled effort is actually something of an improvement. Featuring the trio's heaviest track so far in the shape of the pulsating, highly-charged and frankly rather mysterious opening gambit 'Mama', this is a surprisingly dark album peppered with occasional lighter moments. Utilising the same gated-drum reverb effect that was cunningly employed on both the creepy Peter Gabriel track 'Intruder' and Collins own 1981 mega-hit 'In The Air Tonight' after the duo stumbled across the effect during the sessions for Gabriel's third self-titled album from 1980(otherwise known by fans as 'Melt' or '3') 'Mama' is a truly intense six-minute opus that sounds quite unlike anything else the three-man version of Genesis have ever produced. What the song is actually about lyrics-wise is anyone's guess - some reckon the 'Mama' of the title is a prostitute(?) - but somehow it doesn't matter, such is the dynamic tone of the six-minute piece. The same ominous tone, albeit in a pacier guise, is also used to less enthralling effect on the still strangely enigmatic two-part suite 'Home By The Sea', a composition which hints ever so slightly back to their prog roots, but sadly mainstream-courting pop convention seems to conquer during the albums weaker and softer second side. Closing track 'It's Gonna Get Better' strains hard to give us a upbeat finale, with Rutherford's catchy guitar flexing an attractive melody, yet it isn't too long before Banks glutinous keyboards quickly coat everything in a glowing, sentimental mush, turning a catchy song about redemption into a pass-the-sickbag slice of sentimental gloop. The corking 'Mama' aside, this is very much a mainstream rock album featuring top-notch production values, but little soul. Enjoyable then, and after 'Duke' probably the defining statement from the three-man line-up, but in truth this is hardly essential unless you're a proper Genesis nut. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 3/5 |


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