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Genesis - Selling England By The Pound CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.64 | 4035 ratings

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3 stars Admittedly, Genesis is not my favorite Prog band and I can't get into them as much as Yes, ELP, or Jethro Tull, but "Selling England By The Pound" was an album I had to tackle. I wanted to be blown away, and I was in some parts and left hanging in others.

The album's beginning and concept overall reminds me a bit of "The Final Cut". Dancing with The Moonlit Knight enters with very beautiful piano only to be cut up a bit by Gabriel's strained voice and vocal patterns. Around 2.35 the song becomes fast-paced and very "Yes"-like; this goes on for a while. This really showcases Genesis' ability to rock out while maintaining a classical structure. Around 6.00 - There is a very melodic, slow and beautiful piece; very psychedelic, very baroque.

This movement continues for about two minutes and seeps into some dark, weirdness called "I Know What I Like", that eventually becomes a very upbeat, bouncy and very English tune. This has a bit of a modern Genesis feel to me.

Firth of Fifth is third song and it begins with a classic piano composition before entering into a descending rhythm that eventually carries itself out into a very monotone Gabriel vocal. Although parts of FoF are beautiful as something Yes would do (parts of 'Survival'), the flute piece is very moving and is, in my opinion, the best part of the song. The part that comes in around 16:49 is almost like an electric circus sound (imo) and very cool. A soaring, clear guitar solo eventually comes in carries the song into another realm of incredible. Firth is the best song on the album. It is an epic unto itself.

More Fool Me is sort of mix of beautiful and sleep-inducing until around 23:12 when a strumming guitar picks up the tempo for a bit, but overall the song just doesn't "do it" for me.

The Battle of Epping Forest starts like an Elf Battle Hymn (or something) and goes into a disjointed, driving chaos peppered with Gabriel's strains. Although the music is fantastic and changes up several times (similar to Yes), I just can't get into because of the vocal pattern and performance. This song is way to choppy for my taste as well.

After The Ordeal is probably the most baroque piece of music on the album and is very pastoral. It eventually picks up implementing all the musicians' talents. I really like the song and consider it the second best track on the album. It is an instrumental, so it truly allows the music to shine and it does. The music is tight, melodic, and out of this world. Spectacular.

Cinema Show is probably the best track to showcase Gabriel. Peter can sing if he wants to and this song is good example. Less strain, less monotone more singing, I feel like he really feels the emotion in this one. Super track.

The album ends with Aisle of Plenty. More lovely music, a mixture of gentle Gabriel and strained Gabriel. The music truly carries it into a celestial realm. Peter doesn't fall too flat on this one and it comes through pretty strong.

This album is very up and down, and each song seems to begin gently. A lot of beautiful, baroque music and Gabriel's voice either peppers the song or lessens its impact, imo. Genesis was so tight musically here that it is just a pleasure to listen to them, but Peter's voice is give or take. And the content and lyrics aren't as strong as the aforementioned "The Final Cut" (Floyd).

PinkYesGongMachine | 3/5 |


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