Classic Rock Review

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Genesis Genesis (1983)


With 1981’s Abacab, Genesis had shed most of their progressive sensibilities, becoming more and more acquainted with commercial success. Banks, Collins and Rutherford released their self-titled follow-up two years later, which, after a period of divided songwriting in the post-Gabriel years, credited all songs to the collective trio. Though it can hardly be considered fine taste for any prog rock connoisseur, Genesis does come out slightly stronger than its predecessor.

Opener Mama runs on little more than a heavy drum machine and eerie synthesizer, Collins moving in and out of the mix with desperation-laden vocals. It’s a fairly un-poppy way to start, building definite potential, but the happily bouncing melody of That’s All is worlds apart, creating a staggering contrast between the record’s first two tracks; too many songs tend to go off into entirely different directions.

There are the obligatory ballad inclusions, of course (Taking It All Too Hard), along with a mix of material that’s not as serious-minded. The latter category ranges from pretty entertaining (Just a Job to Do) to just plain silly (Illegal Alien). The most ‘progressive’ piece is Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea. Part one throws more classic pop hooks into action, and good ones at that, whereas part two provides the much-needed instrumental stretch. A great suite, but admittedly one that cannot live up to similar compositions on Duke.

Even if they were on their way to recording a masterful pop album in 1986, Genesis hadn’t really been able to regain their footing at this point. The group’s 12th LP is decent at best, again lacking a real sense of direction. Despite a few memorable tunes, it is unworthy of its title.

March 21, 2013 - Posted by | Genesis Genesis |

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