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Genesis - Genesis CD (album) cover

GENESIS

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

2.76 | 1154 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ThulŽatan
Prog Reviewer
1 stars From 1983's 'Genesis' onwards, it becomes indefensible to label one of the ultimate bands of the 70s as progressive rock any longer. With this album the trio of Phil Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford present little more than shallow pop (i.e. simple and one-dimensional) music not all that far removed from Collins' typical solo work, and even then it is barely listenable pop music.

The intricate textures of old prog are gone, and this is a cleaner but hollow and less friendly quality of performance and production. The recently pioneered (by Phil) 'gated' drum machine is the defining sound of the album and does occasionally add a unique dose of force, but at other times can be quite lifeless and overly artificial. Lyrically, many tracks take on the subject matter of romance and relationships, something the music world didn't really need more of, especially from musicians capable of much more - 'That's All' and 'Taking It All Too Hard' are truly unremarkable, generic songs. 'Mama', a poor attempt at an image of dark and depraved sensual hunger, is just about bearable in its consistency, that is until Phil breaks out into the upper limits of his vocal range and in trying to sing hard just sounds strained and insincere. Even worse, there is 'Illegal Alien', a pointless laugh at the status of an immigrant with Phil singing in full Mexican character - cringeworthy. 'Just A Job To Do' is clearly an effort to make a whole song out of one guitar riff Mike Rutherford had, the result being an utterly incoherent, impotent frankenstein of half-baked ideas, and no discernable meaning to the lyrics. 'It's Gonna Get Better' smacks of the same problem, and while it aims to be an observation on the homeless, the stagnant 'funky' rhythm and Phil's obnoxious falsetto offer neither sympathy nor hope - the track title is self-fulfilling, though, since Genesis could hardly sound any worse than this.

For me, 'Genesis' earns one star for the vaguely progressive leanings of 'Home By The Sea/Second Home By The Sea', with its creepy and almost passionate portrait of an old house haunted by memories that wish to preserve themselves, but even this attempt is flawed by the inappropriate upbeat feel and the incongruity of the dramatic instrumental section. Banks also succeeds in conjuring up some beautifully atmospheric synth sounds here and there, such as at the start of 'Silver Rainbow' and 'It's Gonna Get Better', though these moments feature only briefly before being insulted and overrun by the awful bulk of those tracks. There's precious little to redeem this album, to make it stand out at all from the sea of standard trash.

More than just bad, this is among the worst recordings made by one-time kings, which is quite a feat alongside nightmares like Yes' '90125' or Mike Oldfield's 'Earth Moving'. Their making the album title eponymous can be taken as a firm re-establishing of the direction of the band Genesis, and it is a direction they best travel alone. The good news is that the CD makes a fine coaster (the vinyl, an even better frisbee). Absolutely for collectors only.

ThulŽatan | 1/5 |

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