The Road Of Genesis - Part III

Written by: AndMetalForAll
Published: 20.10.2012
Abacab - 1981

Rating: 7/10

Abacab's Artwork

Abacab is a pop/rock album released one after the great Duke. In this album Genesis confirms the commercial direction the band was choosing since Wind & Wuthering, and it contains almost no progressive influence, although "Dodo/Lurker" has a great technical side with some great instrumental parts, making it one of the best songs in the entire album. Like I said above it's clearly a pop/rock album more friendly to radio air time and once again Tony Banks has a main role instrumentally. In fact, this album contains only two songs that are worthy of the hard-rock or progressive categories, "Abacab" and "Dodo/Lurker"; "No Reply at All" is one of their most recognized hits of the 80's but to me becomes a bit repetitive; "Man on the Corner" is a melodramatic track with a depressive tune; "Me and Sarah Jane" had a reggae beat which was completely uncommon until that time, Genesis hadn't ever done something like putting in the same album so many different styles like reggae, art rock, and hard-rock. All in all it's a good album but isn't one of my favorites at all. It has a commercial direction that I admire a lot in the band but it isn't their best record in this musical direction that the band carried out playing throughout the 80's. Highlights: "Abacab", "Dodo/Lurker", "Like It or Not".



Genesis - 1983

Rating: 8/10

Genesis's Artwork

This one isn't one of their most consistent albums at all. The first four tracks are truly amazing and give "signs" of an epic album. There are definitely good songs, mainly in the "Home by the Sea" there is still a shred of progressive rock in the song, it's a 10 minute track about a burglar who breaks into a house only to find it is a haunted prison. "Home by the Sea" still has a fantasy side typical of earlier Genesis, with a fragrance of late 70's; "Mama" is about a man's obsession for a prostitute, it contains a heavy instrumental with a recognizable harsh drum piece and it's by far one of the most intense tracks ever made by Genesis; "That's All" is a different ballad, a different version of what Genesis ballads used to be, very intense and profound, "That's All" has a more friendly approach instrumentally with a funky "piano riff". From "Illegal Alien" onwards the album assumes a more common course, much more radio friendly and nothing really extraordinary, with good songs but clearly lesser in quality than the first four. Instrumentally, the album gains a lot because of the first four tracks but loses with the rest of the record, it doesn't contain any complexity, something the group were accustomed to even after Peter Gabriel's departure. Highlights: "Mama", "That's All", "Home by the Sea", "Silver Rainbow".

Invisible Touch - 1986

Rating: 9.5/10

Invisible Touch's Artwork

It's very close to perfection! Invisible Touch has everything a Genesis fan could desire. Every song on the album is a hit, either in live shows or radio air time. Even someone that isn't a fan of the band can recognize a lot of their hits, mainly from this 1986 album. It has every element that put Genesis in the top level of the world of music. It has melody, sadness and depressive tunes with tracks like "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", "In Too Deep", "Throwing It All Away"; radio friendly tracks like "Land of Confusion", "Anything She Does", "Invisible Touch", and contains, in my opinion, progressive orientation with track such as "Domino" and "The Brazilian" which both have some spectacular instrumental pieces. Invisible Touch is able to mix ballad tracks with pop/rock hits with great effectiveness and never gets boring. The 10 minute track "Domino" is a true 70's epic, I really like this one; "The Brazilian" features experimental sounds and effects with predominance for Phil's drums. This 1986 epic record is very consistent with a great band performance all together, their live shows became more diverse with progressive and exquisite instrumental tracks, but also, with more popular and radio friendly tracks. The album production is quite good and lyrically the band has their most competent and fulfilling work in the 80's. All in all, the thirteenth studio album contains, in my view, the necessary elements that attract fans from different generations, from early 70's to the 80's. Invisible Touch is different from the albums that were composed by other bands at the time, it has something new, it's a new breeze of true artistic rock music. It's very close to perfection, it lacks more progressive, conceptual and technical orientation like the 1974 and 1976 records had, but this 1986 album is definitely a must-have record and a true epic with outstanding compositions. Highlights: "Invisible Touch", "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", "Land of Confusion", "In Too Deep", "Domino", "Throwing It All Away", "The Brazilian".

We Can't Dance - 1991

Rating: 7.5/10

We Can't Dance's Artwork

It's one of the lengthiest titles composed by Genesis, over 70 minutes of pop/rock, ballads and strong emotional tunes and two songs with over 10 minutes trying to imitate the old epics, without really hitting the perfection of the old days. We Can't Dance is the final album featuring vocalist/drummer Phil Collins, who would leave Genesis in 1996 to focus on his solo work. I consider this album a great effort, it has some great moments with the opening track "No Son of Mine" a deep, strong emotional tune about a broken family; "Jesus He Knows Me" is one of the most known hits of the band, it's a really serious approach about the religious exploration some people suffered, at the time, in the US; "I Can't Dance" is the album's biggest hit alongside "Jesus He Knows Me", in my view a good track but becomes instrumentally way too repetitive and in terms of arrangement isn't anything special; "Hold on My Heart", a typical love ballad with lot of Phil Collins in it, also to note, "Never a Time" is the epitome of soft rock, in my view, another Phil Collins type of song. Like I said above, "Driving the Last Spike" about the railroad workers of the 19th century, many of whom died constructing Britain's railways, and "Fading Lights" are the longest tracks on the record, both songs can't reach the "epic" status, still, both songs contain good instrumental moments. "Fading Lights" starts very emotional and melodramatic and then rises to something more of a technical showdown (musically the heaviest moment of the album and the most similar to the great epics) finishing with a much softer and emotional message just like it started. It's a good album, it doesn't have the complexity of Duke (1980) or the magic of Invisible Touch (1986) but it is still a very credible record that any fan can enjoy. Highlights: "No Son of Mine", "Jesus He Knows Me", "I Can't Dance", "Hold on My Heart", "Never a Time", "Fading Lights".

Calling All Stations - 1997

Rating: 6.5/10

Calling All Stations's Artwork

Calling All Stations is the band's fifteenth and last studio album, it was released after the departure of vocalist/drummer Phil Collins. This album was a surprise because most fans thought that without Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford would terminate the band but they decided to preserve it. The ending result is nothing more than a Mike + The Mechanics album rather than a Genesis album. Ray Wilson (former Stiltskin vocalist) was the chosen one to replace the "legendary shoes" of Phil Collins. Calling All Stations is soulless and drags itself with tracks over 6 or 7 minutes. It's also one of the band's lengthiest albums at over 60 minutes. Ray Wilson's performance is actually quite good; he is intent to show a different face of Genesis, with a more neo-progressive direction. Instrumentally it has some good moments, "Calling All Stations" has a great arrangement a pretty good heavy sound making it the best track on the album; "The Dividing Line" is a great piece of instrumental work with drummer Nir Zidkyahu as main performer; tracks like "There Must Be Some Other Way" and "One Man's Fool" try, unsuccessfully, to emulate the longest tracks of the previous album. This isn't a Genesis album; it's more of an art rock band that is releasing their first album. It shows, sometimes, a bit of immaturity with very long tracks that bore the listener right to the end. The emotion doesn't exist, there's no intention of creating something as good as the 70's or 80's albums. It feels like an experimental work that failed. Highlights: "Calling All Stations", "Alien Afternoon", "Not About Us", "The Dividing Line", "There Must Be Some Other Way".



This is only a brief discography review of one of the top bands in the world of music: Genesis. Some of the albums deserved a more specific approach that wasn't given thanks to the brevity necessary to these types of reviews. Still I think the three-part article shows my opinion about all of their studio albums with effectiveness and quickness. Genesis is one of the most versatile acts ever. The band went through different styles; personally I like both 70's and 80's since both eras are filled with masterpieces that inspire different generations of musicians.


 
Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.




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AndMetalForAll - 23.10.2012 at 00:52  
Bad English - 26.10.2012 at 00:09  
Part what I know less, from this period, I might hear something but one song came in my mind due MTV ... parody video
I can dance

EDDIT Abacap was my 1th song from band what i remeber and 1th when I re discover music
JohnDoe - 30.10.2012 at 10:06  
Wow, such a high rating for Invisible Touch, I have rarely seen that; to me it is their worst album, there are only 2 really good songs: Domino and Land of Confusion. We Can't Dance was so much better than IT.
Abacab was weak as well, 3 songs stand out - Dodo/Lurker, Me and Sarah Jane and Keep it Dark. The title track sounds nice live though.
AndMetalForAll - 30.10.2012 at 14:52  
I don't agree with you at all, Invisible Touch it's definitely one of their best and their best of the 80's, in my opinion. We Can't Dance it's a good album, but I think 7.5 it's an accurate score.
But maybe your opinion of IT is like that, because it's one of the bands most underrated albums. Although lot of people like this album, many critics don't give it too much importance. I think as you can read above, it's one of closest to the 10 score.
JohnDoe - 30.10.2012 at 16:22  
Written by AndMetalForAll on 30.10.2012 at 14:52

I don't agree with you at all, Invisible Touch it's definitely one of their best and their best of the 80's, in my opinion. We Can't Dance it's a good album, but I think 7.5 it's an accurate score.
But maybe your opinion of IT is like that, because it's one of the bands most underrated albums. Although lot of people like this album, many critics don't give it too much importance. I think as you can read above, it's one of closest to the 10 score.


Surely everyone is entitled to an opinion, obviously I just disagree to yours, that's all. I even own IT , but I rarely listen to it, it's too poppy for my taste, the only solid song for me is Domino. It's not as good as Home By the Sea, but still it's a great song. I also love Land of Confusion, like I said before.

IT uderrated? It was one of the bands best selling albums and the tour that came with it was sold out arenas; now how was this underrated?!

Their best 80s album is Duke and then the selftitled '83 album.
AndMetalForAll - 30.10.2012 at 16:58  
Written by JohnDoe on 30.10.2012 at 16:22

Written by AndMetalForAll on 30.10.2012 at 14:52

I don't agree with you at all, Invisible Touch it's definitely one of their best and their best of the 80's, in my opinion. We Can't Dance it's a good album, but I think 7.5 it's an accurate score.
But maybe your opinion of IT is like that, because it's one of the bands most underrated albums. Although lot of people like this album, many critics don't give it too much importance. I think as you can read above, it's one of closest to the 10 score.


Surely everyone is entitled to an opinion, obviously I just disagree to yours, that's all. I even own IT , but I rarely listen to it, it's too poppy for my taste, the only solid song for me is Domino. It's not as good as Home By the Sea, but still it's a great song. I also love Land of Confusion, like I said before.

IT uderrated? It was one of the bands best selling albums and the tour that came with it was sold out arenas; now how was this underrated?!

Their best 80s album is Duke and then the selftitled '83 album.


Underrated by many critics, there's more bad reviews than good reviews both professional or amateur. That's what I meant...

But Genesis is one of the few bands that was able to change style from 70's to 80's and still stay on top. Not very bands can say that.. Independently of the diference of opinions in albums, I think we can agree on that..lol.
JohnDoe - 30.10.2012 at 17:07  
Quote:
Quote:


Underrated by many critics, there's more bad reviews than good reviews both professional or amateur. That's what I meant...

But Genesis is one of the few bands that was able to change style from 70's to 80's and still stay on top. Not very bands can say that.. Independently of the diference of opinions in albums, I think we can agree on that..lol.


Well, even I wrote negative reviews for IT and Abacab on a prog site but in the '80s, the album was a huge success.

Their switch from progressive to pop-rock alienated a lot of their initial fans and that's no surprise. MTV embraced them and luckily they found a pop audience. That is also due to Phil Collins' success as a solo artist.
Ilham - 24.05.2014 at 19:48  
Wow, it's a bit of an epic article, if you mash the three parts together. I confess I skipped some parts, but it's a very interesting read. Kudos. I have Invisible Touch playing right now because of you. I had to stop watching a very important video of a cute kitten for that.
AndMetalForAll - 29.05.2014 at 00:24  
Thanks for the response ArsMilitaria. Epic article for an epic band

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