Genesis
Abacab


2.5
average

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
June 19th, 2012 | 21 replies


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Genesis cut loose their roots and fall.

In spite of prog rock’s dwindling relevancy, things were definitely looking up for Genesis at the start of the 1980’s. Duke remains one of the few fine examples of a prog-gone-pop record done right, combining upbeat melodies and catchy choruses with the adventurous spirit of progressive music. It did what had to be done, namely reforming a sound that just wasn’t right for the times anymore. The band were initially wise to adapt to this new sort of fashion, but when they released Abacab a year later, their credibility became a lot more questionable.

Apparently, the trio did not intend to continue where their previous LP had left them, discarding a number of compositions meant for its follow-up that they felt sounded too familiar. In taking further distance from the remains of classic Genesis, Abacab couldn’t have done a better job. The album’s 'bold' experimentation does indeed deliver some different tunes, but in the attempt to introduce their audience to another face, Banks, Collins and Rutherford lose too much of what they were.

The 7-minute title track is one of the few occasions during which the record at least attempts to keep things a little progressive. While it succeeds in creating a punchy enough opening, the charm tends to wear off eventually: the revolving assault of synthesizers, guitar hook and chorus is far too simplistic to be allowed this level of repetition. Dodo/Lurker is the other epic that Abacab has in store, featuring some great organ portions but coming across as messy overall, especially in Collins’ odd vocal contributions. Although it seemed that he’d found out how to best work the limited range of his voice on Duke, he strays a little here; his varying accents on Who Dunnit? also fail to make an impression.

No Reply at All puts Earth, Wind & Fire’s horn section to use, while Me and Sarah Jane employs a reggae rhythm, both showing new influences within those straight-up pop songs. Not all of the material is equally distinguishable however, and even the melancholic ballad Man on the Corner, though a relatively strong point on the album, feels inferior to similar outings in the band’s older work.

Abacab was an unfortunate entry into Genesis’ catalogue, even more so when considering how well the trio had at first adapted themselves to evolving musical trends. It remains one of the group’s weakest and most inconsistent albums, providing virtually nothing of note in the progressive field and not exactly too much in the form of great pop songs.

Genesis Mark V:

Tony Banks – Keyboards
Phil Collins – Vocals, Drums, Percussion
Mike Rutherford – Bass, Guitars

Highlights:

Abacab
No Reply at All
Me and Sarah Jane




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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
June 19th 2012


8301 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, first meh Genesis.

KILL7
June 19th 2012


91 Comments


hahah another record

JAXETA
June 19th 2012


787 Comments


first meh? lol

TheNotrap
June 19th 2012


8127 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Excellent review Nag, I agree with everything said.

Well probably this album don't objectively deserve my 3.5 rating but Abacab or Dodo/Lurker are still very enjoyable.

Have a pos.

Digging: Pink Floyd - The Endless River

KILL7
June 19th 2012


91 Comments


who dunnit?

Nagrarok
June 19th 2012


8301 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks Notrap. Also congrats on the victory against us and making it to the quarter-finals.

TheNotrap
June 19th 2012


8127 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I totally forgot you're Dutch. Thanks.

Well Netherlands also had their chances, epic match.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012


7318 Comments


Hey, "Nagrarok" means "auto-pos" in Dutch right?

Kthxbai =)

Digging: Portishead - Dummy

Nagrarok
June 19th 2012


8301 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well Netherlands also had their chances, epic match.


Our team has been dissapointing in all three matches, a massive blow to the Dutch football reputation. We ended up in about the worst group imaginable, but still. I was happy to see Van der Vaart score though.

Thanks Irving ;)

Killerhit
June 19th 2012


5254 Comments


Damn Nag

Your mama has to be proud. Auto-pos

Ballz3D
June 19th 2012


552 Comments


Totally agree with most of your points. This album is kinda all over the place, but I kinda dig it anyways. Great review though.

Jethro42
June 19th 2012


12553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ah! Here comes the Abacab one. Nice! I'm gonna read it in a few minutes.
edit; oh I was sure I gave this a 3.5, oh well...

MyWife
June 19th 2012


367 Comments


fuck yea another genesis review nagrarok4staff

Jethro42
June 19th 2012


12553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nicely done, Nag. I agree with everything you said about it, even if your rating looks a bit harsh to me. Like I've said before, I wonder what Genesis would sound like if Hackett was still there. Man!...
I also agree with your highlights selection although Dodo/Lurker is missing.

Nagrarok
June 19th 2012


8301 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Cheers Jethro, really don't like this one too much. Prefer Invisible Touch from their pop days ;)

Thanks all.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2012


21455 Comments


Great reivew Nag.

Haven't listened to this one and I don't really intend to any time soon.

Ballz3D
June 19th 2012


552 Comments


It doesn't suck. It does have their worst song, Who Dunnit?, but there are some decent songs here such as Abacab, Dodo/Lurker, No Reply at All, and even Man on the Corner. Not as good as their previous works, but it definitely doesn't suck.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012


7318 Comments


Dear Nag,

As you have no doubt been informed, this was another solid review. However, have you thought about putting in an application for a spot on the Contributor board this year? Your talents could be well utilized in terms of helping the site cover new and fresh releases (alongside improving our database when it comes to older albums as well).

Love,
The SputnikMusic Community.

PS - Shame about Holland at the Euros.

Jethro42
June 19th 2012


12553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Have you guys even heard Me and Sarah Jane from the Three Sides Live album? That rendition slays the studio one.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2012


1917 Comments


The only genesis album I haven't yet listened to, but just out of curiosity I will at some point in the future. I think Genesis lost what made them so unique in the 70's ever since 'Duke'...

Digging: Obliterations - Poison Everything



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