From The Beat, April 1998

Genesis
The NEC

Given how well Genesis have handled the loss of several key members over the years, and the fact that I'm a fan of virtually every resulting incarnation, it pains me to have to tell you that the best tracks performed by the latest, Phil Collins- free, line- up were the oldest, including: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and Carpet Crawlers (although the former had a lead guitar part the last time I heard it; it seemed that nobody could be bothered about that on this occasion).

Of the newest material, Calling All Stations was delivered as a weak impressions of Pink Floyd's recent weak impression of themselves and the aptly named There Must Be Some Other Way sounded like something rejected by Mike and The Mechanics on the grounds of its overwhelming dreariness. Such moments left me seriously wishing I had with me a decent book to read.

New vocalist Ray Wilson does have talent - he's no doubt a great Heavy Metal singer, even if his last band were best known for an instrumental passage used in an advert for jeans - but he just hasn't got the sensitivity to handle the intricacies of Genesis's varied musical legacy. He was better on the Gabriel era material mentioned above than either the lighter Collins songs, or, most curiously, those from his first album with Genesis. He talked repeatedly about his auditions for the band. God alone knows how unsuited the rest of the applicants must have been.

Andy Mabbett
Copyright 1998

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