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3.9 out of 5 stars63
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 1 May 2013
average album ,,a couple of good songs ,but,,,,if youre a phil era fan youre gonna love it ,i bought just to completa my collection and it was cheap ,i couldve lived without it but ,im a collecter so hmmm
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on 20 July 2010
I came a little late to Genesis so I heard the new material before I started to collect and listen to the old. There has been much debate about how Phil Collins sold the band out or made them more "populist". I don't buy that, its the sign of any good band that they continually evolve and discover new sounds. After all if they all just did the same album over and over it would be a bit dull. So I understand why they modernised the sound and left behind all that whimsy and frivolity. So did it work?

Well, that back catalogue is the biggest problem with this album. If you judge this against other releases of its time its no more than average. Some tracks are quite catchy but really it doesn't stand out. Then you look at the previous material, it had character and was distinctive. Not all was accessible but that magikal stuff worked, it was rich and quirky and the musicianship was first rate. It was always interesting.

This is not a good record. The title track stands out and merits the two stars. The rest, like its successor, is ordinary and only deserves attention because of the band's history. It is tempting to search for nuggets but most people only looked at this because it was a Genesis record. Sadly that modernisation took Genesis into blandland. Save the money and dip into the pre 1978 material- it has more depth and is far more rewarding.
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on 26 February 2014
Shows an eclectic mix of music style that may be not to everyone's taste but take it that it is well worth a visit.
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on 11 August 2006
As an avid fan of Genesis, I have struggled to give this album less than four stars, but am trying to take an objective view! Following through the recent albums up to this point, one can see a definate shift in agreements amongst the band, turning towards a more electronic sound. This is not necessarily a bad thing in itself, and was right for the time, as reflected in the fact that the album got to number 1.

Despite a couple of really dissapointing tracks, there are some gems here, such as Me And Sarah Jane, Dodo and Keep It Dark. The album is well worth getting for the quality that is here. Just skip the poorer tracks!!
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on 27 April 2009
Collecting the back catalogue of any band is probably a bad idea but you know how it is - you've got the really good ones already, you had this album x tears ago and you just have to spend those few extra pennies on this reminder of your youth.
So you buy Abacab. You get the the renowned title track that you already have anyway on the Greatest Hits collection you bought to kick off the memories. Then there are a few that you ho-hum along with as you remember them (Me and Sarah Jane, Man on the Corner). There has to be the obligatory Genesis execrable track (Who Dunnit? Why, for God's sake, why?). Then there is the odd gem that you had either forgotten you really liked first time around (Dodo), or that you discover with the benefit of hindsight is pretty good (Another Record).
Copy and paste the relevant parts of this review into And Then There Were Three, Duke, Genesis (gold bars) and We Can't Dance - just change the titles inside the brackets. For Genesis fans of a certain vintage only.
And how long can I resist getting Invisible Touch - I worry it's even more horrible than I remember it. But if the dead cert at 8/1 at Market Rasen comes in...
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on 29 April 2007
God the 80's were bad. This proves it, the noble beast that is Genesis, is dead in the water waiting to be beached with this poor album. After a while the pounding beat to this album becomes annoying. I lasted half way through the first track, the inane lyrics to some of the songs, pathetic! I will give you a track by track guide to the poorest Genesis album ever? I am guilty, as in the 80's I thought it was good, not great but good. Looking back? It doesn't bode well.

1.Abacab: Good single, punchy beat. Good when heard once in a while.

2.No Reply At All: Drums everywhere, short blaring horns. Irritating. Lyrics and the vocal are the best thing.

3.Me And Sarah Jane: One Of the tracks that stand out above the rest. Great voice Phil. What emotion.

4.Keep It Dark: Don't mind this, surprise? Drum lead song. Again played once in a long while, it is nice to hear again. I wish I could really tell you.....

5.a.DoDo: Ok

5.b.Lurker: Meanwhile lurking by a stone in the mud! When is someone going to tell Mr Collins that voice he is using on this is not smart or Clever. {used later on I can't Dance}

6.Who Dunnit?: YOU DID. You are all guilty Banks/Collins/Rutherford.

7.Man On The Corner: Brilliant. Best song thanks to Mr Collins.

8.Like It Or Not:Big production, but not really much there.

9.Another Record: That's an idea, I will put another record on.

Overall. Why 3 stars and not 2 or 1? It's Genesis, you have to forgive them and two really great songs. This album should be bought, if you are a true Genesis fan. But should be only very rarely played, make sure nobody is around. Then when you are reminded how bad it is? Then quickly but it back and say now't!!!
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I must be honest and say that I have struggled to like this album.

I come to Abacab having listened to Genesis' entire studio album output in chronological order. Michael Rutherford has described their output as being on a kind of continuum. It therefore has more in common with Duke and And Then There Were Three than, say, Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot. Funnily, listening to Nursery Cryme immediately after listening to this and not liking it, I found that Nursery Cryme sounded just a little 'twee' (btw I really love that album normally).

My initial feelings about Abacab was that it was a bit of a stinker. Indeed, much of the time it does not sound like a Genesis album at all. i was prepared to consider it a blip because I think that Genesis (the yellow shapes album) and Invisible Touch are both much stronger albums. I have read that Genesis were consciously trying not sound like Genesis and were adopting a more contemporary style with influences of XTC and The Police.

So, while I was thinking it did not sound like Genesis, I was still impressed by the sheer professionalism and skill and imagination that the band brings to every song. Even though it is more pop than prog, it is still far more sophisticated than most popular music.

I have listened to it numerous times and now consider that it is a genuine Genesis album and whatever they are trying to do here, they cannot completely mask their basic sound for very long.

For me there are a number of very strong songs here. I think No Reply at All with its use of a horn section (a first for Genesis) is an excellent up tempo song and I like Me and Sarah Jane. They both seem to reflect Phil Collins' influence of Tamla Motown. Abacab (the song) is a great opening song but not that memorable. I found the strange opening riff in Keep it Dark a bit annoying but the song isn't bad.

Later on there are a few below par songs.Dodo starts well and then segues into the embarrassing Lurker. This is followed by the excruciating, XTC influenced Who Dunnit? These songs had me despairing but then the last three songs, Man on the Corner, Like it or Not a Another Record redeem the experience.

Man on the Corner came as a pleasant surprise. I had become so used to hearing the rich symphonic sounds that Genesis had developed in the previous three albums and was suprised to hear such a pared down and heartfelt song. Like it or Not is also a very strong song and in some ways would have been an excellent song to end the album on a nice high. Another Record is not quite such a strong song, but it is enjoyable in its own right.

To sum up. I would not recommend any newbie to listen to this album if they don't know any other Genesis but I would still say it is worthwhile.
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on 7 September 2013
Just have to say that I have been a SACD fan for years. Love how in 5.1 (or multichannel) makes the mix alive. This is the first (and NOT the last) Genesis SACD I will be purchasing. These are not available here in the states. What they offer is DVD/CD reissues. DVD meaning Dolby Digital and DTS sound and NOT the higher 96/24 lossless audio that DVD-Audio can handle. These DVD (audio only) states they are 96/24, but are so flat and disappointing to listen to in surround sound since I am aware how awesome multichannel audio discs can sound. Have been wishing that somewhere these mixes from Genesis would appear on a higher resolution format than plain DVD (how embarrassing)can offer. After looking and reading reviews, I took the risk and bought Abacab on SACD/DVD.
My God, how open and terrific this music sounds!! Genesis' music comes alive on this SACD in multichannel surround sound! I have never heard this recording sound so amazing. There is an air and atmosphere one must experience on the SACD layer. I am so excited that I just ordered the SACD/DVD box set (of their last recordings) and I cannot wait to hear how amazing these recordings are. Why are these SACDs not available to fans in the states? Why do we get crap and other countries get the best?
This SACD of Abacab has become my favorite (out of the forty rock SACDs I own). Every track is rich in bass (finally) and fills every speaker with great music! I miss the SACD format and was sad to see it fade away so fast here in the states. I know I will cherish my library and make sure I keep a SACD player handy (my Oppo BDP-103 does an amazing job, along with region free blu ray playing).
Once you experience Genesis on SACD, you will be quick to chunk your old CDs. You will never be able to listen once you heard them on SACD. My ears are smiling!!
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on 28 May 2008
What do you know, just when you think it's safe to buy a Genesis album, they throw this curve ball. Duke really helped redefine the band whilst still retaining the elements we all knew and loved so, I guess we expected more of the same.
But, you know the fact that Genesis came out with this is one of the things I really like about it. It was SO unexpected, so 'outside of the box' for them.
Try to imagine what a shock this was to the average fan back in the 80s. The lyrics on the title track were nonsense (but then weren't alot of earlier lyrics - be honest - fun, but silly much of the time), leaving us, in our desperation to attach meaning to it, to discuss the title as a reference to the song structure and thus compete over who had paid attention more in music theory lessons.
This album was so different for them that it's impossible, if not pointless, to compare it to anything that had gone before. They still sounded like a band, just a different one. Naturally, people began blaming the evil Phil collins whose sole aim in life was, obviously, to destroy Genesis and all it stood for.
Sucks to them, say I. There's alot in this album's favour; the wonderful dottiness of Abacab, the strange but funky 'Keep it Dark' and the wonderful 'Me and Sarah Jane' to name but three. Dodo, whilst a nod to the past never really gets off the ground (HA!). The one real howler on the album is Whodunnit?. Execrable.
Sonically this was a departure from their previous sound and yet it was firmly rooted in their past. How? Tony Bank's keyboards. As ever they are to the fore, and, as ever, they show a player embracing new technology and using it well.
So, I like the uniqueness (within the Genesis canon) of this disc, the sound (really!) and the accompanying sly humour. This sounds like a band having fun and, for my money, it works on the whole. 4 stars? There are some great songs on here but mostly for being the most 'out there' and unexpected Genesis album.
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on 17 July 2013
The first track - Abacab, is very catchy. Others are more 'progressive'. Perhaps I will need to listen to them more to get used to them.
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