also by Genesis:
Their final album before they became mainly pop mongers. I'm quite fond of bits of "Duke", and not just by comparison with the dire "Abacab". Some of the four-square soft rock on this I can take or leave, but it has a clarity and confidence that was sometimes lacking in the muddy "And Then There Were Three". It's relatively long, and sags in places, (such as "Heathaze", "Cul-De-Sac") but there's some colour amongst the greyer patches.
As the stand-out track I'd pick the broad, sweeping "Duchess". Those missing the rock-out band-play of the "Trick of the Tail" era might also enjoy the energetic opener "Behind the Lines" and the instrumental outro Duke's Travels / Duke's End. Although this jam rambles on a bit, as if Duke got lost. There seems to be something (or, more likely, somebody, a certain guitarist) missing.
The played-to-death hit "Turn It On Again" might have inspired a thousand obvious jokes, but I grudgingly admit its tune and one-note bassline are decent. However wet-lettuce stuff like "Misunderstanding" and "Alone Tonight" are a waste of time. On the other hand, "Please Don't Ask" is the best of these Collins-dominated ballads, a poignantly personal piece of divorce therapy.
July 24, 2004