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also by Genesis:
An album of extremes, containing possibly Genesis's best and worst songs. "Mama" is up to the standard of anything they did in the 1970s, an electrically powerful piece, full of raw energy. In particular, I'm not ashamed to say it's a great vocal performance by Phil Collins. "That's All" is a tricksy little electric-piano backed tune, but the lesser-known "Home by the Sea" is their great single that never was. It's no less straightforward but better than most of the huge hits they had on "Invisible Touch", with a sweepingly broad verse and chorus. The "Second Home by the Sea", a fairly entertaining instrumental jam, concludes with a reprise of the chorus from part one to keep proggers happy.
Then they go and muck it all up with the second side. "Silver Rainbow" is passably good, but the rest of it is drippy ballads or routine pop plodders. The pits of the bunch is "Illegal Alien", one of the worst songs of the 1980s. It's cringes all around as Phil puts on a comedy foreigner accent, but it's not funny and not a remotely good tune.
July 29, 2004