We Can't Dance by Genesis

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We Can't Dance by Genesis
We Can't Dance by Genesis

Album Released: 1991

We Can

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1.No Son Of Mine6:39
2.Jesus He Knows Me4:16
3.Driving The Last Spike10:08
4.I Can't Dance4:01
5.Never A Time3:50
6.Dreaming While You Sleep7:16
7.Tell Me Why4:58
8.Living Forever5:41
9.Hold On My Heart4:38
10.Way Of The World5:38
11.Since I Lost You4:09
12.Fading Lights10:16


Really - since the departure of Peter Gabriel - the only thing the Genesis catalogue has been good for is for illustrating The Law of Diminishing Returns.

For whilst the first couple of post-Gabriel albums - A Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering - were pretty good, every release thereafter has seen a progressive deterioration in the quality of the band's material.

And sure enough - We Can't Dance, being the band's last studio album proper - stays true to form, by turning out to be the nadir of their output as well. But the single most aggravating factor about this album - quite apart from the unrelenting mediocrity of the material - is its sheer length, running as it does in excess of 70 minutes. If ever there was a case of quantity over quality, then this album would be it.

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by Reviewer: bluemoon

This was Genesis' first album in five years, and the last with Phil Collins. Indeed, it was the last that most people seem to know about.

We Can't Dance covers such topics as a broken father-son relationship ("No Son of Mine"), a then-fashionable attack on crooked tele-evangelists ("Jesus He Knows Me"), poverty ("Tell Me Why") and the anguish of a hit-and-run culprit ("Dreaming While You Sleep"), between standard love songs.

Overall, it's good, but a bit bland at times, a fact that's made worse by the overlength of the record - "Driving the Last Spike" and "Fading Lights" really didn't have to be anywhere near the 10-minute mark.

After this, Collins left the band to concentrate on his solo career (which had already been in action for a number of uninspiring years, and was just going to get worse), while Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks eventually returned with new singer Ray Wilson and the rather underrated album Calling All Stations.

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by Reviewer: The Doctor

Phil Collins and I have something in common besides male pattern baldness - I can't dance either. It seems Collins also likes to make fun of televangelists by saying Jaeeesus a lot, that's another trait we share. This has me wondering could Phil Collins and I possibly be related? I'm just gonna assume 'yes'.

Alright Uncle Phil, I've got something to say to you. I'm getting just a wee bit tired of your pop-Genesis shenanigans. This album is like you only cared about making a handful of radio-friendly hits, then just halfheartedly knocked off the rest. But then, why care about the rest of the album - people are going to buy it anyway for the hits, right? Apparently Tony Banks and Michael Rutherford are still members of the band and so technically it's a shared responsibility. But I'll bet you the remainder of hair left dangling from my scalp, this album was mostly your baby.

Perhaps it's not fair to say that most of We Can't Dance is throwaway, since it is a l-o-n-g album, clocking in at a massive 72 minutes. If Genesis were indeed being lazy, they probably would've just topped it up to 40 minutes beyond the obligatory hits and then called it a day. It would've been a more succinct album, and thus improved! As it stands however, We Can't Dance is one of the most boring albums I have in my esteemed collection (there's about one person jealous of my record collection. That's good enough to call it 'esteemed').

Still, this album does have three great hits on it. My favorite is easily “Jesus He Knows Me”, an extremely catchy driving popsong. Whilst I wouldn't give many compliments to the instrumentation, being quite ordinary early 90's Adult Contemporary, wow! that's a fun song to listen to. The video makes it even better (Phil Collins is funny). “No Son of Mine” is a passionate and soaring power-ballad that's so good it makes me want to crank up the volume. It's a serious song and therefore quite similar to Collins' solo material, and a pretty good showcase of how good he could be (if you're even willing to entertain such a notion).

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by Reviewer: Don Ignacio (blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews)

After a five-year hiatus, Genesis makes a way-too-long album with way-too-long songs.

The album's good part is in the three great pop tunes - the hit "I Can't Dance", "No Son of Mine" (about an abusive father), and the televangelist rant "Jesus He Knows Me".

The rest ranges from decent - as is the case with "Never a Time", and maybe "Way of the World" - to mind-numbingly dull, like "Driving the Last Spike", "Fading Lights", and "Tell Me Why".

After this, Collins realized he didn't need the other two guys and left the band.

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by Reviewer: Cole Reviews

Did I want 71 minutes of Genesis music in 1992 ..? Not really, I'd already suffered through Collins releasing his odious But Seriously album.

We Can't Dance has a couple of things going for it though, and a couple of good Collins performances, though the 10-minute "Driving the Last Spike" - surely a sop for the band's former prog fans - isn't one of them. I could imagine it being sung by Peter Gabriel though, but even then it would've still been a dog of an uninteresting song.

Another such moment is "Fading Lights", yet another unwanted 10-minute epic, that starts out like a standard Collins ballad, that the band then pad out mercilessly, until the whole thing drives you into an early grave.

Still, Genesis pop fans were served by filler tracks such as "Hold On My Heart", a love song for the middle-aged. And much better of course is the undeniably good "No Son of Mine", very likely the best Genesis song since Abacab's title track.

But then on the other hand there's this album's title track. It was a huge hit, though I'm not sure why ... well, I guess it was the little thing it had going on with its attempt at a groove, though the lyrics destroy the song eventually - I can't dance, I can't sing - a certain section of Genesis fans had been saying that to Collins ever since Gabriel left to embark on a solo career.

I really like "Jesus He Knows Me" though, the track has an energy that belies the band's then combined age of four hundred and six.

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by Reviewer: Adrian Denning (blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews)