This might be Genesis' most poppy album of all, even if it doesn't seem like it's going to be that way at first. The sinister "Mama" which opens the set - complete with Phil Collins' evil laughs - is a dark brooding piece that is remarkably effective, and it's full credit to the band that they somehow managed to get a hit out of it.
However, what comes immediately after that is the straightforward streamlined pop of "That's All", and that pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album, despite the double dose of "Home by the Sea" and "Second Home by the Sea", which does see the band dabbling in touches of their old progressive rock style a bit.
The album's second half is back to pop basics, and there's fun from "Illegal Alien", and an easy-going vibe with "Taking It All Too Hard". But for me, the best song on the whole album is "Silver Rainbow" - from its strong percussion to its haunting chorus, it remains one of my all time favourite Genesis songs.
(the reason the album was self-titled was reportedly because all three band members were credited on all the songs) is a definite improvement over their previous Abacab
, and also preferable to most of Collins' solo career. The man himself has never sounded better behind the microphone, and the production - also by the band - is beautiful.
The overall result, while hardly a classic, is a fine piece of work which does not need to be derided by those who only want to stick with Genesis' days of true 1970's-style progressive rock. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor