Calling All Stations by Genesis

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Calling All Stations by Genesis
Calling All Stations by Genesis

Album Released: 1997

Calling All Stations ::: Artwork

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1.Calling All Stations5:43
2.Congo4:52
3.Shipwrecked4:23
4.Alien Afternoon7:53
5.Not About Us4:39
6.If That's What You Need5:12
7.The Dividing Line7:44
8.Uncertain Weather5:29
9.Small Talk5:02
10.There Must Be Some Other Way7:55
11.One Man's Fool8:47

Reviews

After Phil Collins announced his departure from Genesis in 1996, it left the two remaining members with the keys to the parents' van. When they set out to find a quick replacement singer, they settled on 30-year-old Ray Wilson, the lead singer for a grunge band called Stiltskin. Then they composed about one million hours worth of dark, depressing, boring music and put it on this album (alright, Calling All Stations is a 'mere' 67 minutes long, but what a boring, boring, boring monstrosity).

The album also sounds curiously like one of Peter Gabriel's solo albums, except it sucks. Could Banks and Rutherford have been secretly bitter at Gabriel for not taking them with him?

Probably the best song is “Congo”, which is directly out of Gabriel's Security. The world-beat rhythms lend the song an actual texture, whereas most of the other songs rely merely on Banks' cloudy synthesizer tones. The chorus is also pretty decent whenever it comes up, though that also begs me to bring up the point that nothing about the song, or any other song on this album, sounds like it's from 1997. The synthesizers, bass-synths, and reverb-heavy drum machines have mid-80's written all over them. If these songs were well-written, I might not have cared about such datedness, but unfortunately they're so awful there's nothing left but call them embarrassments.

If you want to hear one of the worst ballads in the world, then look no further than “If That's What You Need”. Hilariously enough, it steals the same bubbly guitar texture from “Hold On My Heart” from We Can't Dance, and makes even worse use of it. Wilson also over-sings the crap out of it, sounding like he was doing a horrible impersonation of Peter Gabriel on So. I mean, I can hear his voice on the verge of cracking. So then, what pray tell did he find so important to be singing with such faux-passion? Talking makes us human that's what I was told. So why do I find it so difficult to let my feelings unfold. Had I the courage to tell you, I'd promise you this - if that's what you need, I'll be the river, I'll be the mountain always beside you. If that's what you need, I will be stronger, I will be braver than ever before. Crap!!! I'm going to have to eat lunch again now, because I just lost it all over my carpet.

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


Having picked up a new singer in Ray Romano, the last two Genesis members Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks try to create We Can't Dance Part Two.

Calling All Stations is divided into pop tunes and ham-fisted attempts at something 'progressive'. Unsurprisingly, the pop tunes are the more successful ... "Not About Us" and "Congo" would just about merit a place on a Genesis greatest hits album.

Of the other pop ditties, "Shipwrecked" isn't bad, and "Uncertain Weather" has a neat chorus, but "Small Talk" and "If That's What You Need" are real snore-fests. And why do all the songs just fade out?

But it's the band's attempt at prog/rock that really hurts this album. The long(er) songs have interesting parts (the synthy opening / ending jams of "The Dividing Line", and the synthy jam in the middle of "There Must Be Some Other Way" - if those two were combined, maybe it would make a neat instrumental - but they don't deserve being lengthy in the first place.

"One Man's Fool" doesn't have any interesting parts at all. Still, give it a listen, and you might like some of it.

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by Reviewer: Cole Reviews