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We Can’t Dance



We Can’t Dance

We Can't Dance

The final Genesis studio album to feature Phil Collins finds the increasingly pop-oriented singer/drummer more firmly in the driver’s seat than on We Can’t Dance’s predecessor, Invisible Touch. However, We Can’t Dance has little of its predecessor’s exuberance and freshness. Inspiration and ideas are spread too thinly over the 70-minute length of the album, resulting in flabby arrangements and lyrics. There are moments throughout when the carefully crafted choruses and smoothly integrated sound of later Genesis prove winning. “Hold on My Heart,” for one, proves that Collins can still produce real emotion. Still, it’s not surprising that this was this bunch’s last recording together. –James SwiftThe final Genesis studio album to feature Phil Collins finds the increasingly pop-oriented singer/drummer more firmly in the driver’s seat than on We Can’t Dance‘s predecessor, Invisible Touch. However, We Can’t Dance has little of its predecessor’s exuberance and freshness. Inspiration and ideas are spread too thinly over the 70-minute length of the album, resulting in flabby arrangements and lyrics. There are moments throughout when the carefully crafted choruses and smoothly integrated sound of later Genesis prove winning. “Hold on My Heart,” for one, proves that Collins can still produce real emotion. Still, it’s not surprising that this was this bunch’s last recording together. –James Swift

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3 responses to “We Can’t Dance”

  1. Brad says:
    11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great variety, February 15, 2003
    By 
    Brad (CT) –

    This review is from: We Can’t Dance (Audio CD)
    I love the wide variety of Genesis sounds on this album. From their long, progressive, epic rock tracks to fun pop/rockers to serious, heartfelt ballads, it is all here…and it is all good.
    The lead track and single “No Son Of Mine” in and of itself emphasizes the diversity to come on this album. It has both a haunting classic rock and a melodic pop sound…an interesting and very good track. The fun and hilarity of such tracks as “Jesus He Knows Me” and “I Can’t Dance” is greatly offset by the track in between–the 10-minute epic storytelling “Driving The Last Spike”. “Never A Time” and “Hold On My Heart” are both nice ballads, while “Dreaming While You Sleep” contains haunting thoughts and images from the point of view of a hit-and-run driver. “Tell Me Why” is one of those socially concious songs like we have heard Phil Collins sing before, and it is a pretty powerful track. “Since I Lost You” is very soft, sad, and heartfelt with its message content. “Fading Lights”, long track that it is, seems like a fitting way to end the album, as Genesis under Phil Collins would fade away after this album.
    People love to compare the older progressive rock Genesis to the newer pop-based Genesis. Whatever your favorite version of the band is, there should be at least something that you like on this diverse album. And for true long-time fans of the band, this should be a real treat, since it encompasses such a wide range of Genesis music from various eras. Some may say that the album doesn’t flow with its various styles, but to me the variety from one track to the next is what makes it so interesting and enjoyable to listen to.

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  2. Jeffrey G. Stevenson "Drummer J" says:
    14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Please stop comparing…, April 8, 2006
    By 

    This review is from: We Can’t Dance (Audio CD)
    Peter Gabriel Genesis and Phil Collins Genesis…for the most part, they are two different animals…both GREAT STUFF! And honestly, both “leaders” also had some “duds”. I believe the reason this great album…yes I said GREAT, has only a total 3.5 star rating is that the older die-hard Gabriel-era fans are disgruntled that their favorite band refused to remain in the past. We, as fans, have seen this played-out over and over again…our favorite bands try to branch out and evolve—sometimes it works e.g. Genesis, Santana,etc…sometimes it doesn’t, e.g. Metallica, ZZ-Top, etc… So, with that said, I’m giving ‘We Can’t Dance’ 5 stars to try and offset the undeserved current rating. Likewise, I wouldn’t give 5 stars to an album that did not deserve it. This is a very good Genesis album that rates 5 in my mind, and not for the “hits”…though they are worthy. The real treasure with this album lies with the unknown songs. Driving the Last Spike, Fading Lights, Dreaming While You Sleep, Living Forever, etc…some of which contain some very cool “proggy” passages. Many other reviewers have rated the individual songs quite well, so I will simply say this album means a great deal to me and provokes many emotions within me (probably due to a “tricky” relationship I was going through when I first heard this CD). This is one of my favorite releases of the past 20 years, so beware of every review you read…you may miss out on something that might have become a treasured part of your collection/Life! Jeff

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  3. L.A. Scene says:
    23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    1992’s Best Album of the Year, November 20, 2004
    By 
    L.A. Scene (Indian Trail, NC USA) –

    This review is from: We Can’t Dance (Audio CD)

    As a trio, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks had a part of Genesis of 20+ years. In 1986, their previous album was their most commercially successful collection “Invisible Touch”. Meanwhile Phil was having a highly successful solo career while Mike was now finding success with his own band Mike and the Mechanics. Still we may never know if they planned on 1991’s “We Can’t Dance” being their last album as a trio. Either way, Genesis once again defines the rules for what their album should be and it results in this turning out to be 1992’s Best Album of the Year (it was released at the end of 1991 and had its impact the following year). You will also hear Phil and Mike incorporate some of the elements they did on their side projects into this album while Tony Banks keeps the roots of Genesis alive.

    When I look at Genesis as band, I see four distinct phases the band has gone through. Phase 1 is the Peter Gabriel Era. This spans from 1969 (“From Genesis to Revelation”) to 1974 (“The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”). It was during Phase 1 that Peter Gabriel was the lead vocalist and Genesis could easily be categorized as a progressive Rock band. Phase 2 is the Early Phil Collins Era spanning from 1976 (“A Trick of the Tail”) to 1982 (“Three Sides Live”). In this era, Phil Collins took over as lead singer. The band was still very much a progressive rock band, but as the progressive rock landscape would change – so would Genesis. This might indirectly have led to Phase 3 which is the Late Phil Collins Era from 1983 (“Genesis”) to 1993 (“The Way We Walk Volume 2: The Longs”). At this point, there would be a lot less progressive rock flavor to Genesis’ music. The fourth phase, Phase 4 is the Ray Wilson Era. This was when Ray Wilson took over as lead vocalist for Phil Collins. There would only be one album in this era – 1997’s “Calling All Stations” and it seemed like Genesis tried to recapture some of their progressive rock roots – but 90s style. “We Can’t Dance” was the last album of Phase 3.

    In a lot of ways, the album title is appropriate (even though its a spin on the song “I Can’t Dance”). I don’t think Genesis ever planned on being “pop” stars – especially Mike and Tony. However, if they were going to be pop stars they were going to do it their own way. Yes, this collection does have some songs tailor-made for Top 40 radio (“I Cant Dance”, “Hold on Your Heart”, “Jesus He Knows Me”), but many of the songs do not. There are four songs on this collection that are over 6 minutes long resulting in over 71 minutes of music on one disc.

    Here is a quick song by song synopsis:

    “No Son of Mine” – not your traditional pop song. One of the 6+ minute numbers This deals with a very personal and troubled Father-Son relationship. Mike had done “The Living Years” about his father, so this could have been the antithesis of that song.

    “Jesus He Knows Me” – more of the “fun” side of Genesis. We see this a lot with Phil and we saw this with “Illegal Alien”. This song reflects many of the scandals of the TV preachers that occurred during that time.

    “Driving the Last Spike” – longest and best song of the collection. Terrific song about England’s railway workers. Phil Collins had starred in the movie “Buster” a few years before, and this was an area that greatly interested him. This proved the trio can do the “epic” song that is a trademark of many of their albums.

    “I Can’t Dance” – Weakest song of the set. Very pop-ish. Despite being appropriate for the album title, I don’t think this is a good song.

    “Never a Time” – This is a pop song, but it still is a very good song.

    “Dreaming While You Sleep” – Very underrated song on the collection. This is over 7 minutes long. Incorporates bits of progressive elements. Phil Collins’ drums are incredible in this song.

    “Tell Me Why” – Sounds a lot like Phil Collins’ “…But Seriously” work, but still is very good. This song looks at sociological problems of the world.

    “Living Forever” – Very good track. Again, probably didn’t fit into the mold of Top 40 radio. Terrific guitar work by Mike and some nice harmonies and instrumentals are incorporated.

    “Hold on Your Heart” – Probably the other weak song on the collection. Sounds a lot like a Phil Collins ballad.

    “Way of the World” – Terrific track and one of the best written. Incorporates a lot of analogies into the song to look at the problems of the world. This track should have gotten more respect.

    “Since I Lost You” – a slower song, but again seems out of the mold of a traditional pop song. It’s a nice change of pace. There are also some nice harmonies in this song.

    “Fading Lights” – Very appropriate song given this would be the trio’s last song together. Has a lot of elements of Genesis from their progressive days (long instrumental)…

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