Reviews: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

A colossal achievement for a remarkable band

Genesis is my favourite band; and when I say that, I mean I like almost everything they made. I'm not one of those Gabriel-era snobs who thinks Phil Collins ruined the band (he actually improved it, in my opinion), nor am I a clueless Collins fan who calls the Gabriel-era work pretentious. I love both eras to bits. "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" happens to be my third favourite of their albums; "A Trick Of The Tail" is my second favourite, and the glorious "Wind And Wuthering" is my favourite of all of them.

But what makes TLLDOB unique is the fact that it was their only double album. And what an awesome album this is. In 94 minutes, Genesis manages to bring every great thing about them to the table and more, and the result is non-stop musical brilliance. Complex keyboard and guitar solos, varied songs, interesting lyrics, powerful vocals, great bass playing and drumming, and a big, dark story which, though largely nonsensical, is so engrossing that every time I listen to it I really feel like I'm trapped underneath New York City with Rael, the Puerto Rican main character. This album is one of my favourites ever for that reason - it's like a movie in album form, and there's tons to get out of it.

Standout moments include the unforgettable piano introduction to the title track, the mind-bending keyboard performance in "In The Cage", the humorous hard rocker "Counting Out Time", the gorgeous beauty of "The Carpet Crawlers", the experimental sci-fi-esque track "The Waiting Room", the elegance of "The Lamia" and its enchantingly atmospheric coda, "Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats" and the weird but wonderful "The Colony Of Slippermen" famous for the hilariously hideous costume Gabriel wore when Genesis performed the song live.

The album is a 100% essential classic and almost perfect in my opinion. The only reason why I wouldn't give it a perfect 10, but a 9.5/10, is because I do feel that its climax is somewhat underwhelming. The final quarter is strong and you'd expect a big finale, but we end off with a rather odd song which, though undoubtedly fun, doesn't work too well as an ending track. But this is honestly the only criticism I can make. Everything else is timeless and outstanding. And, after the album's release, Peter Gabriel left and was replaced by drummer Phil Collins, sadly dividing the fanbase into two forever.