December 20, 2007

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Genesis, Live Over Europe 2007
Atlantic/WEA Records, Nov. 26
OK, stop thinking about whatever you’re thinking about and think about Genesis and all the memories you associate with them. “Follow You Follow Me” playing softly in the background while the dentist peers evilly at your sleeping tooth roots. The GMC commercial with the seminal ’80s synth line from “Turn It On Again” accentuating the sheer power you could experience behind the wheel of a big fat gas-gargling brick-wall-smashing mega-truck. All the times you rode in an elevator with “Throwing It All Away” burbling overhead and your brain idly pondering why no one on earth has ever seen Phil Collins and Popeye in the same room.

To Americans, Genesis is part of the fossil record of Top 40s past, but the limeys, the French surrender-monkeys, those fish-belly-pale Finns, they’re all still into that band, man. The stage setup Genesis deployed during this year’s European tour is bigger than the Batman ride at Six Flags, and there’s a DVD here to prove it. What’s disarming about the CD experience — live cuts taken from around a dozen different tour stops — is, actually, how pleasant and invigorating it is. The songs are favorite old shoes to these guys, who infuse them with very little instrumental shock-and-awe, thus creating a deeply comforting vibe that you finally notice about a third of the way through. Unrushed sounds hang in the air, bespeaking high class without snobbery, Englishness without the unpalatable staleness common to English arena-pop bands who’ll never grace a glossy magazine page not in Kerrang.

You know who could be the next Genesis is the band Particle, but they’ve got a few elevator classics to cook up first. Just FYI. B+Eric W. Saeger