Live: The Way We Walk Volume One - The Shorts


Atlantic Records, 1992

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


If I had really thought about things back in the early '90s, I would not have been surprised to eventually hear that Phil Collins was leaving Genesis. Sure, they had just scored a big hit with their album We Can't Dance, and some of the music on that disc was absolutely incredible. But underneath it all, the band was really starting to sound bored.

You need proof? Check out Live - The Way We Walk Volume One: The Shortsmy_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 . Though I have never had the privilege of seeing Genesis live, it absolutely sounds like the band is just going through the motions over the course of these 11 songs -- and if the band is bored, you can bet the listener is going to feel the same way.

True, there are moments when things seem like they're clicking well. "Jesus He Knows Me" sounds like Collins is having some fun mocking the liars-posing-as-men-of-God who waste bandwidth on my television. Chester Thompson's drumming is especially noteworthy on this track.

But there are other times where the rhythm section sounds far too plodding. Ozzy Osbourne once said he didn't like working with British drummers because they sounded like a Space Invaders machine. While Thompson didn't write the drum beats on songs like "That's All" and "I Can't Dance," there are times I found myself listening to the beat and imagining the invaders coming down to earth, the beat was that blah. Not a good sign.

What strikes me about Live - The Way We Walk Volume One: The Shorts is that the band just sounds like they have no spunk in them. I've seen more life in morgues compared to songs like "Hold On My Heart," "In Too Deep" and "Land Of Confusion"; it actually sounds like the band would prefer to be doing anything but playing these songs again. Even the ad-lib obscenity near the end of "Invisible Touch" doesn't sound spontaneous, but forced.

Granted, this is a problem that I've heard with many British bands who have some root in the progressive vein. Pink Floyd sometimes sounds sterile in their concerts -- but they at least find some way to bring some life to the material at times. Genesis seems content to leave their music on life support - and there are times I wish I could have pulled the plug on this album.

Live - The Way We Walk Volume One: The Shorts is a disappointing effort from a band who was capable of much better, and should have known better than to put such dreck out on the market.

Rating: D-

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© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Atlantic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.