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Feb 21st, 2018, 08:45am



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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Sorry, Abacab. :(  (Read 9708 times)
Fabrizio
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xx Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
« Reply #19 on: Mar 15th, 2017, 2:54pm »

on Mar 15th, 2017, 12:50pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
And as for LION, that's another song that I just cannot enjoy. It just sounds awkward and clumsy, and the lyrics are lousy. That "Everything I haaaaad!" lyric certainly doesn't help.

It should have been on a record I had the misfortune to buy; Acting very strange, so sappy it would have been a perfect fit.
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« Reply #20 on: Mar 15th, 2017, 3:37pm »

i have a good opinion about 'abacab', maybe because i always listen to my own extended version of it, with the five outtakes added at the end. songs such as you might recall and paperlate raise the average mark. the album 'abacab' just as it was released, with no outtakes, seems incomplete to me.
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xx Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
« Reply #21 on: Mar 15th, 2017, 4:06pm »

on Mar 15th, 2017, 05:30am, NoSonOfVine wrote:
That's the problem with Abacab to me - it's too mixed up, it's all over the place.


I disagree on this point. I find Abacab pretty unified in its sound and style. Many of the songs focus more on groove and feel (title track, Keep It Dark, No Reply at All, main section of Dodo, Whodunnit) rather than chord progressions (probably because there was more focus on jamming). Although various older songs had grooves or sections based on grooves, they have never had a album so dominated by grooves.

There is also the focus on a more simple soundscape. Gone for the most part are the rich, orchestral textures that dominated up to ATTW3 and were still present for parts of Duke. Random snippets sound more like new wave than prog.

So I find the album pretty cohesive. I think it is a bit light in the lyrics department. I really like about half the tracks and tolerate the rest.
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« Reply #22 on: Mar 16th, 2017, 06:45am »

As you've all probably guessed by now, I'm a huge fan of Abacab. To me, it's a slightly flawed gem of an album. Yes, the last few minutes of the title track seem to wander around lost before finally ending in a slow fade. They should have brought the song to a proper close as they did on 3SL, where all the improvising suddenly regains focus and nails the landing at the end. And yes, some of outtakes were more solid than some of tracks that made the album, Paperlate and YMR in particular.

But that's the end of my criticism, as I enjoy every track on the album for what it is, even the dreaded track-which-shall-not-be-named. The fun and energy on display from the band more than make up for a couple weaker songs and some intentionally abstract lyrics. I agree that it's really the band's only straight rock album, except for maybe the Genesis album... (and maybe CAS?). IT and WCD land more squarely in the pop category, not that I dislike them entirely.

And yes, I even think Another Record is a great way to end the album, with its bluesy faux harmonica and entreaty to put another record on. To sum it up, Abacab is great, fun rock album from a superbly talented prog/rock/pop band. Besides, deep down, "You know you like it." grin
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« Reply #23 on: Mar 16th, 2017, 07:58am »

Is it just me who thinks, lyrically, that Keep It Dark harks back to the track, A Trick of the Tail?
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« Reply #24 on: Mar 16th, 2017, 08:03am »

on Mar 16th, 2017, 06:45am, snowdog wrote:
Besides, deep down, "You know you like it." grin

I'll admit and concede that I am more likely to listen to Abacab than IT, which is a lean mean, glossy, well oiled, relentless hits machine, where almost every song is 'perfect' and suits the purpose.
Abacab certaily retains a certain charm which goes beyond the merits of the material per se and the energy IS infectious. Still the material is too 'thin' and I would agree with the original sentiment of the thread that it is one of their weakest releases. We can debate over the reasons but imo it pales when compared to the first side of the Mama album. I think in dropping old habits, they were a bit lost and they seemed to be sure about what the didn't want, not so much about what they wanted or how to achieve it and it would be understandable.
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« Reply #25 on: Mar 16th, 2017, 09:33am »

on Mar 16th, 2017, 08:03am, Fabrizio wrote:
I think in dropping old habits, they were a bit lost and they seemed to be sure about what the didn't want, not so much about what they wanted or how to achieve it and it would be understandable.


I agree, and their later feelings about the album seem to back that up. Abacab was important because it really opened up their ability to write and record on their own terms and own time, but you can tell they were still working things out.

Genesis is certainly more polished, and they adapted to their new writing/recording style quite quickly, because IT and WCD seemed even more confident and effortless for them to make.

But sadly Abacab was the last album they made that really had any kind of a raw edge to it. Which is why I tend to prefer live versions of their later material.
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xx Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
« Reply #26 on: Mar 16th, 2017, 10:02am »

on Mar 16th, 2017, 09:33am, WinstonWolf wrote:
Genesis is certainly more polished, and they adapted to their new writing/recording style quite quickly, because IT and WCD seemed even more confident and effortless for them to make.

But sadly Abacab was the last album they made that really had any kind of a raw edge to it. Which is why I tend to prefer live versions of their later material.

Actually, while I agree that Genesis was more polished, I still hear a lot of edge in it. I remember hearing Mama and HBTS and thinking that they had found the way to remain relevant and still retain their essence as a band.
There is also another aspect which perhaps has some sort of weight; between 1980 and 1983 they were pushing real hard, capitalizing on the momentum. Phil became a star and just like Tony and Mike released two solo albums, they released Duke, Abacab, Genesis and 3SL....A lot, it is also possible that they were a bit dry of ideas.
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« Reply #27 on: Mar 16th, 2017, 1:57pm »

on Mar 16th, 2017, 07:58am, foxfeeder wrote:
Is it just me who thinks, lyrically, that Keep It Dark harks back to the track, A Trick of the Tail?


How so?
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« Reply #28 on: Mar 16th, 2017, 4:58pm »

on Mar 16th, 2017, 1:57pm, rael1974 wrote:
How so?

A character tells others of a magical world. They disbelieve him.

KID is a decent track, but I certainly wouldn't say it's "fabulous" as Dougal described it. I much prefer ATOTT to it.
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xx Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
« Reply #29 on: Mar 16th, 2017, 7:26pm »

on Mar 16th, 2017, 4:58pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
A character tells others of a magical world. They disbelieve him.


Ah yes, that's right. The only difference is whether the creatures of subject are terrestrial or not.
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« Reply #30 on: Mar 17th, 2017, 07:32am »

Am I the only one who sees 'Me and Sarah Jane' as the one track that sticks out completely on this album? It is full of complex Tony chord changes and has a progressive structure, meaning it never repeats any part, unlike the verse/chorus songs. But even more, the whole sound of it is so much different from that "raw" edgy Abacab sound.
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« Reply #31 on: Mar 17th, 2017, 1:04pm »

on Mar 17th, 2017, 07:32am, Schrottrocker wrote:
Am I the only one who sees 'Me and Sarah Jane' as the one track that sticks out completely on this album? It is full of complex Tony chord changes and has a progressive structure, meaning it never repeats any part, unlike the verse/chorus songs. But even more, the whole sound of it is so much different from that "raw" edgy Abacab sound.


No I have similar thoughts. I outlined this in my original post on this thread, although I didn't mention the chord changes.

"3. The album is often times described as having an abstract and minimalist sound to it. Although I agree with this for the most part, "No Reply At All", "Me And Sara Jane", and "Like It Or Not" don't always fit these descriptions to my ears. At least parts on these songs have a fuller sound and a romanticism to them, unlike the other songs. "Like It Or Not" could work as a song on Duke if you ask me."
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« Reply #32 on: Mar 17th, 2017, 1:13pm »

on Mar 15th, 2017, 2:54pm, Fabrizio wrote:
["Like It Or Not"] should have been on a record I had the misfortune to buy; Acting very strange

As long as someone besides Mike sang it... and everything else on the album, for that matter!
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« Reply #33 on: Mar 17th, 2017, 2:59pm »

on Mar 17th, 2017, 1:13pm, onetwothree wrote:
As long as someone besides Mike sang it... and everything else on the album, for that matter!

Yeah, well, Mike deciding to sing on it was a brave but ultimately misguided move but I don't think it was the main problem with that album, as for LION, not even Phil was able to infuse some life into it.
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