Genesis, Rejects go a little over the top

"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" By Genesis (left) and "When the World Comes Down" by The All American Rejects.

Published: Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 1:53 p.m.

Bill Dean, entertainment editor of The Gainesville Sun, grew up listening to rock 'n' roll, soul and country in the 1970s. Aurora Dominguez, of Hollywood, Fla. grew up listening to pop music in the 1990s. They are from different generations, but they are both music lovers with an open mind. Each week, they swap CDs in hopes of broadening their musical horizons.

This week, Aurora listens to...

“THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY” from Genesis (1974)

AURORA: What an interesting album, Bill. As soon as I cranked it up, I was greeted by a surreal experience, a concept album filled with an intriguing story of a half-Puerto Rican man named Rael living in New York City and swept underground into a mystical world in order to rescue his brother, John. In the end, it's all about him finding himself. Definitely an album that could've been made into a dramatic film, right?

BILL: Yes, it was full-fledged, two-record concept album — and the last Genesis album with original singer Peter Gabriel, which is why I wanted you to hear it after they were announced for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

AURORA: I love that Genesis is capable of more than “Su-su-sudio” pop tunes that I recall from the 1980s. The first tune, “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway,” is a progressive rock treat featuring amazing imagery and sound. I can understand though how this album could've received mixed reviews being as how it's very experimental. At over an hour and half long, you need time to enjoy it and really take it in.

BILL: Along with the lead vocals, Gabriel is credited with the storyline, which in itself makes it a far cry from the later Phil Collins era of albums.

AURORA: This album is good, Bill. Maybe a little too long and a little confusing at times, but it shows range and depth.

This week, Bill listens to...

“WHEN THE WORLD COMES DOWN” from The All American Rejects (2008)

BILL: I love the All-American Rejects' name, Aurora, because it makes it easier to reject their ever-glossy, slick pop-rock on general principal. However, I am happy to say the emo-glop doesn't completely drip off this album like stale chocolate syrup on a melting sundae.

AURORA: The band is sweet as candy, and they are a little rough around the edges when it comes to scratching guitar riffs and rockin' sounds. But their tunes show definite sound appeal and each song is different from the next.

BILL: The most palatable to me are the lilting, vaguely reggae-inspired rhythms of “Gives You Hell” and the off-kilter pacing of “The Wind Blows.” I also like how they brought in the sister pop/folk duo The Pierces to great effect on “Another Heart Calls.”

AURORA: “Another Heart Calls” is one of my faves. This band is one that has surely let others influence them, but in a good way.

BILL: The Rejects have studied their rock-history books well and have carved their own niche by combining ‘80s new wave/synth-pop with cranking guitars for a blend that pleases their fans (“Believe,” “Breakin' “). It's when they pile up the pop-rock cliches that songs like “Fallin' Apart” live up to their name and leave you queasy. One sundae is great, but I don't know about an all-you-can-eat buffet.

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