more contemplative sound of a decade ago. Although We Can't Dance
doesn't quite achieve the vulnerable grace of Duke
or the exuberance of Abacab
, Genesis has nevertheless delivered an elegantly spare and even adventurous album.
Collins daringly lets down what's left of his hair on "I Can't Dance," a gritty, tongue-in-cheek anthem for the average guy. Equally unadorned are the fractionally hopeful "Hold on My Heart," the mournful, majestic "No Son of Mine" and the eerie "Dreaming While You Sleep." Collins's haunting "Since I Lost You" is a tragic lullaby written after the death of Eric Clapton's son, while "Jesus He Knows Me" is a sharp indictment of televangelical piety.
We Can't Dance falters, however, when Genesis raises the torch of social consciousness. Although Collins and Rutherford can compose crushingly personal love songs, they remain distant observers of the big picture on "Tell Me Why" and "Way of the World," respectively. If Genesis risked something more than impotent concern on such songs, perhaps its well-intentioned messages might carry more import. (RS 621)