The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
For their sixth album, each member of Genesis submitted a potential story for a thematic project. Mike Rutherford was a contender with his suggestion of a musical based on the story of the Happy Prince, but Peter Gabriel won with his seemingly incomprehensible tale of a New York street kid named Rael. Reflecting the metropolitan setting, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway has a less pastoral feel than Genesis’ previous releases; the dark mood is set by Bank’s synthesisers and Rutherford’s bass.
The first disc is song oriented, and features the acoustic ‘Cuckoo Cocoon’, the sexual humour of ‘Counting Out Time’, and the harshness of ‘In The Cage’ and ‘Back in NYC’, although the highlight is the gorgeous ‘The Carpet Crawlers’ with harmonies between Gabriel and Collins.
The most common criticism of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is that the second disc is relatively uninteresting, containing too many instrumentals. While the instrumentals are not particularly interesting in themselves, their contribution to the flow and mood of the album shouldn’t be overlooked. And the calibre of the actual songs on the second disc is high; the crunching ‘Lilywhite Lilith’, the sheer beauty of ‘The Lamia’, the theatricality of ‘The Colony of Slippermen’, and the resonance of ‘it’ are more than ample compensation for a few uninteresting moments.
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway isn’t without flaws, but as a whole it’s captivating, memorable, and emotionally resonant.