Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
And then there were two…well, sort of. When Phil Collins crept off to the eternal cutout bin, the remaining two-thirds of Genesis, guitarist Mike Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks, were left with limited options: They could call it quits, they could kidnap way-back-when lead singer Peter Gabriel and starve him ’til he promised to return, or they could start anew with a fresh mouthpiece. So they chose the latter…well, sort of. New singer Ray Wilson is a freak of nature: His voice rings like a computer-generated mesh of Collins’ helium-laced whine and Mike + the Mechanics frontman Paul Carrack’s faux-emotional growl. But the hiring of Wilson is just a small part of Rutherford and Banks’ blatant refusal to blaze new creative trails. The opening title track is basically just a cheerier rendition of “Mama”without Collins’ phlegmy “heh, heh…heh!”s, but with plenty of clean and distant guitar solos and lethargic keyboard soundscapes. “Shipwrecked” and “If That’s What You Need” are the same post-Gabriel ballads the band’s been providing since …And Then There Were Three’s “Follow You, Follow Me”: empty lyrics of loneliness plugged into inappropriately uplifting music. But the most obvious copycatting comes on “Alien Afternoon,” on which Wilson tries to role-play à la Collins on the strangely satisfying “Illegal Alien.” Maybe Rutherford and Banks thought no one would notice if they replaced their diminutive, charismatic lead singer with a Stepford replacement. Maybe they were wrong.Sean Daly