(All Album Reviews by Sean)
File this one under U for unsung. For some reason And Then There Were Three (ATTW3) isn't a very well liked album compared to the bands other 70's output. "More pop than progressive" is the common cry. But is it really true?
I don't think so. It is indeed at the crossroads of prog and pop, but there is a lot here that prog fans can enjoy. I liken this album to the Duke album that came next. Much like Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering have a thread that unites them, ATTW3 and Duke do as well. Both have a stripped down approach to arranging and a more melodic approach as well. But a lot of the sound the band had prior to this album is in full force as well. Lush layers of keyboards abound, lyrics that tell a story are also again used. I do miss Steve Hackett's input, but Mike Rutherford does some very nice guitar playing on ATTW3. He evokes Hackett's vibe sometimes. Still, this sounds more like classic Genesis than the albums from Abacab on up. The old sounds of Genesis are used on shorter songs with more hooks. That's a good way to look at this one.
Standout tracks with strong prog underpinnings are "Burning Rope", "Deep In The Motherlode", "Ballad of Big", "The Lady Lies" and the opener, "Down and Out". All would please a fan of Trick era Genesis or a fan of their progressive side.
The rest of the CD is good too though. A couple of ballads are on here, the whispy "Snowbound" and the excellent "Many Too Many". Other songs are the reflective "Say It's Alright Joe" and the whimsical "Scenes From A Night's Dream". "Follow You, Follow Me" is the final song and does not have much in common with the rest of the album, possibly the band knew this too. That might explain why it comes last on the CD. It has the pop sound of later Genesis and sticks out like a sore thumb on this album.
In closing, if you are a fan of Trick era Genesis, I can't see any reason for you not to buy this CD as well. It is an unsung one that needs to be heard. Don't believe the hype surrounding this one. Buy it and make your own mind up about it.