Agree with your take on this.My Genesis binge continues, as I ping-pong back and forth between opposite ends of the band's catalog.
The later Genesis albums have a lot of washes from Tony Banks' synthesizers and Nick Davis uses these to create an immersive field from all four corners of the room. Unfortunately, there is not as much hard-panned activity in the rear speakers as there is on some of the early albums, but Davis still makes good use of the surround field during most of this. Some highlights are a nice vocal echo on "No Son of Mine". The percussion on "I Can't Dance" is as active as you would hope/want. "Dreaming While You Sleep" is a real highlight. Everything in the song is mixed more aggressively. "Tell Me Why" has a nice stereo mix of the Rickenbacker 12-string in the rears. A couple of songs don't have as much going on as I would have hoped. "Fading Lights" is my favorite track on the album but the mix isn't as active as some of the others. Fidelity is strong, everything feels very present and clear.
As for the music, the previous album Invisible Touch was my least favorite Genesis album. Even though their progressive material is my favorite era of the band, I didn't mind when they started to make the move towards more mainstream material. "Turn it On Again", "Mama", "Abacab", "Follow You Follow Me" and "No Reply at All" are all songs that I love. I like a lot of Phil's solo stuff and the Mike and the Mechanics albums too. However I felt that the Invisible Touch album really stripped them of their personality and it felt like an attempt to blend in with what was popular at the time. When this album was released I wasn't optimistic, but when I first heard it I was happy to hear that they were backing away from the direction they went with Invisible Touch. "Fading Lights" ranks among my favorite songs of any era of Genesis. And there are other standouts for me as well. However, as this was released in the early 90's, it suffers from something that many albums of that era do: it's too long. Granted, if you've got 70 minutes of solid material I say go for it and fill up that CD. But the extended playing time of CDs combined with vinyl's demise meant everyone was making albums that stretched past the hour mark. Material that once would have been relegated to a single b-side was now an album track. And the band falls into that trap here. "Way of the World" and "Tell Me Why" never really connected with me. I don't think social/political commentary is this band's strong suit. Best to leave that stuff to their old pal Peter. In addition, I felt that one track that did end up as a b-side, "On the Shoreline" was stronger than many album tracks. It's funny to read in many threads here that lots of people call Tony Banks a tyrant who always got his way, however I know that Banks wanted "On the Shoreline" to be on the album and that he hated "Since I Lost You". He obviously didn't get his way this time.
Anyway, despite my beefs about a few places where I would have liked the mix to have been a bit more active and that I think there are a couple of substandard songs, this was still a very enjoyable listen. I'll shave off half a point for each gripe and give this a 9.