"Acting very strange, indeed. This is far and away the most "fun" album anybody from Genesis ever did. Rutherford decided to let his hair down and have a ball, and his enjoyment shines through from the first note. This is not the mild-mannered upper-class Englishman we're familiar with. This is a Mike Rutherford who, knowing he can't sing to save his life, sings anyway with reckless abandon. The music is lively and toe-tapping, with hooks to grab the listener and not let go. If you're looking for the polish of Mike and the Mechanics, or the creativity of Genesis, you won't find it here. If you're looking for a great time and a lot of fun, you won't do any better."
Not as Bad as Some May Think
J. Kersh | Jackson, Mississippi | 10/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Who cares about commercial success? Damn. If there were ever a band who didn't have to worry about commercial success, it's Genesis. They proved themselves decades ago. Mike Rutherford, too, has proven himself over and over. Acting Very Strange is a gift for those of us who don't necessarily want the same old same old. Acting Very Strange the song rocks, plain and simple. Hideaway is the equal of any other ballad released around the same time. Maxine! What else do you need? If you liked and are aware of Mike's solo album Smallcreeps Day, this isn't that much of a shock. Yes, it's more "pop," but after the intense prog of SD, it makes sense. This is a musician who isn't content to repeat the past over and over...it's what makes the Mechanics music work. I think Mike's a damned fine singer, at least the equal of anybody singing pop or rock today. No, it's not Genesis, and it's not Phil, but Genesis is not really Phil. Genesis is Mike and Tony, and neither of their solo albums receive the credit they deserve. If you're looking for something with more balls than your average "pop star" Genesis album, try this out. It rocks. Plain and simple."
If Yes had released "90125" right after "Close to the Edge".
Squire Jaco | Buffalo, NY USA | 11/04/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"...you would have been pretty freakin' disappointed, right? I mean, the progressive-pop that comprised the comeback album (90125) for Yes just wouldn't have compared to the quintessential prog album (CTTE) against which all others are measured. (I still genuflect whenever I refer to the sacred CTTE!)
So you see, "Acting Very Strange" is not really a bad album. It was just a huge disappointment to the progger in me after his extraordinary debut solo release "Smallcreep's Day" (the undeniably BEST solo album from ANY member of Genesis EVER!).
Very tight playing, as one should expect from the quality musicians that he surrounds himself with here again. Lots more guitar (frequently distorted), and not much in the way of keyboards. Count me IN as one of the few who think Rutherford's vocals are good. They weren't what I was expecting at all, and really sound a lot like Peter Gabriel on some songs.
But personally, I only desire to hear "Halfway There" and "Hideaway" these days. The other songs can tend to get a bit tedious and repetitive, especially in the fading outros. I can't condemn the guy for doing a rather fun, poppish album; it's just not my cup of tea. Fans of Genesis and prog best look elsewhere.
I value interesting music that is played and recorded well. This cd's rating was based on: Music quality = 6.6/10; Performance = 7/10; Production = 7.5/10; CD length = 6/10. Overall score weighted on my proprietary scale = 6.8 ("2-1/2 stars")
Tnahpellee | Australia | 04/08/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I think Rutherford should have taken over from Collins on vocals when Phil left. He's rough sounding but so was Gabriel anyway. He is kind of like Gabriel singing 'Back in NYC'
This album is basically 80's pop. However, one track, A day to remember, is very progressive. I also like Halfway there, the title track and the album closer, kind of touching and heart on sleeve."
Rutherford's undiscovered gem
Colin Dodds "Col" | Portsmouth, UK | 03/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Following "Smallcreep's Day" this was Mike's second solo attempt.
It is a surprisingly different and unique sound with Mike displaying a hitherto unheard rough "heavy rock" sounding voice and allowing his always beautifully produced guitar sound to wander in directions previously unchartered! The other musicians are excellent, especially Stewart Copeland's drumming and Daryl Stuermer's excellent guitar work. Standout tracks are "Halfway There", "Maxine" and the beautiful "Hideaway". Vastly different to both Genesis and the Mike and the Mechanics sound, this was a one off which Mike sadly never repeated"