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Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel 4 [Aka: Mask, Aka: Security] CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

3.95 | 625 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars There is more raw power in the first three minutes of this PETER GABRIEL album than in the entire careers of most popular musicians.

Peter Gabriel III (Melt) ended with 'Biko', an attempt to make us accept our culpability for what happened to a non-western culture in South Africa. Peter Gabriel IV (Security) begins by taking us to the heart of not one, but two non-western cultures (African and North American) in the first two tracks. Instead of berating us for what we've done, GABRIEL shows us the human face of those we've marginalised.

And, finally, his music matches the power of his lyrics. It's hard to imagine anything more visceral than 'The Rhythm and the Heat'. His long and continuing association with world music begins here, with African musicians lending authenticity to his message. 'San Jacinto' is a more fragile thing, but no less powerful - GABRIEL sings "I hold the line", an extroadinary assertion of self in the face of overpowering odds. I can't remain unmoved whenever I hear GABRIEL sing this line. 'Shock the Monkey' is well known, and 'The Family and the Fishing Net' ought to be. Possibly the most obscure of GABRIEL'S lyrics, this chilling song about sex and marriage presages his preoccupation with gender trouble on subsequent albums. And I do mean chilling. His use of metaphor here paints an extraordinarily frightening picture of the all-consuming nature of love, comparing marriage to an occult rite, and again the music matches his vision. Such rhythms, such soundscapes were what GABRIEL was born to deliver.

If side 1 is absolutely essential listening for anyone interested in music, side 2 is less so, though still excellent. 'Lay Your Hands on Me' is an impressive piece, for example. For me, Peter Gabriel IV is PETER GABRIEL'S crowning achievement. He will write songs with this power again, but never a sequence such as he offers on side 1 of this record.

russellk | 5/5 |


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