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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
4 stars Peter Gabriel 4 is when Peter Gabriel started putting a significant emphasis on primitive percussion and world music. This is not the most accessible album of his at all. At first, it brought some tediousness to my ears. However, if you are willing to let the music grow on you, you might find this among your favorite Peter Gabriel solo albums. The music focuses more on atmosphere/tension and is helped by an outstandingly clear production.

The defining track of the album is the opener "Rhythm of the Heat" which excels at intense African percussion and unusual riffs and harmonies. It also features great use of dynamics, with it slowly building up to an explosion of drums. "San Jacinto" may appear to be not much more than a synth loop at first listen, but it ends up being a restrained piece of art full of emotion and powerful vocals at its climax. "I Have the Touch" and "Shock the Monkey" are mainstream attempts that succeeded. The latter has a cool beat and is somewhat catchy, but I can't stand the rhythm and instrumentation of "I Have the Touch".

Between these radio-friendly tunes, you have the very experimental and eerie "The Family and the Fishing Net" which features Ethiopian pipes. This song relies more on soundscapes and atmosphere rather than melodies so it's another song that may need repeated listenings. Another atmospheric tune is "Lay Your Hands on me" which focuses on mesmerizing percussion work that starts simple and then gets pretty busy near the end (like the opening track). It also has some proto-rap and vocal harmonies from other vocalists. The album ends with a surprising amount of joy with the latin-influenced "Kiss of Life" which has a ridiculously catchy synth riff and a danceable rhythm.

Zitro | 4/5 |


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