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Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel 3 [Aka: Melt] CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

4.20 | 915 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After a very good debut album and an irregular (although still good) sophomore effort, Peter Gabriel found himself facing the arrival of the 80s within a changing musical scene with its corresponding changing avant-garde scene. This was the time in which he grew more interested in the textural use of modern musical technology and, most of all, the amalgamation of exotic (African, Asian and Arabic) rhythms and cadences within a pop-rock framework. His quest was one of music that could be attractive while tremendously innovative, cleverly conceived while retaining a strong emotional expression. You can really feel the tension within the intruder's mind on the great opener 'Intruder' through the distant, mysterious vibe that flood the song's melodic development and menacing rhythmic drive. Things become more explicit for the next one, 'No Self Control', an exciting tale of compulsion whose explosive density flows only on a subtle level until the frenzy interlude brings an orgy of drums and percussion in parallel with Gabriel's augmented chanting and guest Kate Bush's demented harmonies. Great, really great, so far so great. Next is the paring of the pairing of the brief ethereal instrumental 'Start' and the neurotic rocker 'I Don't Remember'. The latter sounds quite close to 80s King Crimson with an extra touch of stylish post-punk. The other rockers 'And Through the Wire' and 'Not One of Us' are also quite entertaining and cleverly structured, let alone bearers of a modern sound, but they are really a bit far from the compelling greatness of 'I Don't Remember': you might as well call this as the last great rock song by Peter Gabriel. In between these rockers are two great examples of Gabriel's signature style: 'Family Snapshot' is a slow piece with a mysterious vibe wrapped in an elegant dramatic mood; 'Games Without Frontiers' is a dynamic exercise on psychedelic pop-rock filled with sophisticated exotic rhythmic sources. However, the exotic thing will be properly highlighted in the last two tracks. 'Lead a Normal Life' brings a dreamy atmosphere dominated by ethnic percussions and eerie synth layers/effects, with Gabriel delivering a very short vocal section somewhere in the middle. 'Biko' is one of the most enduring political songs ever written by Gabriel: this hymn to the assassinated human rights' leader from South Africa has a very emotional commitment to the causes of life and freedom, with the syncopated pace serving as a provider of strength and consistency. A lovely tune that conveniently closes down this cornerstone album in Gabriel's career. Album no. 4 will enhance and complete the definitive Gabriel's signature sound a couple of years later, but that's a matter fro another review somewhere else.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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