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Peter Gabriel - So CD (album) cover

SO

Peter Gabriel

 

Crossover Prog

3.83 | 494 ratings

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burgersoft777
4 stars The Hit Before the Rot set in:

I have very mixed feelings about this record. On the one hand it is beautifully produced melodic rock- pop, and on the other it is a dummying down of everything that had been great about Peter's previous recordings. It has a very different mood to his previous release's, which had an underlying air of paranoia and tension. This is replaced by a kind of melancholia and notable sadness. At least on the down beat tracks. There is no denying that this is a far more commercial sound and Peter enjoyed a smash hit with the LP and I believe four singles. He gained a number of awards for this record and for the videos that accompanied the singles. There are no poor tracks on the record and all the musicianship is excellent. It manages to sound like a band record with a consistent sound throughout. The only track I dislike is "don't give up" which always seemed highly inappropriate, delivered as it was two very well off pop stars at a time of national recession. The public loved this record and bought it in shop fulls. The Album is not that bad but it signalled the end of P.G.'s run of excellent and interesting Progressive rock records. From here on it was down hill all the way. Had SO been a flop perhaps Peter would have abandoned this pop after one LP, and returned to his previous stance as progressive genius. There is still some elements of the social commentary on this record, but its lame in comparison with his 3rd and 4th releases in particular. If the record is taken in isolation then it is a fairly good if commercial pop record. Listening to it today I am struck by the way it has dated. It really sounds like a product of its time. It is still a record that is worth buying and one I play now and then. It is also far better than anything Peter has done since. Perhaps that is the worst thing about SO, having been such a big hit Peter seemed to get stuck in a rut of endlessly trying to recapture the success of this his best selling solo work. Like later Genesis it is best taken as is, rather than comparing it with its far stronger predecessors. It certainly deserves 4 stars and should be in all serious collections but it is far from the classic record that it sales would suggest. In my opinion it is the last good PG record and also the least important of his worthwhile outings. Buy this one and the first 4, plus Birdie but listen to the later ones first because if you liked these the latter output may simply annoy you, as it does me.

burgersoft777 | 4/5 |

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