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Peter Gabriel - So CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

3.84 | 681 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars That voice again

Many people on this site tend to blame Phil Collins for pushing Genesis in a Pop direction after the two confirmed Prog rockers Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett left the band. Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford are taken to be more or less innocent bystanders to Collins' atrocities and Peter Gabriel is seen as the hero who never gave up on Prog. However, this picture is utterly misguided in my opinion and is probably a result of comparing Selling England By The Pound with Phil Collins' worst radio hits of the 80's which of course is a stupid comparison. The fact is that all past members of Genesis had an aspiring Pop artist inside of them; Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel all had big radio hits and Anthony Phillips, Steve Hackett and Tony Banks also tried the Pop formula at some point or other in their respective careers. The present album stands as evidence that Gabriel was far from innocent in this respect. Listening to So makes me think that had Gabriel stayed in Genesis, those dreaded 80's albums would not have turned out all that different. After all, is there that much difference between Land Of Confusion and Sledgehammer in terms of commercial appeal and success? I think not. They are both good songs, though.

For me Peter Gabriel's solo career is not particularly interesting from a progressive perspective. So begins with Red Rain which is one of the album's best songs with a great vocal performance. The hit Sledgehammer is a song I think that everyone recognizes from radio or TV. Don't Give Up is a duet between Gabriel and Kate Bush. To my ears this is very cheesy and the first low point of the album. That Voice Again and In Your Eyes are also decent Pop tunes with great vocals, but hardly very interesting music. Big Time is the second embarrassment of the album. It is a perfect example of the typical 80's sound and I absolutely cannot stand it. The album ends with a short New Age/Electronic instrumental that is actually quite nice, but hardly remarkable.

I must say that it is very hard for me to understand all the praise this album gets here. Especially if this praise comes from the same people who dismiss 80's and 90's Genesis. At least those Genesis albums had genuine progressive tracks like Home By The Sea, Domino and Fading Lights that easily surpasses anything from Peter Gabriel's solo career in my opinion.

So is recommended for Peter Gabriel fans and collectors only.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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