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


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

3.95 | 644 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I'm sorry for the bluntness of what I'm about to say--but I find it rather hypocritical of some to constantly pick on PHIL COLLINS for making GENESIS turn pop, yet refuse to call PETER GABRIEL on it when he does the exact same thing on some songs on this album. The double standard is ridiculous, and I'm going to say it: the poppy-sounding songs on this album drag the rating way down. I enjoy some pop, but some of this sounds mindless, even when the lyrics underneath might be good (and they aren't always!). While I liked the lyrics to "I've Got the Touch"--but the music was awful. "Kiss of Life" was not so good musically, either...but by far the worst offender was "Shock the Monkey". What was that? Terrible, is what it was.

The other huge problem with Security is the incredibly muffled mixing, which made even some of the good parts impossible to hear without running the volume up to absurd levels. The volume level I have to use is so obnoxiously off from the other albums I own that there really is no excuse for it. So, combined with the three miserable tossers of songs, the album just barely makes the grade as a 3.

The truly good songs include "Rhythm of the Heat", "San Jacinto", "The Family and the Fishing Net", and "Lay Your Hands on Me"...musically innovative and lyrically intriguing, all of these are what make the album. The percussion section is incredibly rich and GABRIEL's Eastern-seeming vocal stylings do very well to add to the "world" atmosphere, and as others have said, the lyrics tend to focus on some of the most "primitive" aspects of our lives and emotions, some of our deepest spiritual yearnings. "Rhythm of the Heat" and "Lay Your Hands on Me" seem to evoke the wish to connect with something beyond what we perceive with our senses, but conversely, "San Jacinto" and "The Family and the Fishing Net" focus on some of the more difficult parts of a "primitive" life--including the terrible destruction that occurs when such a culture comes into contact with a "modern" culture that has no respect for it.

"San Jacinto" in particular details a Native American's look at the destruction wrought by the invading settlers and the way in which America has now commercialized much of what's left of their culture. This song is especially helped by the bass work of TONY LEVIN, and the most powerful section actually seems to recall some of the darker songs like "Yet Another Movie" and "Terminal Frost" on PINK FLOYD's 80s album A Momentary Lapse of Reason (undoubtedly helped by the fact that both albums shared LEVIN!). This is the song that I think I found the most moving of any on the album.

However, I have to warn you: I don't think this album deserves the kind of kudos it's getting at all. Where it's good, it's fantastic...but where it's bad, it's truly awful--and I have to reiterate, if you're going to call COLLINS on stuff like that, then don't shy away from pointing it out when GABRIEL does it! Just barely a 3.

FloydWright | 3/5 |


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