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Peter Gabriel - Passion - Music from The Last Temptation Of Christ CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

4.09 | 392 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Who called this a masterpiece of progressive rock? Though I can laud this album in many ways, one has to stretch the characteristics of the genre pretty far to include this album. It is definitely a masterpiece- I'll agree to that wholeheartedly.

For me and many others, this album was an important gateway into world music. Before this I had heard only a few tantalizing examples of non-western ethnic artists- the Beatles and others had inspired me to check out Ravi Shankar, but that was about it. This album led me to the companion disc "Passion Sources" (much more authentic but less cohesive) and several other artists on Gabriel's Real World label. From then on, I was hooked; the same impulse that had fueled my interest in the outre sonic experiments of prog and psychedelia motivated my desire to discover exotic, authentic musical traditions.

As soundtracks go, this is one of the best; like Ry Cooder's "Paris, Texas" or Michael Nyman's "The Piano", it is a unique and rich musical statement on its own. Though I am very familiar with the film, listening to the soundtrack quite often delivers a separate experience- transcendant and immersive, with very little direct reference to the film's narrative. Iin fact, if you're as much a nerd as I am you will have noticed that the sequence of tracks on the album is different than in the film- an obvious artistic choice to make the album effective as a separate entity. The performances by the huge cast of talented musicians are flawless; from the first keening notes of Shankar's violin on "The Feeling Begins" to the subtle Eno-ish coda of "Bread and Wine", there are no low spots or filler (very uncommon on even the better OSTs!). As time passes, I find myself wishing there was a little more east and less west, but the choral version of "With This Love" is outstandingly beautiful and haunting and "It is Accomplished" is cathartically triumphant.

So once again, I am forced to drop a few stars for this album in a progressive rock context even though it deserves nothing but accolades in the wider musical spectrum. Don't let my rating dissuade you- anyone and everyone should have the chance to appreciate the wonderful sounds here.

James Lee | 3/5 |


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