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Peter Gabriel - OVO CD (album) cover

OVO

Peter Gabriel

 

Crossover Prog

3.48 | 226 ratings

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SteveG
4 stars OVO is Peter Gabriel's musical contribution to the UK Millennial Experience exhibition and is right up his world music soundtrack alley. Fussing disparate musical styles and instrumentation, similar to what he did on the Passion soundtrack, Gabriel is more bold and experimental, if less focused and visceral this time around. This eclectic mix of styles runs the gamut from an Afro-Celtic reel (with tribal drumming) to soulful R&B to an industrial rocker to ambient soundscapes, all with that distinct Gabriel musical underpinning that pulls it all together into a singular whole. Peter hands off most vocals to guest artists like Richie Havens, Emma Everett and Paul Buchanan while slipping in a few vocals of his own. That said, his wistful piano ballad "Father, Son" is teeming with emotion and is one of Gabriel's best vocals found on this or any record. Gabriel is more of a composer and musical director on this venture adding piano, synths, programming and a handful of hand percussion to songs that feature old band mates Tony Leven (bass), David Rhodes (guitar) and Manu Katché (drums). Supported by a "Real World" cast that supplied all of those strange, exotic and esoteric instruments that we fell in love with on the Passion soundtrack, we also see a welcome return of the extraordinary double violin of L. Shankar.

The lead off track "The Story Of Ovo" is just that, a dialog over music done in a rap style by Neneh Cherry and a bloke named Rasco. Not very prog but once you've got the story down, you can easily skip this track on future listenings to start the album on the sublime second track titled "Low Light" and enjoy this wonderful musical journey to the end of the album. This is the type of album that requires careful and repeated listening to explore and savor all the nuances of this lush, layered and well produced music. So kick back, relax and enjoy it with a glass of your favorite wine. 4 stars.

SteveG | 4/5 |

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