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


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

3.95 | 649 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I cannot imagine what this album sounds like to someone born after 1990, as so many Progarchives users are. Perhaps it smacks a little too much of the early eighties (abundant use of orchestral synths and all) and it does not even have the advantage of sounding "quaint" and "antique", like early Genesis.

But if you can reconcile yourself with its unique idiom, there are a lot of treasures to be found. Generally speaking, Gabriel continues in the (largely) experimental style which characterised his third solo album, but where PG III was dark and ominous, PG IV is life-affirming, predominantly festive, exultant even. I tend to see III as black-and-white, but IV is in vibrant multicolor.

Many of the tunes are among the best Gabriel has written. In any retrospective box set of his work, I would definitely include "The Rhythm Of The Heat", "San Jacinto", "I Have The Touch" and "Kiss Of Life". Only two tracks turn out to be disappointments. "The Family And The Fishing Net" purports to deal with Weighty Themes, but as a piece of music it doesn't stand up; and "Wallflower" is a rather bland and unconvincing ballad.

By the way, have you noticed how Gabriel keeps returning to that triumphant climax of "Supper's Ready"? We've seen the gorgeously symphonic second half of "Humdrum" on his first solo album, and now he employs a similar effect in "San Jacinto", surely one of his strongest compositions. Once a symphonic progger, always a symphonic progger; in spite of all those fashionable New Wave trappings!

fuxi | 4/5 |


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