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Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel 1 [Aka: Car] CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

3.55 | 609 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars What a strange album! Genesis fans must have been abuzz when Peter Gabriel released his solo debut, but it seems that many were disappointed, and many were delighted. This album is one of many styles, a strange menagerie of genres, as though the newly emancipated front man was test-driving a variety of musical directions- perhaps that is the symbolism of the artwork! It seems this fellow was musically clutching at straws!

"Moribund The Burgermeister" Am I sure Rael has rescued brother John, or is he still stick in the otherworld with the Slippermen and the lamia? The opener of this album either represents Gabriel just stepping out in the direction he wanted to go, or it reveals that he truly is not as free as the rest of the album would lead listeners to believe. Either way, it is a satisfying and unquestionably progressive piece that could have been a part of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway- an amazing song in that imaginary context.

"Solsbury Hill" This is a masterpiece of music. It is inspiring. The debut single from Peter Gabriel tells of his departure from Genesis in a poetic and mythical manner. The piece is mostly in 7/4 time but sounds like the perfect pop song, and this is evinced by the sheer number of artists who have covered it and movie producers who have included this in the soundtrack of their films. I think the interaction between the acoustic guitar and the synthesizer is phenomenal, and the vocal performance is nothing short of fabulous.

"Modern Love" This painfully obvious attempt at a pop hit is so painful that Gabriel wore a fencing uniform in the even more awful music video. His vocals are good (how often are they bad?), but the composition itself just sucks- terrible pop rock song with horrible lyrics.

"Excuse Me" This off-kilter track opens with a Barbershop a cappella bit. Using tuba for the bass, jazz guitar runs, honky-tonk piano, and a jaunty bit of drumming, this is about as theatrically embarrassing as it gets. It is a novelty I can do without. Excuse me for saying so.

"Humdrum" Gentle electric piano and a soft vocal make up this initially relaxing track. The composition has some real progressive leanings, particularly in its wide variety of textures. Overall, this is a remarkable song.

"Slowburn" Like the previous track, this is a strange mishmash of styles, but not nearly as good. It fuses Queen-like rock with bittersweet quieter passages. The lead guitar is a majestic highlight of the piece.

"Waiting for the Big One" Continuing on in this bizarre soiree of styles, the album's longest track is a piano-led blues number. Gabriel's pipes were just not crafted to sing the blues, especially not this cheesy lounge music, but the guitar solo is something of a compensation.

"Down the Dolce Vita" After a cinematic introduction that will occasionally hurl itself back in, Gabriel goes disco. The clavichord is the main rhythm instrument during the first verse, but later there's a jumble of sounds and electric guitar, making this a real chimera of a song. Without reason, there's a fifteen-second Celtic passage at the end.

"Here Comes the Flood" Soft and sensual, this light piece has been accused (by the song maker, no less) of being overproduced, but I don't quite see it that way. This has the bite of rock music, yet has so much more going on. While I wouldn't consider it a masterpiece, it is a great closer to this highly eclectic debut.

Epignosis | 3/5 |


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