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Peter Gabriel - Us CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

3.64 | 431 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Another two letter word album

It has always astonished me to find people dismissing post-Peter Gabriel Genesis as commercial crap while at the same time embracing Gabriel's solo career. It is one thing to prefer the one over the other as a matter of personal taste, but it is quite another to claim "commerciality" and lack of Prog contents as the reason. Albums like So and Us are, to my ears at least, every bit as commercial as 80's and 90's Genesis. Indeed, as I pointed out in my review of So, listening to Peter Gabriel's music of this period one can simply conclude that had Gabriel stayed in Genesis, those much reviled Genesis albums might not have turned out all that different. The hits Gabriel had at the time are not very different in style from Genesis songs like Land Of Confusion and I Can't Dance. Thus, blaming Genesis for "selling out", while at the same time holding Peter Gabriel up as a hero for never abandoning Prog is a bit hypocritical as far as I'm concerned. After all, Gabriel never produced anything as progressive as Home By The Sea/Second Home By The Sea or Fading Lights.

Us was the follow up to So from 1986. It thus took Gabriel six years to produce this album even though he worked on other musical projects in the meantime. Us builds heavily on the formula set up with So, why change a successful formula? Steam, in particular, is virtually a carbon copy of Sledgehammer from the previous album and again it became a hit. Kiss That Frog is the same type of song as Shock The Monkey from another previous album.

Like So's Red Rain, the opener here too is a good song; Come Talk To Me features some very appealing bagpipes. Other good moments for me are Blood Of Eden and the ballad Washing Of The Water. This latter song, based as it is on piano and a strong vocal, sounds more "timeless" in comparison with most of the other songs, which have a heavy 80's Pop/Rock sound. Towards the end of the album it tends to sound like just more of the same.

For me Peter Gabriel's solo career is not particularly interesting from a Prog perspective. Us is not a bad album by any means, but I fail to bring up any enthusiasm over it. If you are a fan of Gabriel and you liked his previous albums, you will most probably like this one too. But like with So, I cannot recommend this to anyone but such fans.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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