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


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

3.60 | 788 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Transitional albums are fun. They usually feature some familiar elements combined with some fresh new elements as well. Although the Genesis influence isn't really present on Gabriel's solo debut "Moribund the burgemeister" would have fit in easily on "the Lamb lies down on Broadway". But "Moribund" also shows some elements that would become Gabriel's trademark in the decade to come. In the interesting percussion parts you can spot slices of African drums. The chorus is pretty majestic but the arrangements shows the signs of what there is yet to come over the next couple of years.

On the subsequent live tour Gabriel performed just one track from his former band which is odd for an artist who just has released one album on his own. It seems he already wanted to get rid of his past back then. On the lovely "Sollsbury hill he refers to his old band in the lyrics for example this : "I was feeling part of the scenery, I walked right out of the machinery". Bob Ezrin did the production for this album and it's impossible to lie about this. Wherever he goes his big sound comes along, just listen to The Wall, Alice Cooper or Kansas' late eighties album. Even compared to the sound of Genesis this sounds extremely bombastic or pompous. Songs like "Modern love" and Slow burn" could almost be called American heavy rock : heavy guitar chords, guitar solo's that sound like anthems, energetic vocals with Gabriels voice dubbed in the chorus, a rocking piano underneath. Only some details on the background are referring to the good old Genesis or progressive rock in general even though the line up features the likes of Robert Fripp and Larry Fast but a lot of guitar parts are played by Steve Hunter, a typical American rock musician. Though these songs have definitely strong melodies and are highly enjoyable Gabriel would never to be seen in this area again and that must have been the influence from Bob Ezrin who's impact on the album is more than just producing the record. He even brought in some musicians.

"Waiting for the big one" was another one off experiment. A blues song which refers to Randy Newman if it wasn't for the chorus, very strange to hear him in this area but no one could call this a bad song. In the end the chorus is sung by a choir and that makes an excellent introduction to the orchestral "Dolce vita" which is another American sounding melodic rock song. This is one of the only tracks to contain an excitable song structure. Mostly I'm fond of the idea to bring in orchestra's in rock music but these orchestral section are sounding so bombastic, it's getting close to annoying. Many people seem to prefer the piano version of "Here comes the flood" but I do like the original version more cause of the full blown sound and let's be honest the emotional guitar solo is splendid. Another version of this track ended up on a solo effort from Robert Fripp. The atmosphere on "In a hundrum" has some similarities but the accordeon adds a lighter touch. This is the only track to have an atmospheric dreamscape reminiscent to Genesis. On these songs Gabriel seems to turn himself into a talented song writer.

The music on this album is a lot more rock than progressive. Springsteen's Born to run meets Genesis ? Something like that ! This melodic stuff is accessible and does contain excellent musicianship at the same time as you can hear on the details which you can easily hear on the remastered edition. But no real instrumental excerpts can be spotted. You can't possibly call this an essential addition to any prog collection apart from the fact that Gabriel use to be the front man of one of the greatest progressive rock bands ever. As a rock album I would rate this album much higher, after all, I still consider this amongst my all time favourite Gabriel albums. The melodies and atmospheres that are present on this album are astonishing. 3,5 stars

Fishy | 3/5 |


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