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


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

3.55 | 607 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I am quite shocked that this record seems to have so little love attached to it. Admittedly it takes some time to really appreciate and the switching of styles may appear haphazard and the production a little muddy (although it sounds fine to me in a Phil Spector 'Wall of sound' way) but generally what I hear is an exploration into the great unknown. Clearly for Gabriel this had to be set well apart from his Genesis days and so all instrumental twiddling is expunged in favour of songs..just songs! Yep horrors of horrors there are no extended instrumental work outs. However all is not 'lost' as you get at least a outing with the London Symphony Orchestra on 'Down The Dolce Vita'.

The opening track 'Moribund The Burgermeister' is a tricky opening rack. Talk about not making life easy for the listener! Over the years I have to come to love this little gem but its an incredibly twisted piece that needs time to settle (as do many tracks on this album). The background synth is so good. Gabriel sings 'I will find out' and you know he will (and he says so).

Solsbury Hill ,does this even need reviewing. Along with Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here and Kansas 'Dust In The WInd' this is one of my favorite prog singles. Fripps guitar signature at the end is sheer magic. If you don't have goosebumps at this point get someone to prod you to make sure you aren't dead.

Next up is Modern Love , something of an obvious nod to the exploding new wave scene of the time. Instrumentally its a tad ordinary but the sharp and humorus lyrics are the saving grace here. 'In Paris my heart sinks when I see the Mona Lisa , she gives my the wink and then shows me the freezer'. Ha!

Probably the most difficult track for me is 'Excuse Me'. Barbershop is something I know nothing about..Normally this sort of thing is harmless but in Gabriel hands in turns into an ode about wanting to be alone. Humour is again very much to the fore in the lyrics. Loads of fun but admittedly not everyone's cup of tea.

Humdrum is possibly one the tracks that for many drags the album down a notch. Its just very soft and melancholic. Not very cheery but the electric piano is gorgeous in a depressed Supertramp kind of way. It does a perk up a little in places but then is enveloped by what sounds like Mellotron (but most probably isn't) and returns to the general depression. I like this track very much.

Slowburn vies with Down The Dolce Vita and Solsbury Hill for my fave on the album. The complexity is delightfull taking you every place imaginable in just a few minutes.

Waiting For The Big One does nothing to take away the melancholic mood. It's basic bar room blues. Dull as dishwater and easily the worst track on the album but at least its sandwiched in between the two best tracks. One to skip.

Down The Dolce Vita is a juggernaut of a track featuring the LSO and with a mid section to die for. Turn it up loud!

Last but very much not least is the beautiful Here Comes The Flood. Gabriel is such a soulfull singer and the use of organ on this track is spot on. Exceptional.

So what does this album add up to. About 8 brilliant tracks and maybe one dud. I'm not prepared to deprive this commendable debut a 5 star album because of one filler. There is just so much that is good and 'kills' 99% of the releases recognised as 5 stars on PA.

richardh | 5/5 |


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