Header

SO

Peter Gabriel

Crossover Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Peter Gabriel So album cover
3.83 | 485 ratings | 49 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


Write a review
Buy PETER GABRIEL Music
from Progarchives.com partners
Studio Album, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Red Rain (5:39)
2. Sledgehammer (5:16)
3. Don't Give Up (6:33)
4. That Voice Again (4:53)
5. In Your Eyes (5:30)
6. Mercy Street (for Anne Sexton) (6:21)
7. Big Time (success) (4:29)
8. We Do What We're Told (milgram's 37) (3:22)
Bonus track on CD and K7
9. This Is The Picture (excellent birds) (4:18)

Total Time: 46:23

Lyrics

Search PETER GABRIEL So lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search PETER GABRIEL So tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Gabriel / lead vocal, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, percussion etc... (All)
- Jerry Marotta / drums (1), drumstick bass (7)
- Chris Hughes / Linn programming (1)
- Stewart Copeland / Hi-hat (1), drums (7)
- Tony Levin / bass (1-5), drumstick bass (7)
- David Rhodes / guitar (1-5, 7-8), background vocals (1& 5)
- Daniel Lanois / guitar (1-2 & 4), tambourine (2), Surf guitar (7), 12-string guitar (9)
- Manu Katché / drums (2-5), percussion (3-5), talking drums (5 & 9)
- Wayne Jackson / trumpet (2 & 7), cornet (7)
- Mark Rivera / saxophone (2)
- Don Mikkelsen / trombone (2 & 7)
- P.P. Arnold, Coral Gordon, Dee Lewis / background vocals (2 & 7)
- Richard Tee / piano (3, 5-6)
- Simon Clark / Chorus CS80 (3), Hammond, CMI, bass (7)
- Kate Bush / guest vocal (3)
- L. Shankar / violin (4 & 8)
- Jerry Marotta / additional drums (5), drums (8)
- Larry Klein / bass (5-6)
- Youssou N'Dour / guest vocal (5)
- Michael Been, Jim Kerr / background vocals (5)
- Ronnie Bright / bass vocals (5)
- Djalma Correa / Surdu, congas, triangle (6)
- Mark Rivera / Processed saxophone (6), Alto, Tenor and Baritone saxophones (7)
- Jimmy Bralower / Linn kick (7)
-Laurie Anderson / voice (9)
-Bill Laswell / bass (9)
-Nile Rodgers / guitar (9)

Releases information

Geffen GHS-24088

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to proglucky for the last updates
Edit this entry

PETER GABRIEL MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

Buy PETER GABRIEL So Music


So (25th Anniversary Remaster)So (25th Anniversary Remaster)
Remastered
Real World Productions 2012
Audio CD$6.98
$4.57 (used)
Shaking the Tree: Sixteen Golden GreatsShaking the Tree: Sixteen Golden Greats
Remastered
Real World Prod. Ltd 2010
Audio CD$6.04
$1.94 (used)
Scratch My Back & I'll Scratch YoursScratch My Back & I'll Scratch Yours
Limited Edition
Real World Productions 2014
Audio CD$11.68
$11.01 (used)
New BloodNew Blood
Special Edition
Real World 2011
Audio CD$11.70
$8.15 (used)
Peter Gabriel 4: SecurityPeter Gabriel 4: Security
Remastered
Real World Prod. Ltd 2010
Audio CD$7.86
$4.99 (used)
Scratch My BackScratch My Back
Deluxe Edition · Special Edition
Real World Productions 2010
Audio CD$10.80
$9.94 (used)
Peter Gabriel 3: MeltPeter Gabriel 3: Melt
Remastered
Real World Prod. Ltd 2010
Audio CD$6.30
$8.83 (used)
UsUs
Remastered
Real World Prod. Ltd 2010
Audio CD$6.04
$5.96 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Peter Gabriel - Hit [CD New] US $13.20 Buy It Now 37m 42s
Peter Gabriel - So (25th Anniversary) [CD New] US $92.75 Buy It Now 42m 8s
Shaking the Tree: Sixteen Golden Greats by Peter Gabriel. US $0.99 [2 bids]
44m 8s
2 LP PETER GABRIEL LOT So - Self Titled (Car Window Record) US $7.99 [0 bids]
US $10.99 Buy It Now
44m 15s
Up by Peter Gabriel (CD, Sep-2002, Universal Distribution) US $4.99 [0 bids]
US $6.49 Buy It Now
1h 12m
PETER GABRIEL * 45 * Walk Through The Fire * 1984 * DJ PROMO * USA UNPLAYED MINT US $2.68 Buy It Now 1h 18m
PETER GABRIEL, SELF TITLED - LP US $5.00 Buy It Now 1h 22m
PETER GABRIEL KATE BUSH, DON'T GIVE UP PROMO 12" SINGLE US $5.00 Buy It Now 1h 48m
PETER GABRIEL" SHAKING THE TREE: SIXTEEN GOLDEN GREATS" [Remaster] US $2.76 Buy It Now 1h 56m
ROBBIE ROBERTSON s/t LP OOP late-80's rock U2 Peter Gabriel The Band Tony Levin US $4.99 Buy It Now 1h 59m
MARIAH CAREY Sinead O'connor ANNIE LENNOX Peter Gabriel ROD STEWART PROMO CD US $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 59m
PETER GABRIEL 6 REPLICA TO THE ORIGINAL LP JAPAN OBI IN A RARE CD Sealed Box Set US $594.99 Buy It Now 2h
Shaking the Tree: Sixteen Golden Greats by Peter Gabriel (CD, Dec-1990, Geffen) US $0.99 [0 bids]
2h 9m
PETER GABRIEL - THE BARRY WILLIAMS SHOW CD SINGLE US $6.63 Buy It Now 2h 10m
Peter Gabriel - Us CD US $5.98 Buy It Now 2h 10m
Peter Gabriel - Cassette Lot Collection - Genesis So Security Shaking The Tree US $24.99 Buy It Now 2h 13m
PETER GABRIEL- RED RAIN - 7" VINYL US $3.00 [0 bids]
2h 28m
Genesis Nursery Cryme Vinyl LP Charisma Pink label CAS 1052 1972 Peter Gabriel US $18.99 [0 bids]
2h 28m
Peter Gabriel Super Disk LP Record Sealed Mint 1977 Moribund The Burgermeister US $79.99 [0 bids]
US $120.00 Buy It Now
2h 38m
PETER GABRIEL- NO SELF CONTROL VINYL 7" 45RPM P/S US $3.15 Buy It Now 2h 40m
Peter Gabriel "Security" w/Shock the Monkey. LP EX/VG+ US $7.99 Buy It Now 2h 44m
Peter Gabriel-magazine advert US $8.31 Buy It Now 2h 50m
PETER GABRIEL - Birdy (Soundtrack) - CD Album *Original Release**No Barcode* US $8.31 Buy It Now 2h 57m
Peter Gabriel S/T I "Solsbury Hill" LP 1st US Pressing SD-36-147 NM/EX US $7.99 Buy It Now 3h
BIG BLUE BALL Peter Gabriel blue vinyl 45 rpm NEW SEALED 2 LP Sinead O'Connor US $89.97 Buy It Now 3h 21m
LOT OF 5 PETER GABRIEL PROMO CD'S FACTORY SEALED CARDBOARDS FACTORY SEALED US $22.99 Buy It Now 3h 50m
Peter Gabriel 2 12" Vinyl Records released 1980 and 1982 US $20.00 [0 bids]
US $40.00 Buy It Now
3h 57m
PETER GABRIEL Walk Through The Fire-Remix Version-Promotional 12" Vinyl-PR 609 US $3.99 [0 bids]
US $7.00 Buy It Now
4h 6m
PETER GABRIEL-WALK THROUGH FIRE/MAKING BIG MISTAK 45+PS US $9.98 Buy It Now 4h 13m
PETER GABRIEL-SLEDGEHAMMER/DONT BREAK RHYT GERMAN 45+PS US $7.00 Buy It Now 4h 14m
PETER GABRIEL-BIG TIME/WE DO WHAT WERE TOLD milgr 45+PS US $5.98 Buy It Now 4h 14m
City of Angels [Original Soundtrack] by Original Soundtrack w Peter Gabriel US $4.99 Buy It Now 4h 25m
PETER GABRIEL "Us" remastered CD US $1.00 [1 bids]
4h 28m
* PETER GABRIEL - So Cd US $3.49 Buy It Now 4h 46m
Peter Gabriel - Up [CD New] US $20.99 Buy It Now 4h 53m
LIONEL RICHIE - LOUDER THAN WORDS CD 2003 MERCURY PETER GABRIEL COMBINED SHIP US $0.99 [0 bids]
US $1.99 Buy It Now
4h 57m
Peter Gabriel - Passion OST CD sealed NEW RARE US $34.00 Buy It Now 5h 5m
PETER GABRIEL 3xCassette Tapes PETER GABRIEL 1977 +Alternate PRINT, Security US $6.66 Buy It Now 5h 9m
15 Cassettes Box-Tina Turner,David Bowie,Jackson Browne,Billy Joel,Peter Gabriel US $40.99 Buy It Now 5h 22m
GENESIS *complete* PETER GABRIEL ERA 1969 - 1974 album lot 6 albums THE LAMB US $40.00 [1 bids]
5h 28m
Peter Gabriel Birdy [Digipak] [Limited](CD, May-2002, Universal... NUMBERED NEW US $14.99 Buy It Now 5h 32m
PETER GABRIEL THE BARRY WILLIAMS SHOW [2 TRACKS] PROMO US $1.99 Buy It Now 5h 41m
So by Peter Gabriel (CD, Oct-2011, Real World Productions) US $0.99 [1 bids]
5h 45m
PETER GABRIEL "SHOCK THE MONKEY/SOFT DOG" 45 PICTURE DISC US $14.99 Buy It Now 5h 47m
Peter Gabriel - Steam CD-single SEALED promo-only US 2-track US $7.99 Buy It Now 6h 2m
PETER GABRIEL " BIG TIME " 12" VIRGIN VINYL PRE-RELEASE EXCELLENT 1987 US $9.14 Buy It Now 6h 9m
PETER GABRIEL barry williams show CD 4 track unadulterated radio edit b/w album US $8.31 Buy It Now 6h 12m
Peter Gabriel ~~ SO ~ Cd MINT!~1986 US $4.88 [0 bids]
6h 18m
LIONEL RICHIE "Louder than Words" 2006 w/ Peter Gabriel, Babyface, Jimmy Jam + US $3.77 Buy It Now 6h 20m
PETER GABRIEL Plays Live (Highlights) UK Blue Face Cd PGDLCD 1 Genesis US $2.99 [0 bids]
6h 23m
HITDISC 0003B-1993-17 TRX.V/A UNPLAYED AOR/URB.PROMO CD-2PAC+SLASH+PETER GABRIEL US $2.99 [1 bids]
6h 26m
Tony Levin "Double Espresso" Live 2CD (Peter Gabriel) US $7.99 [0 bids]
6h 26m
Tony Levin "Stick Man" CD (Autographed) Peter Gabriel US $9.99 [0 bids]
6h 29m
PETER GABRIEL PASSION LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST GENESIS DMM PRECISION 2 LP NM US $59.99 [0 bids]
6h 40m
PETER GABRIEL I 1988 OOP CD Japan VJD-28015 GENESIS US $15.28 [2 bids]
6h 55m
PETER GABRIEL II 1988 OOP CD Japan VJD-28016 GENESIS US $13.27 [0 bids]
6h 57m
PETER GABRIEL IV 1988 OOP CD Japan VJD-28088 GENESIS US $17.26 [0 bids]
7h
Shaking the Tree: Sixteen Golden Greats by Peter Gabriel (CD, Dec-1990, Geffen) US $2.99 [0 bids]
US $3.93 Buy It Now
7h 4m
Peter Gabriel "sw"...advance promo 2-cd set US $5.99 [0 bids]
US $7.99 Buy It Now
7h 5m
Peter Gabriel-"Big Time"-12" maxi single lp vinyl record Promotional Copy 45 RPM US $11.99 Buy It Now 7h 14m
Peter Gabriel Walk Through The Fire PROMO 45 RPM Vinyl US $5.59 Buy It Now 7h 24m
Peter Gabriel New Blood Live In London Deluxe Box Set DVD Blu-Ray 2xCD Book New US $61.57 Buy It Now 7h 28m
Peter Gabriel "Sledgehammer" Picture Sleeve & 45 Record 1980's Music US $4.99 [0 bids]
US $6.49 Buy It Now
7h 28m
Peter Gabriel "Big Time" Picture Sleeve & 45 Record 1980's Music US $4.99 [0 bids]
US $6.49 Buy It Now
7h 28m
PETER GABRIEL "REMASTERS SAMPLER" 8 TRX. GEFFEN 2002 STILL SEALED-BRAND NEW OOP US $10.49 [0 bids]
7h 59m
PETER GABRIEL "SO" 2002 REMASTERED STILL SEALED IN ORIGINAL SHRINK WRAP US $10.49 [0 bids]
7h 59m
Us by Peter Gabriel (CD, Sep-1992, Geffen) Used US $0.99 [0 bids]
8h 12m
PETER GABRIEL - Shaking The Tree - 1990 - CD - GEFSD 24326 - PROMO COPY US $3.99 Buy It Now 8h 19m
Birdy by Peter Gabriel (CD, Geffen) US $1.50 [0 bids]
US $1.99 Buy It Now
8h 23m
PETER GABRIEL GENESIS Japan 1986 32VD-1021 NM CD SO US $35.99 Buy It Now 8h 43m
The Genesis Story cd radio show Unistar Peter Gabriel oop insert cue sheets mint US $19.99 [0 bids]
US $29.99 Buy It Now
8h 44m
Peter Gabriel Secret World Live (CD, Sep-1994, 2 disc set) Live in Modena, Italy US $5.99 [0 bids]
8h 48m
GENESIS Trespass Mini LP Hybrid SACD + DVD JAPAN TOGP-15020 / Peter Gabriel US $51.00 [8 bids]
8h 51m
1985 NM Vinyl Lp~~~Peter Gabriel~~~SO~~~{Genesis}{Sledgehammer} Geffen 24088 US $5.99 [0 bids]
8h 52m
* PETER GABRIEL - Us US $2.49 Buy It Now 8h 54m
GENESIS Nursery Cryme Mini LP Hybrid SACD + DVD JAPAN TOGP-15021 / Peter Gabriel US $51.00 [4 bids]
8h 54m
GENESIS Foxtrot Mini LP Hybrid SACD + DVD JAPAN TOGP-15022 / Peter Gabriel US $59.00 [12 bids]
8h 57m
Cassette Tape: PETER GABRIEL 1 Debut S/T First 1977 Canada ATCO CS-36-147 Car US $5.99 Buy It Now 8h 58m
PETER GABRIEL "SHAKING THE TREE" 2002 REMASTERED STILL SEALED IN SHRINK CD US $7.99 [0 bids]
9h
PETER GABRIEL ein deutsches album GERMAN IMPORT 'GERMAN LANGUAGE' NM VINYL LP US $24.99 [0 bids]
9h 5m
Peter Gabriel Passion : Music for The Last Temptation Of Christ (CD 1989) US $3.98 Buy It Now 9h 9m
PETER GABRIEL - HIT NEW CD US $26.48 Buy It Now 9h 10m
Peter Gabriel : Shaking the Tree: 16 Golden Greatest Hits CD (1990) US $4.00 [0 bids]
9h 13m
Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer / Don't Break This Rhythm - 45 US $1.99 [0 bids]
9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis 2 phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis 2 phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis 2 phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter gabriel genesis 2 phil collins t-shirt (longsleve & hoodie available) US $18.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m

More places to buy PETER GABRIEL music online Buy PETER GABRIEL & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for PETER GABRIEL DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

PETER GABRIEL So ratings distribution


3.83
(485 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
27%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
47%
Good, but non-essential (22%)
22%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

PETER GABRIEL So reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Peter GABRIEL sums up "So" in "Sledgehammer" -- "I've kicked the habit / Shed my skin / This is the new stuff / I go dancing in." So is almost a coming-out party, with signs of a newfound confidence evident everywhere, from the album cover (the first to feature his face unobscured) to the genuine pursuit of commercial success. Along with Steve Winwood's Back In The High Life, So grabbed radio listeners with its sophisticated merging of world music, dance rhythms and English pop. Much of So's success belongs to coproducer Daniel Lanois, who had honed his art at the foot of Mount Eno and had already worked with GABRIEL on the soundtrack to Birdy. Lanois adds exotic sounds at every turn, enabled by an exotic cast (Tony Levin, Manu Katche, Kate Bush, Youssou N'dour, David Rhodes).

But the real revelation here is GABRIEL as he assumes the mantle of the mature artist: unashamed to be celebratory, compelled to be cautionary, and self-assured in his skills as a poetic diviner of emotional essence. That GABRIEL's emergence from his own chrysalis occurs in tandem with Lanois' declaration of artistic independence gave "So" two rockets of propulsion, so no wonder it found itself leagues ahead of its contemporaries in the pop market. Equally important to the success of So, GABRIEL was again not pushing merely the musical envelope but the visual envelope as well, courtesy of music videos played on MTV. While videos for songs like "Shock the Monkey" were ambitious by the standards of their time, GABRIEL outdid himself on the videos for "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time", both of which managed to make the artist's visionary work seem accessible and friendly. It would be tempting to call GABRIEL's third album his best, since it was his first attempt to break free from the conventional confines of Western pop, but the tools at GABRIEL's disposal on "So" are so much more impressive that it outclasses his third album at every turn.

Every song on "So" is well crafted, a unique and self-sustaining musical world in miniature, balancing between the extroverted ("Big Time", "That Voice Again") and introverted ("Mercy Street," "Don't Give Up"). Fifteen years later, the music (and the music videos) from this effort are still vital and vigorous. Of interest, the compact disc of So included GABRIEL's duet with Laurie Anderson, "Excellent Birds", which could also be found on Anderson's own Mister Heartbreak. It was the second of several collaborations between the singer and the leading ladies of the '80s alternative scene.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#24034) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 17, 2004

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 'So' has the ability to transport you into the mood of the songs with ease. It is an easily accessible album and whilst I would not call it highly commercial it certainly for me is Gabriel's most commercial effort. Bad? Definitely not, Red Rain is a classic track and probably the best song on the album. Sledgehammer his most commercial song ever, but noone will dismiss it's charm and thumping beat. This song also acted as a portal for video communication, demonstrating Gabriel's visual abilities in a more modern era of technological media.Kate Bush adds a great duet on Don't Give Up, another commercial winner. In Your Eyes and Mercy Street stand out for side 2. Overall this is a classic album from a man in his 30's, all grown up now. The music more malleable for the masses but for me not quite up there with Security and PG3.A very important contribution to the 80's decade.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#24045) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 23, 2004

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The most accessible of all the Peter Gabriel`s albums I have heard. It has some "commercial" songs, too, and it was a big hit. In this album, Peter Gabriel played keyboards in all the songs. "Red Rain" has a very good piano and drums and percussion. "Sledgehammer" is a song about sex, I think, with a very good bass guitar. "Don`t give up" is a good gesture for unemployed people, with Gabriel singing with feeling. But I don`t like Kate Bush`s vocals. She is pretty, but she is not one of my favourite female singers. "That voice again" has interesting drums, bass and guitars."In your eyes" is a beautiful love song (the best of all the songs in this album). "Mercy Street" is a painful but cathartic song, with very good percussion and keyboards arrangements."Big time" is similar to "Sledgehammer", but it is also a good song. "We do what we`re told" and "This is the picture" are the "experimental weird songs" of this album, and are less interesting for me. With the videos for "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time" Gabriel also demonstrated that he is a very good video maker. In 1986, this album was in the U.K. and U.S. hit parade charts with "Invisible Touch" by GENESIS and "GTR" by GTR.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#24046) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 09, 2004

Review by Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I have to start things off by saying "God I love this album!" What is there not to like on the recording? Every song is Peter GABRIEL at his career best. His mood is light and airy, which is a total shift from the dark and serious moods of his previous outings.

"Sledgehammer" has to be the best and the most successful single that Peter has ever made. It has irresistibly catchy hooks and rhythms that would make the most serious jazz or classical listener want to get up and dance. "Red Rain" is an instantly recognizable radio standard that still gets good rotation to this day. "Big Time" was another light-hearted tune with the injections of African-World rhythms via standout percussion, funky pop, and the ever present prog-rock foundation lingering in and around the edges of every song. "In Your Eyes" is romanticism personified by GABRIEL, featuring some of the most memorable lyrics and music to ever grace the ears of his listeners. It's one of my all-time favorites.

This is an astoundingly consistent album loaded with great songs and many hits that would once again send Peter into yet another direction in his career. He was just getting better and better with each release, and this was his best yet. Music like this never gets old or tiresome; it's timeless and ageless because of its originality, eternal freshness, and open ended approach that appealed to such a huge cross section of listeners worldwide. The world was his oyster now, what would come next?

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#24047) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When this album came-out, I had two opposing reactions: one side of me saying "I hate it" while the other part saying "I like it". Why? With the wonderfully crafted predecessor fourth album "Security" with powerful songs like "The Rhythm of The Heat", "San Jacinto", "The Family and The Fishing Net", "Wall Flower", I expected Peter Gabriel would push the music forward into more explorative combination between world music and rock. But what I got here with "So" is the exploration of the "Shock The Monkey" part of the previous album. Yes, there are so many disco songs like "Shock The Monkey" including: "Big Time", "Sledgehammer", "Red Rain" and "In Your Eyes".

But with more spins I grabbed other good point about the album, i.e the blend of world music into "Red Rain" and "In Your Eyes" that creates excellent composition and great sound. The other strong point is the powerful lyrics like the one for "Don't Give Up" which has a very encouraging messages for not quitting for men who quest for life. It's really a powerful message delivered through a dialogue between a man (Peter Gabriel) with his wife (Kate Bush) in melodic way. The other track that really stands out and in my opinion is the best track of this album is "Mercy Street (for Anne Sexton)" which has a powerful composition. I always repeat this track whenever I listen to it.

What's also good about this album is the number of musicians involved as collaborators of this album. They came from various musical background with their peculiar skills to collaborate in this album. This variety gives a contribution on the richness of sounds produced by this album.

Overall, it's not Peter Gabriel's finest album (my view) but I still recommend this album for you to own it. The sonic quality of the CD is really good. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#43246) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album showcases a very modern sounding, progressive pop oriented Peter Gabriel. I have to admit that I'm still not very pleased with it because this music doesn't match with my progrock taste, it is too far away from the Peter Gabriel I witnessed during many concerts between 1979 and 1985. But on the other hand I conclude that Peter Gabriel is an excellent composer and he manages to create wonderful atmospheres that evoke the subjects he is writing about: the melancholy in "Red rain" and "Mercy street", the funny and catchy metaphor for sex in "Sledgehammer", love and hope in the very moving duet with Kate Bush in "Don't give up", the megalomania in "Big time" and the tension in "We do what we're told (Milgram's 37) about that awful psychological experiment with students who thought they could take the opportunity to torture more and more! Conclusion: a very good progressive pop album that has not very much to do with progressive rock. It became the start of Peter Gabriel's worldwide recognition and commercial success but I stopped with visiting his concerts although these gigs remain a visual spectacle.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#46386) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 12, 2005

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!

First album of The Gabe to have a name but even sop it is a minimal one and the future albums will fare no better in lenght. With this fifth album , Peter became the Great , and a world superstar with four huge hits.

The first to have hit the world was Sledgehammer with its state of art videoclip (soon to be followed by its little brother Big Time) , but clearly the seeds were planted with Shock The Monkey from the "Security"album - those two tracks owe a lot to the former one as they are indiscutably a bit derived from this highly spohisticated power pop. In between those two hits came also one of the worst tear jerker ever, a duet with Kate Bush : the insufferably lenghty Don't Give Up. But also superb (and adding a little depth to an otherwise a bit shallow album) is the poignant Red Rain, where Peter's voice sends chills down your spine especially with the denouciating lyrics. In Your Eyes is also another highlight but calmer and obviously aimed at the charts also.

The other two tracks have not had a lasting impression for me but Mercy Street is an average melancholic Gabriel standard tune. An Impressive album full of now-classic tunes , this album has no particular progressive elements besides the sophisticated songwriting and musical execution. That, in itself is already good!!!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#46391) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 12, 2005

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Sometimes an artist continues to progress through their career until they achieve what is as close as they can come to perfection and that is what Peter did on this album. He had gotten the attention of the global Average Joe with the groundbreaking "Shock the Monkey" in 1983, setting up the world for an acceptance of this incredible collection of songs. From the mesmerizing and powerful "Red Rain" to the intriguing "We Do What We're Told" he carries us on his back through a maze of wonderful musical discoveries without ever pandering to the lowest common denominator. "Sledgehammer" redefined pop music and how it was presented to the masses via MTV. It's effect cannot be overstated. "Don't Give Up" may be the most unusual neo-waltz ever written and its message is timeless in its subdued optimism. But it is the exquisite "In Your Eyes" that established a new standard of personal love song that emphasized the spiritual over the emotional attachment a man can have for a woman. It expresses the essence of adoration. "Mercy Street" is uncanny in its hypnotic rhythm as it carries you along in a dreamlike trance. And "Big Time" is so perfect in its sarcastic satire of modern values that many people simply missed the irony while dancing along to its infectious dance beat. And that's okay with me. This album, along with the marvelous US that was to follow, made Peter Gabriel a household name and temporarily saved humanity from the endless scourge of big-hair bands and power ballads that were characterizing the musical abyss that was the mid-to-late 80s. Just because it was universally embraced doesn' t mean it isn't progressive rock at its finest and every fan of the genre should have a copy in their collection. It is sublime greatness.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#77751) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Again, i saw some Gabriel`s reviews today and just wanted to review a couple of albums by myself, i `ve just finished Secret World CD review, and now im with a curious but great album called So.

One of the things that i love of Peter Gabriel (there are so many) is that he can always gather several musicians to his albums, this time was not an exception, juts look to the credits , only for that people you might give this album a chance despite not being a Gabriel`s fan or something, i know some supergroups or bands with great guests musicians have not trascended, but any way that was just an exra point (Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, Manu Katche, Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson).

Talking about the album, this was my firsdt Gabriel album with his voice, i mean my introduction with his music was "Passion" , so maybe i thought Gabriel`s music would be like Passion, and in my will to know it i found So, and what happened? nothing to compare with Passion, a totally different album, but an album that i also loved immediately, maybe because when i was 12 or something i used to listen more commercial music and as the last reviewer said, this is a very accesible album.

"Red Rain" is one of my favorite Gabriel`s songs, not only for this album, i like so much the mood of that song and also when i saw him live i clearly remember that red Rain was one of my fav moments.

"Sledgehammer", the poppiest song? maybe, and with one of the best videos ever made, but this time im not talking about videos, i find this song very enjoyable despite it`s not progressive at all i think.

"Dont Give Up", oh my god, this song is really beautiful, it transmits and share peace, some feeling that i cant describe because it always happens when i hear this song (with Kate Bush who is another voice that i love), take a deep breath, close your eyes and let this song enter to your soul.

"That Voice Again", after a great beggining of the album , Peter shows us with this song a weak point, it`s only one of the songs, another one, nothing special, nnot even good to sing, boring, in fact sometimes i skip it.

"Mercy Street" has again a special mood, you cant smile when you listen to it, another beautiful song very well composed lyrically and musically, great.

"Big Time", oh wait! this is an 80`s album isnt it?, so this 80`s sound was totally place in this song with that funky guitar, back vocals and some Levin lines that i clearly remember, not the best song at all, but very enjoyable and very popular, i have listen to it so many times in my local radio stations.

"We Do What We`re told" is a strange song, the hand and Gabriel`s touch is evident here, well in fact in all the songs, not a weak point , but not the best song at all.

"This is the Picture" i liike this song so much, mainly because i love the introduction of P.O.V DVD, where this song is the first , Laurie Anderson share her voice here, good one.

"In Your Eyes", it could be the song that everybody loves, but the fact is that it has all to be a loved song, i really like it who doenst love it?, all here is amazing, starting with the percussion , african voices, great lyrics and after all a beautiful sound through the song.

If you dont know Gabriel`s solo work, i wont say that this is the best place to start, but is an accesible album to listen, you will love at least one song, calls it Sledgehammer, In Your Eyes or Red Rain, very recommendable for everyone who wants to share a moment with this intelligent and unique guy.

But after all this album is not a 5 star album, neither in a progressive site or a rock site, 4 its ok for it.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to memowakeman (BETA) | Report this review (#84225) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Peter Gabriel's most commercially successful album (as far as I know at least) can be seen in this effort, simply titled So. The roots to this album's sound can be heard actually on the previous studio album (not the Birdy OST) Peter Gabriel 4. So where does So fit into the Peter Gabriel timeline? It was his last official studio album for six years (although he did release a few soundtracks and mixed compilations in the between years) until his return with Us (which I actually rate at the same level as this album). Now, like Peter Gabriel 4, this album has four or five really good tracks, but is riddled with mediocre pieces in between that seem to meander on and are filler at their core. I don't really dislike any song on the album, but there are some that I'm not fully impressed with (and that's why the score is in the middle).

Opening with the stellar track Red Rain, from first glance So looks as if it would be a fantastic album that has no sore spots. The fantastic riffing and the magnificent ethereal keyboard work molds well with the tight rhythm unit of Jerry Marotta and Tony Levin. Sledgehammer follows and it really blows almost every song on this album out of the water. Tony Levin's infectious bass groove and the catchy horn arrangement really help this song become memorable and the exceedingly catchy nature of the piece also helps its case(the music video for this song is also regarded as one of the greatest music videos ever made). Don't Give Up is sort of underwhelming when put up against the stellar first two tracks. Although there are some heartfelt vocals from Kate Bush, the song seems to meander around the same riff for 6 minutes and there's no evolution in the piece. The Voice Again is another song that doesn't really captivate me or match the power of the earlier tracks. Tony Levin's stick line is pretty cool though and he keeps a consistent flow throughout the piece, but other than that nothing is particularly special. In Your Eyes, though, not only matches the opening pieces in terms of emotion and power, but it almost exceeds them. This song (made famous by John Cusack in the movie Say Anything) has some incredibly catchy music to it (the piano and guitar during the chorus is infectious) and an incredible melody that fits well with the superb lyrics and magnificent outro.

Mercy Street is the last of the really incredible tracks on the album, in my opinion. It's a very mellow track that has some dramatic and emotional vocals from Gabriel. The sax interludes offer a mellow and heartwarming dynamic when put up next to the fantastic multi-harmony vocals. Big Time has Tony Levin unveiling his signature Funk Fingers (essentially drum sticks that attach to the fingers to give a more percussive bass line). It's a pretty groovy piece and while not as good as some of the songs I've mentioned, it's still a pretty fun piece that has a nice rocking beat. We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37) is an ethereal instrumental piece (almost instrumental that is), with subtle choral style vocals (before Gabriel comes in with a lead vocal) underneath the spacey rhythms provided by the floating keyboard lines and the melodic and punchy bass grooves. This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds) features collaborator Laurie Anderson alongside Gabriel this time around. Although not a particularly strong song when compared to other pieces on this album, it's a fitting ending to the album with punchy bass lines and a nice percussive beat. It ends the album on a lighter, more spacey and ethereal note.

So overall So is a fitting end to the 80s for Peter Gabriel (at least in terms of traditional studio albums), and while there are a lot of strong pieces on the album, there are some that just don't make the grade in my opinion. Very strong album. 4/5.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#87112) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 13, 2006

Review by Chus
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 2.5 stars really.

Peter Gabriel was always an ace when lyrics come around as subject. But, musically, Peter was not the greatest composer, nor the greatest singer and an average flute player. But he has merit for popularizing world music in the 80's, in the same way The Beatles did in the mid 60's. his lyrics are mostly earthbound and deal with life crisis and and tributes to poets and writers. The songs are mostly focused on the 80's beat with african touches in some songs and atmospherics. "Red Rain" starts the album in a very AOR mood, but nonetheless it's full of energy. Probably the most annoying song in this is Sledgehammer, with a very cheesy brass arrangement, even though the female chorus is quite catchy. "Don't Give Up" is a great atmospheric song with african sensitivity (though it's not related to african culture, as far as I've interpreted the lyrics). "That Voice Again" is a synth pop song and doesn't really stick in your head. "In Your Eyes" is perhaps his most famous song, and probably merits it's popularity; it has amazing melody and intelligent tone shifts between verses and chorus are worthwhile of listening; this is a pop music of considerate quality. "Mercy Street" again settles in an afro-beat; another soft ballad with a repetitive riff, but pleasant indeed. "Big Time" is as embarassing as Genesis' synth pop material, and even more annoying than "Sledgehammer". The next two songs are lacking of inspiration and sort of throwout pieces.

If you are a fan of Gabriel-Genesis, I wouldn't suggest this album for you. I don't listen to it much nowadays, but even though I love classic prog Genesis, I don't dismiss this album as much as I do to great part of the "Genesis trio". 2.5 stars rounded to 3.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Chus (BETA) | Report this review (#98824) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Review by evenless
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I already know this album since 1986 since my 8 year older brother owned bought it just after it had been released. You could say I sort of "grew up" with this album. I liked it so much that years later I had to buy my own copy of it. (Of course)

I wouldn't really call it a progressive album, since it had some use "potential hits" on it like "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time". These are probably the tracks I like the least now, since radio played a big roll in "overkill" of these songs. The same actually goes for Peter's duet with Kate Bush, but this is such a fantastic and delicate track that I never seem to bothered by it. I also loved the video by the way. And then that fantastic bass- line at the end of the track by one of the best bass players of the world: Mr. Tony Levin!

SO lets talk a bit about the highlights of "SO". In my eyes that would certainly be "In Your Eyes". (I just made a pun about that sentence :-) The whole song has great lyrics and a very catchy chorus. Many African instruments are played on this album as well. The end of the song contains some great singing by Youssou N'Dour. And this was quite some years before he had his big hit "7 seconds" with Neneh Cherry!

I also really like the drumming on "Red Rain" by Stewart Copeland. Anyone who remembers him? Right: he was the drummer of "The Police", another band I used to listen a lot to in the eighties. Just listen to it and you'll know what I mean! "Mercy Street" is another highlight. Very emotional song with some great instruments like a delicate triangle and some of the best flute playing I have ever heard! Astonishing!

"We do what we're told" is a bit of a weird track. Fortunately it doesn't last too long, because right after it we get another great song, the final track of the album called: "This is the Picture (excellent birds)" a very nice duet with Laurie Anderson.

Conclusion: it might be a coincidence, but I find all PG's 2 letter word albums the best. "SO", "US" and "UP". I think "SO" is my personal favourite because I have known it for the longest time, but also because the great songs and instrumentation on it. If you don't know PG solo (who doesn't?) and you're interested in buying one of his albums: look for a 2 letter title. Or start with "Growing Up Live".

4.5 stars for "SO"

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to evenless (BETA) | Report this review (#109823) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Review by russellk
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars With this album PETER GABRIEL gained a world-wide audience. But it's an audience he's purchased with a significant change in approach. 'So' is unlike anything in GABRIEL'S back catalogue.

In the four years between 'Security' in 1982 and 'So' in 1986, funk swept across the world, 'browning' much of the music scene. Actually, some western artists had fallen foul of funk as early as the mid-70s (witness ELTON JOHN'S unsuccessful flirt with funk on 'Rock of the Westies', for example), but those with an eye for coming trends knew that PARLIAMENT and their contemporaries would change rock.

Certainly 'So' has the funk. We've moved from the bombastic territory of 'Security' here, where GABRIEL sung about others, to the slick, Lanois-produced funk show of 'So' where the progressive vibe is let go, to be subsumed by world music. No doubt about it, GABRIEL has done a Good Thing here. WOMAD has enriched the world. It's just not my cup of tea.

So ... I find this album uneven. 'Red Rain' is magnificent, 'Sledgehammer' is startling, with its groove (a Chapterhouse boy gettin' down in the groove?) and its manifesto: "I've kicked the habit, shed my skin. This is the new stuff; I go dancing in." 'Don't Give Up' is a satisfying ballad, and 'Big Time' is clever. I can abide 'Mercy Street'; it's a song that creeps up on the listener. But the rest is fluff. What on earth was PG thinking with Milgram's 37? I teach research methods in social science, so my students get to hear about Milgram and his unethical experiments designed to prove we'd act no different to Nazi soldiers in WWII - 'we do what we're told' - but what does the song add to the debate? At best its a backing track to a lecture.

Smooth, sophisticated, but ultimately unsatisfying; 'So' is the latte of the PETER GABRIEL catalogue.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#115995) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With "So", Gabriel finally hit the charts in mid-1980s, accompanied with wonderful video spots of "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time". The usual instrumental support to his imaginative songs is enforced by groovy funk beats that make this album almost a "dance music". The "old" Gabriel is back again in excellent duo with Kate Bush "Don't Give Up" and dark ballad "Mercy Street". The album is perfectly produced, containing many "third world" percussions. However, we are talking about an excellent pop music, above all! Proggy traces are fewer than on previous albums and Gabriel shines in utilising the pop song format, which often can be put close to art/electronic pop, not rock. Only for this reason I rate it as averege in terms of progressive rock, because it is not essential to the genre.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#117009) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 01, 2007

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
4 stars Albums from my teenage days - pt. 3

1986 was a major 'breakthrough' year in my listening history. This LP was originally bought afresh by my sister but it became my favourite new album of that year - and still there are not much competitors. Probably So is one of the best known albums of the time, so I'll be quite subjective... The two big hits of this album (on which Peter goes soul and funk) were never up to my taste, but I'm very fond of all the other six tracks. 'Red Rain', boy how fresh and great it still sounds! The Police drummer Stewart Copeland's hi-hat is the cherry on the top. 'Don't Give Up', the tender and very emotional duet with Kate Bush, is criminally overplayed but it is an excellent song in the soft ballad category. 'That Voice Again' is the least known track but I have always enjoyed it. Especially the lung- testing long note in "only love can make LOOOOOOOOVE".

Two remaning tracks were my most loved ones; they both create a very deep atmosphere, and they both are inspired by a specific text or event. Melancholic and intimate 'Mercy Street' is honoured to the late American poet Anne Sexton. You can find the poem in question thru Google and estimate how much Gabriel uses the same vocabulary and imagery. 'We Do What We're Told (milgram's 37)' is based on the psychological experiment that revealed how easily an ordinary man or woman is made to do bad to other people if (s) he's told to do so. In short: the "tested" pretended to receive louder and louder electric shocks for every wrong answer, while the real object of the test were those who pressed the button. 63% were ready to use the deadly triple-X button after they were strictly told to obey the organizers in any situation. Knowing this story makes the mysterious track all the more moving to listen to. It's different from any other Gabriel track; without vocals it could be in the BIRDY soundtrack maybe.

Bonus track 'This Is The Picture' is a collaboration with Laurie Anderson; its style is closer to Laurie's output than Peter's. A fine track. - -- The fact that So was also commercially succesful doesn't erase its artistic value. Due to the success on both sides (sales and quality) it deserves a place on lists like "100 best records of all time". I could rate it five but Gabriel wouldn't have needed to be SO hit- seeking with the awful 'Big Time' in addition to 'Sledgehammer'.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#134692) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 24, 2007

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The mid-1980s was a trying time for music. Metal was dying a slow and painful death, drummers began looking like worried dinosaurs in the face of electronic percussion, New Wave had become old hat, Van Halen had suddenly become Journey, and Prog, well...

There were good things too; U2, Sting's mildly progressive Blue Turtles, and the rebirth of acts like Yes and Pink Floyd. But on the whole, things had gotten ugly and it was all one could do to hold on. In 1986, I was living in Los Angeles, God help me, attending music school and found myself staying in a cheesy but decent apartment. Money was scarce and new music was scarcer. So, when after a charitable meal at a friend's, he put on Peter Gabriel's new album, I was game. Though I was no big Gabriel fan then and only partly interested in prog rock, I was tempted by my buddy's insistance that I "Listen to how it sounds...", so I did. I wasn't disappointed.

And really, that's what is so remarkable about this record: how it sounds. The music? Brilliant. But it was the crystal waters and sonic exactitude that made 'So' the beauty that it is. The unstoppable 'Red Rain' rises out from Tony Levin's elastic bass and reminds of Wagner's sprawling depth and resonance. 'Sledgehammer' is a ballroom peach with Gabriel's self-effacing remarks, sexual symbolism and erotic stupor, and his duet with Kate Bush is a lovely if sappy number. More Wagnerian drama and soaring vocals for 'That Voice Again', the perfection and balance of love song 'In Your Eyes', his delicate tribute to the late poet Anne Sexton 'Mercy Street', and an absolutely searing picture of old bandmate Phil Collins woven into a sarcastic look at success in 'Big Time'. The odd 'We Do What We're Told' ends things somberly, but not enough to spoil one of the best sounding albums in music history, maybe *the* best.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#137040) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 08, 2007

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars SO superior.finally.

And then there was So. With many artists, fans and music lovers can point to albums in their career where one feels they "sold out" and the artist will be justifiably ravaged for it. They will also point to the underdog or fringe albums as some of their favorites. While the critics hail Harvest or Rust Never Sleeps as the essential Neil Young albums, his real fans know that Zuma, TtN, and On the Beach are the great stuff. It didn't work that way for Peter Gabriel. His underdogs (1/2/4) really are..dogs.for the most part. And his "sell-out" album is probably the album of his career. And then there's the issue of the term sell-out. So is not a sell-out. I call it that because a lot of people think it is, but in my opinion selling out means lowering the quality considerably (think 90125) for calculated commercial reasons. Perhaps Gabriel's So was a calculated release but it sure as hell was not lower quality. Compared to the torture of sitting through his previous album Security, So is like a revelation of the sublime. "So" is, quite simply, Peter's "Hounds of Love."

On about every front measurable, So raises the bar considerably and crushes his previous efforts. The songs perfectly achieve the balance of great artistry while being engaging, musically interesting, and fun. They flow, they sound confident and comfortable with each other. The quality of the songwriting has skyrocketed from the silliness of early material to the sheer boredom of some Security tracks. He has harnessed great energy and passion from the performances of his guests and backing musicians. His vocals have never sounded better: strong, confident, and clear. Even the presentation scores. The simple black and white cover with a photograph that finally allows the listener some emotional connection while projecting maturity. Some will say they prefer the looseness and anything goes attitude of the early albums, and while I understand the point, I will take the new controlled Gabriel in a heartbeat.

The album is bookended by two of PG's most successful songs to date in "Red Rain" and "In Your Eyes." Lovely art rock tracks that are instantly likable and yet very classy. Like many Gabriel hits, were they not ruined by the nasty over exposure of radio play they would likely be much more highly regarded by critics of this album. "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time" are understandably going to add to the critics arguments that So is a pop sell-out, they are very radio friendly. But set those two songs aside and look at the rest of the album. "Don't Give Up" is one of his finest moments and one of the most memorable duets ever. Simply astonishing. "Mercy Street" is another favorite of mine, as beautiful as a dream, floating along like the camera pan in a European art flick. "We Do What We're Told" is quite atmospheric with its bubbly samples and electronica, it sounds like the kind of music that Bjork would be singing over about 10 years later. Beautiful stuff that is sadly too short. "That Voice Again" and "This is the Picture" are less known but still decent songs as well. It's true that this album is a more mainstream release that is miles from his progressive Genesis roots. But in its own way of merging progressive tendencies with popular music it was at the very top of its game, and like Hounds of Love, has aged much better than many other projects from the mid 1980s.

"So" suffers from overexposure to be sure but I can't hold that against such an accomplished and stylish piece of music. Bold and classy, with rich, thoughtful playing by Levin and Rhodes. Superb effort. 3 ¾ stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#146376) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 22, 2007

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Peter Gabriel's fifth solo studio album, So, the first one actually to have a title, became his most successful album commercially including six songs making it onto either the Billboard Hot 100 or the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks charts. So would show a significant change in Gabriel's sound as the music became more upbeat and had a better merging of pop rock and world music. It would also be his most commercial-sounding album and his most accessible one. It literally sold like hotcakes.

At the time this came out, I wondered what had happened. So seemed like such a major disappointment compared to Security. It seemed too airy, too happy, too much like Top 40 music. It didn't seem like Peter Gabriel at all. For many years I considered it the worst album in Gabriel's career. It gave me the same reaction Genesis' Invisible Touch album did, which came out in the same year. Here were a group of talented artists that when together created things like Selling England by the Pound, Nursery Cryme, and Foxtrot. They went their separate ways in 1975, took completely different paths of musical development, and in 1986 we have Invisible Touch and So. What was wrong with these people? That was the question I had in my mind at the time.

Since 1986, Invisible Touch hasn't aged well at all. Peter Gabriel's So has. Once you get past the pop feel of the album, you notice all kinds of subtle experiments and nuances that grow with each listen. Lyrically, Gabriel was at his prime. Musically, I don't care much for where he shifted his music, but I can still admire all the creative ideas he put in this album.

Red Rain, That Voice Again, and We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37) are the most appealing tracks on the album and are more in line with Security in style. Sledgehammer, Big Time, and In Your Eyes is what put Gabriel in the limelight and made him a pop star (plus the innovative music videos he made for Sledgehammer and Big Time).

The perfect marriage of pop and prog? Maybe so. I wish it were more of the latter, but hey, everyone needs to make a living. Three stars. A good and enjoyable listen (maybe even a guilty pleasure), but not really essential when you consider this man once appeared as the lead vocalist on a song called Supper's Ready.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to progaardvark (BETA) | Report this review (#164830) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 24, 2008

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Confessing all the secret things in the warm velvet box

Back again on good form after a lengthy break, Gabriel presents one of his most commercial collections to date, while still managing to come up with a great diversity of music. For this album, he brings in noted producer Danny Lanois to work with him. Lanois, who is best known for his work with U2 but who has also produced many other artists including as Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson, brings out the best in each song through his unique talents. Gabriel also calls upon an array of noted artists to support him, the familiar names including Nile Rodgers, Tony Levin, Kate Bush P.P. Arnold and Youssou N'dour.

"So", the first time Gabriel has called an album anything other than simply Peter Gabriel, includes a couple of his biggest hit singles, namely "Sledgehammer" and "Don't give up". The success of the former was boosted in no small part by a ground-breaking video which was constantly shown on MTV. The song itself is a beat laden piece of pure pop rock.

"Don't give up" is a complete contrast, with Gabriel performing a duet with Kate Bush on a delicate ballad. While the video for this was rather too wet for my liking, the song itself works well, the emotionally charged atmosphere being emphasised by what appears to be genuine chemistry between the artists. The track is completed by some fine bass playing by Tony Levin.

"Big time" also brought further chart success being little more than a clone of "Sledgehammer". In reality, pretty much any of the tracks here could have been selected as a single. The opening Red rain for example puts some acidic lyrics to a catchy melody.

My personal favourite here is Mercy street, a wonderfully delicate number with a haunting atmosphere.

What comes through clearly is that Gabriel was just as much focused on commercial success as his former band mates. It is just as likely that Genesis would have explored pop territories even if Gabriel had stayed on. He certainly enjoyed what was arguably the most successful period of his career around this time.

As a prog album, So barely scratches the surface. This is sophisticated pop from the 1980s; great to listen to and fun to sing along to. The production and performances are impeccable, bringing out the best in a fine selection of well written songs. As long as your not looking for anything too challenging this is a worthy acquisition.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#165412) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 31, 2008

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars 'So' is a great album, not excellent like 'Melt' or 'Up' but worth a listen.

The highlight of the album is the quintessential Gabriel track 'Sledgehammer'. One of the best rock songs of the 80s along with its mind-blowing video clip that was the benchmark for special animated, claymation and beyond, effects in the 80s. Kate Bush once agin features in the beautiful 'Don't Give Up' that is one of the greatest duets. I also enjoyed 'That Voice Again' and 'In Your Eyes'.

A very pleasant album, extremely mainstream, but still has some prog elements hidden within.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#178146) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 25, 2008

Review by Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I swear that the videos to some of the songs would've scared the crap out of me as a little kid. Okay, getting back on topic...

With this album being released in 1986, one could inevitably make a comparison between Peter Gabriel's SO album and the INVISIBLE TOUCH album put out by his former Genesis colleagues. Both are pretty much under the ''new wave'' umbrella and each album spouted its fair share of hit singles. The biggest difference here is that SO embraces more world music textures in the midst of the pop music that give an artsier feel; just listen to the flute at the beginning of the monster ''Sledgehammer'' to get an idea.

I enjoy the fast paced poppier songs on here than I do the sappy ballads. The only thing that saves ''Don't Give Up'' from laughable status is Tony Levin's superb bass work at the intro. The bass here is one of the best I've heard and that machine-gun sounding workout in the middle of ''Big Time'' is magnificent. ''Red Rain'', ''We Do What We're Told'' and the bonus ''This is the Picture'' encompass most of the other highlights.

This is 80's pop music that's been given a sophisticated makeover. It's highly amusing and enjoyable, but the idea of SO being prog rock is at best, debatable.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#188269) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 07, 2008

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Peter Gabriel hit it big with this album. It certainly was his most commercial success and is quite accessible. It certainly changed things forever. It seems that with the absence of synth wizzard Larry Fast Gabriel lost some of his edge. Not that this record is pure pop or bad prog. It is not. Only different and accessible. Sledgehammer became his most well known song and, although it was never a favorite of mine, it is a very interesting and strong tune. The video for this track is very clever and showed how up to date Gabriel was in terms of visual arts and technique. He finally found a way to capitalize his incredible use of his theatrics. And rightly so.

There are a number of great songs on So: Red Rain, the emotional duet with Kate bush on Don´t Give Up, the nice world music co-operation with Youssou N´dour on In Your Eyes, his typical sense of humor on Big Time (another great video!) and, most of all, the poignant Mercy Street. The production by Daniel Lanois is quite different from his earlier effords, but it fitted well for the 80´s sound without selling out. Peter assumed most of the keyboards work and kept most of his great musicians (plus adding some other fine players too). But I must say I miss Larry Fast. Things would never be the same again, like it or not.

Conclusion: not as groundbreaking and strong as 3 or Security. Still very good and unique. 4 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#193925) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Gabriel Hits the Big Time

So, Peter Gabriel's 5th solo album, represents the pinnacle of his popular success. A perfect alignment of the development of Gabriel's sound, use of the music video, and spectacular songwriting combined to make one of the iconic albums of the 80's. It is without a doubt one of the masterpieces of modern pop, but the question for members on this site is whether it also reaches that level as a piece of crossover prog. Where the previous album still had some of PG's most creative work with a bit of pop sprinkled in, So is a pop album that incorporates Gabriel's exploratory genius. Again, the songs are simply beautiful, some of his most memorable melodies and music of his career. But the song formats, beats, and general approach are much more user-friendly, and in fact the album is even easier to digest than later albums such as Us and Up.

1. Red Rain - We are greeted with a lush piece propelled by the now well-honed Tony Levin - Jerry Marotta rhythm section. The production is perfect, the vocals flawlessly executed, Gabriel having achieved his signature textures without the rough edges. The sonic world we are dropped into is deeper and wider than ever before, a sound that PG would use many times after So. At the same time, the song structure is easy to follow, more inviting than the previous intense openers. The song sets the tone for the entire album quite well, a powerful track by a band primed to capture new fans.

2.Sledgehammer - This is the song that, even more than "Shock the Monkey" on Security, drove a wedge between Gabriel and some of his long time fans. Unashamed as a purely pop song, this track (fueled by a very creative video) introduced a whole new world of fans to PG including a 14 year old me. Alongside Journey, Eddie Money, Bon Jovi, and even Genesis' Invisible Touch, this video and song ironically seemed quirky, edgy and frankly a little wierd. The song is simply great - intelligent but straightforward pop, unlike sellout songs like Genesis' "Illegal Alien" or even PG's later "Barry Williams Show." The signature flute warble is the most prog moment on this one.

3. Don't Give Up - Gabriel called upon Kate Bush once again and this time she gets a full duet rather than an accompanying role. The result is a touching, tender song which was again accompanied by a quirky video. The background loping, circular bass line places this firmly in the classic solo Gabriel sound, more akin to the previous two albums than the pop songs on So. Both vocal performances are very powerful and of all the blatant tearjerker songs in existence, this one affects me most.

4. That Voice Again - A very unremarkable piano brings us in to a crush of layers and a multi-voiced chorus. The rhythms and accompaniment lean toward Gabriel's world music influences. The soundscape is excellent, striking a nice balance between exploratory layering and pop sensibility. At the same time, the lyrics and song itself is one of the more average on the album. Very listenable but also the most forgettable song on the album.

5. In Your Eyes - Placed last on the remaster (which I'm now listening to) this song uses the formula of the previous song (melding pop and world influenced texturing) with a compelling lyric and a powerful vocal to make what actually became Gabriel's most popular song of all time. Never released as single, the song was played by John Cusack's iconic boom-box outside the Ione Skye's window in the movie Say Anything. The song became perhaps the most memorable love song for all of Generation X in the time of hair-metal ballads and throwaway pop. The genius of the song also lies in how the song transitions from pre-So Gabriel at the beginning to Us-style world music by the end.

6. Mercy Street - The B side of the vinyl contains three songs that are the logical continuation of Melt and Security. Mercy Street, with it bell rhythm covering the high frequencies and a deep bass below, is typical Gabriel studio composition. The lyric and melodic contour are also quite good on this one, classic PG solo.

7. Big Time - This was the second single which followed in the "Sledgehammer" mold. Blatantly pop, its lyric simultaneously swipes at the luxuries of stardom, and also reveals how much Gabriel really did want to enjoy a higher level of popular success. The lyrics are fun, "The bulge in my big big big big...." the hooks catchy, and the song happens to sport a bass riff that puzzled players thoroughly. The technique? Drummer Jerry Marotta using drum sticks on Tony Levin's bass, which Levin would reproduce live by attaching miniature sticks to his fingers.

8. We Do What We're Told - A dark electronic nightmare soundscape, this song finally sounds like the Peter Gabriel the hard core fans love. The programming is just great. Unlike many of his contemporaries (and friends) of the electronic scene, Gabriel somehow was able to coax unique sounds out of the technology that hold up even 20 years later. The only weakness of this track is that it's a bit short and feels just a bit unfinished.

9. This is the Picture - More classic dark Peter Gabriel, simply brilliant. The fact that this duet with Laurie Anderson was a bonus track rather than one of the core tracks is as dumbfounding as the choice to exclude In Your Eyes from the greatest hits album. Anderson's voice contrasts Kate Bush's in its straightforward but emotional delivery and surprisingly good meld with Gabriel's in harmony.

I have vacillated between 4 and 5 stars for this album, and finally decided on 5 stars because it is nearly impossible not to call this a masterpiece album. True, it is not as adventurous sonically as the previous two albums, but it draws heavily on those innovations to achieve its more polished sound. What's more, the songwriting equals or betters anything else Gabriel has done. Finally, there are absolutely no weak points on the album, making it his most complete piece of work as well.

And a P.S. - The fact that this album was the entry point into prog by pointing toward classic Genesis for many in my generation (including me) solidifies it place in the prog catalog.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#225433) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 09, 2009

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
2 stars That voice again

Many people on this site tend to blame Phil Collins for pushing Genesis in a Pop direction after the two confirmed Prog rockers Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett left the band. Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford are taken to be more or less innocent bystanders to Collins' atrocities and Peter Gabriel is seen as the hero who never gave up on Prog. However, this picture is utterly misguided in my opinion and is probably a result of comparing Selling England By The Pound with Phil Collins' worst radio hits of the 80's which of course is a stupid comparison. The fact is that all past members of Genesis had an aspiring Pop artist inside of them; Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel all had big radio hits and Anthony Phillips, Steve Hackett and Tony Banks also tried the Pop formula at some point or other in their respective careers. The present album stands as evidence that Gabriel was far from innocent in this respect. Listening to So makes me think that had Gabriel stayed in Genesis, those dreaded 80's albums would not have turned out all that different. After all, is there that much difference between Land Of Confusion and Sledgehammer in terms of commercial appeal and success? I think not. They are both good songs, though.

For me Peter Gabriel's solo career is not particularly interesting from a progressive perspective. So begins with Red Rain which is one of the album's best songs with a great vocal performance. The hit Sledgehammer is a song I think that everyone recognizes from radio or TV. Don't Give Up is a duet between Gabriel and Kate Bush. To my ears this is very cheesy and the first low point of the album. That Voice Again and In Your Eyes are also decent Pop tunes with great vocals, but hardly very interesting music. Big Time is the second embarrassment of the album. It is a perfect example of the typical 80's sound and I absolutely cannot stand it. The album ends with a short New Age/Electronic instrumental that is actually quite nice, but hardly remarkable.

I must say that it is very hard for me to understand all the praise this album gets here. Especially if this praise comes from the same people who dismiss 80's and 90's Genesis. At least those Genesis albums had genuine progressive tracks like Home By The Sea, Domino and Fading Lights that easily surpasses anything from Peter Gabriel's solo career in my opinion.

So is recommended for Peter Gabriel fans and collectors only.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#229484) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 02, 2009

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars 'So' - Peter Gabriel (3/10)

Now I'm certainly not saying there's anything wrong with being able to appeal to a large audience, but the convention that's usually needed to work with that runs a high risk of making the music into a rut.

'So' is actually more mainstream than most mainstream music; dance-infused upbeat pop with the occasional exotic 'influence' to spice things up a bit... While I can appreciate that the album is fairly old, the music feels incredibly dated; much more so than even Gabriel's works with early Genesis over a decade before the release of this album.

There are a few songs here that are enjoyable from a general songwriting standpoint, and it's clear that this is not a half-baked project; there are brass sections here and guest vocalists; but none of it is used in a way that hasn't been heard before. On the other hand, there are songs here such as the overly sappy 'Don't Give Up' that I can barely make it through a single listen without being annoyed.

Personally, I cannot stand the album save for perhaps 'Red Rain' and 'Sledgehammer,' but for those absolutely rabid for Gabriel, there may be more appreciation from their standpoint. I find this very dissapointing, especially from a man who once fronted the leading band in progressive, innovative music.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#247993) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Review by TGM: Orb
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Review #1 in a while, So, Peter Gabriel

So what? It's always slightly annoying when the closest thing to a cheap pun doesn't really fit your opinions (the other one I've always wanted to use was PG tips... I blame a childhood deprived of the fourth series of Blackadder for this terrible sense of humour)... this then makes you write things like reviews. Still, Peter Gabriel's fifth 'real' studio album was his first real mainstream hit, and understandably so: it's a great album, has half a dozen songs that could reasonably have been hit singles (and four of which were, I think) and yet has enough odd and atmospheric stuff, innovation and idiosyncrasy to appeal to long-time fans and smug critics. And it's pretty much flawlessly produced (frankly, I'm amazed that Gabriel's production with Daniel Lanois managed to actually improve on this for Us)... every sound has effect, without ever seeming to crowd the songs.

I suppose there is some 'dumbing down' from the startling structures and raw atmosphere of PG IV (we don't hit anything quite as daring as Lay Your Hands On Me or Rhythm Of The Heat) and the lyrics have also lost some of their mystical grip... I guess Gabriel's new directness leans on his voice the central idea generally being strong enough to sort of spread its mood to the fairly haphazard phrases supporting it and on So, that's not always the case. However, there's also a lot of bigging up on So... the ambience is far more consistent and less naked than on IV, which makes for a more satisfying unity: the 'pop' sensibilities feels linked to the experimental sensibilities. And, most of all, Gabriel's confidence and the tightness of the band(s) is phenomenal... there's really no sense that Gabriel is ever holding back here, which makes even the songs which don't really have much to say oddly moving and the ones which do devastating.

From the opening of Red Rain we are hit by this confidence: it's big, bombastic, catchy, interesting and, most of all, punchy music. The inversion of the grandiose crushing waves of drumming (Stewart Copeland adds some fantastic hi-hat work to Jerry Marotta's clattering drums) and searing vocals descending to the sad showers of piano over a lonely voice at the end. Perhaps could have been cut down, but I can't really think of any moments which don't have something I'd miss. The quality of the synths and treated percussion is only improved from IV and it's overall a superb opener, though I'm not perhaps as keen on it as others here. The confidence hits even harder in the slowly building Sledgehammer, which you've probably heard... a rolling funky song with a seriously awesome bit funky bass/guitar riff, blaring horns and a lead vocal and lyric so infectiously fun that it maybe clouds just how good the music behind it is... the flawless incorporation of the bizarre flute intro into the main song, the little organ melody rolling in at the end, the cool overdub harmony on sledge. While this is an undeniably 'pop' song and probably Gabriel's most notorious hit, I still don't think I've heard anything quite like it.

Contrasting to these two is the lush atmospherically underlined duet Don't Give Up. The matching of Gabriel's increasingly searching and strained vocals meeting Kate Bush's astoundingly sweet and soft replies is just perfect and the idea of the lyrics is here really moving. Credit for the piece's effect goes also to Richard Tee's crisp piano, Levin's smooth, funky, vaguely tragic stick-work and Manu Katche's immensely tasteful percussion. Just incredible.

That Voice Again is the one piece of the album that stands out as not really being particularly great. It's not especially bad, but the melodies just don't strike through, and the contrast of the moments of general shiny threat and the bright shiny chorus feels rather too clunky. And the lyrics just aren't very effective for me. There are a few features I really like... Levin's basswork (and I find it hard to criticise the drumming either), the incredible 'listen to the wind' vocal answer, the rather dark conclusion, but as a whole piece it just doesn't really satisfy.

In Your Eyes simply blows away any doubts left over from the previous piece... I have to admit I probably made myself like the first chorus by sheer force of will... not that I ever particularly disliked it, but I felt that it didn't really match up to the heartbreaking opening. There are very few openings that compare to the way Gabriel introduces 'Love... I get so lost... some-times...' over the rising piano and percussion pairing... and then the way it comes back later is even more powerful. And the chorus keeps building power, too... if I find it a little too light initially, when Levin's bass, Youssou N'dour's backing vocals, the extra drums and the synths come in it moves from heart-wrenching to heavenly.

And Mercy Street: understated and mired in sadness. The cold, lost lead vocals contrast with soft, strange harmonies (my favourite vocals by Gabriel, ever). The percussion is as unobtrusive as any continual rhythm could be, blending in with a whistling sound and the bass (Larry Klein's) has a power over the heart here that I've never really associated with that instrument. And the 'solos' (synthesiser and treated sax) are matchingly soft, sad and unobtrusive. Words really fail to describe this piece (while we're on it, the words of the piece are very striking, 'nowhere in the corridors of pale green and grey/nowhere in the suburbs in the cold light of day/there in the midst of it so alive and so alone/words support like bone').

Big Time flows astonishingly well from this utter immersion, snapping straight out with its awesome basslines (I mean, Levin is usually awesome but here he's just on fire... I guess that's the collaboration with Jerry Marotta on the 'drumstick bass' sound), thunking percussion and Gabriel's deliciously ironic 'HI THERE'. A sharp narcissistic mockery of narcissism, with some hilarious lyrics, the snappy Big Time is really not all that much like Sledgehammer if you actually listen to it rather than assuming that any song with occasional gospel backing and some horns will be the same. Loadsa fun. We Do What We're Told is barest piece on the album with freakily singular vocals, and a virtually purely atmospheric backing with the melody stuck more into the percussion than anything else. Hits a distinctly creepy mood.

This Is The Picture, a duet with Laurie Anderson is something completely different again, catchy as any of the more overtly 'accessible' songs and with a delicious sort of interplay between the two singers' slightly gravellier voices and (again, Gabriel's vocals are incredible) their more soulful seconds. As the lyrics go, it's excellent nonsense that really gives an opportunity for the vocals to move around into a lot of different oddity. And the little synth melody and cool bass part are just perfect. Great way to end an album (or at least the remaster?).

So, four stars. I love everything except That Voice Again, though I guess I'm slightly colder to the still superb Red Rain than the remainder of the material. There's a lot to commend So for, and I think it's comfortably Gabriel's most unified effort to that point, even if it's not my favourite. As for the whole pop/prog/SELLLLOUT debate... I really think the possibilities of (very commercially successful) pop music are much wider than people sometimes think, and here Gabriel has demonstrated that with an album of music that can't really be categorised single-mindedly as pop, prog, rock or world. So is an album you should probably have, if only to bear witness to that.

Rating: Four Stars... virtually essential but not quite perfect. Favourite Track: Mercy Street

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to TGM: Orb (BETA) | Report this review (#259042) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 03, 2010

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars After the dark claustrophobic mood and rhythm of the preceding releases, Gabriel went into an entirely different direction. The tribal beats are still present but they operate in an entirely different sonic environment. So has a lush resonance, full of rich instrumentation, funky vibes and bright and slick sounds. It's not just a pop album; it's the perfect pop album, one of the best ever.

While it isn't as unique as Security, it has equally amazing songwriting. Regardless whether it concerns melancholic anthems like Red Rain, That Voice Again, In Your Eyes and Mercy Street, or MTV hits such as Sledge Hammer and Big Time, a sentimental duet with Kate Bush or more experimental pieces like We Do What We're Told and This is the Picture; Gabriel pulls if all off with amazing easy, never faltering, never missing a beat.

He must have had one brilliant flash of inspiration after the other during this recording. Not only did he nurture every single idea that crossed his mind with the utmost care, he also managed to keep things to the point and effective. Quite an achievement given the extensive list of guest musicians that helped to flesh out the sound.

This album is a marvel of song arrangement; it's varied and lavish but it stays clear of pretentiousness. Yes it's accessible, commercial and successful. Three words that tend to sit unpleasantly with fans, but let that not scare you; it fully deserves all praise and success it ever got. 4 solid stars

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#263657) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 31, 2010

Review by JLocke
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I've always been incredibly fond of Peter Gabriel. In fact, long before I understood what all the hype was about surrounding his work in Genesis, I considered myself a huge fan of his solo output. To this day, I still think the stuff he has done since departing from Genesis is a hundred times more creative. This album proves that once again. Everything about it is so emotionally-charged and experimental from beginning to end. Rarely does it stumble, and often does it lift the listener's spirit and carry it to exotic emotional places through all the creative works that can be heard within So.

I think my favorite tracks are ''Red Rain'', ''Don't Give Up'' (a wonderful ballad featuring an awesome, deep bass intro from Tony Levin and a hauntingly beautiful chorus vocal by Kate Bush), ''That Voice Again'', ''In Your Eyes'' (it's got a dynamite chorus!), ''We Do What We're Told'' and the absolutely phenomenal ''This Is the Picture''. The last song mentioned apparently isn't on all of the editions of this album, but it is by far in my top five favorite Gabriel songs ever, on any record. Really amazing.

The rest of the songs are very good as well, with a couple that are just so-so in my book, but the overall experience of this album is comparable to ''Security'', which I personally think is my very favorite by the man. Both that album and this one strike chords with me so close to my heart and musical spirit, that they just feel very in line with what I am naturally drawn to. This album never needed to grow on me, nor did it seem tedious to listen to at any point. I instantly loved it, and whenever an album can do that to me, I know it's worth giving very high marks.

I think if you want to get into Gabriel and are looking for a good album to start with, So is an excellent choice. It features everything that makes his music great, and the variety of moods and musical styles also adds worth to this one. Not as eclectic as OVO, and certainly not as 'out there' as Passion, but this album is able to capture your imagination with its originality and heart without stepping so far out of the Pop boundary that it loses its accessibility. It's the best of all the musical worlds Peter Gabriel has had his toe in over the years, and a truly excellent addition to any collection.

Very happy listening.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to JLocke (BETA) | Report this review (#273621) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 22, 2010

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The album that marked the transition of Gabriel from a slightly cultish solo artist into a global megastar, So is, therefore, a very important album in the prog pantheon. By and large, Gabriel escaped the massive hostility that accompanied other "classic" prog artists in the 1980's when commercial success hit. Listening to this wonderful album again tonight, it is not very difficult to see why.

Gabriel's career has been a fruitful and satisfying one, and the thing that really sets him apart, I think, from other artists who took a more commercial route is that he does it without at any time losing the lyrical, artistic, and sincere creativity that made his name in the first place. Even a blatantly commercial track such as Sledgehammer, which is loads of fun, was accompanied by a music video that was utterly ground breaking at the time in its use of real time animation and is, even now, many years later, still wondrous to watch. You also wear your toes out tapping along to it!

Virtually every track here is a classic, with the one exception of Big Time, whose funky backdrop and overly knowing irony of the dangers of success, is too grating to be convincing. The other huge hit single was a wonderful duet with the lovely Kate Bush, Don't Give Up, an extremely moving paeon to the wanton and senseless destruction of whole communities of working class people, and the accompanying social deprivations, wrought by Thatcher in the UK and Reagan in the USA. Kate had appeared on III, and was known to have been hugely influenced by Gabriel's use of drum machines in order to compose music. Her vocal accompaniment is also a massive highlight of her own marvellous career.

Of course, for us old proggers, there were also some great moments. Opener Red Rain is magical, a thunderous track built almost entirely around simple piano and drum machine. Mercy Street is one of my favourite Gabriel tracks, a sensitive and very moving testimony to the poet Anne Sexton, whose work I explored a lot after getting the album on its release. If you should read her words, you will understand just why, lyrically, Gabriel was oceans apart from many of his contemporaries.

My personal favourite, and still my all time favourite Gabriel live track, is In Your Eyes. As with much of his work, the studio version is far more delayered and quieter than the live versions, but absolutely none the worse for that. It features the incredible voice of Youssou N'Dour, a superstar in his native Senegal, but, prior to this, virtually unknown in the wider world. This incredible vocal performance changed all of that, and, overnight, many of us became hooked on the best of what became known as World Music. Gabriel, naturally, was at the heart of the movement. Of course, what is best about the track is the heartfelt lyrics, a love poem to his then wife Jill prior to the convulsions that would lead to eventual divorce.

That Voice Again is notable as being the first writing credit jointly owned by long time collaborator David Rhodes. Mostly standard fare, the vocal solo by Gabriel towards the end is utterly stunning.

Album closer, We Do What We're Told, is brilliant, and another of his many thoughtful lyrical forays into the dangers of dictatorship. The tone of the track, very simply written and performed around keys and drum machine, is brooding and heavy.

For those who do not own this album, I would recommend the remastered CD version which features an old live favourite, This Is The Picture, featuring a vocal duet with the eccentric, and brilliant, Laurie Anderson.

Big Time grated on my nerves at the time of release, and does so even more now. That Voice Again is pretty standard, and it is for these two tracks alone that my rating for this album shifts from utterly essential to the four star rating of an excellent addition to any prog rock collection.

Be sure, though. Vocally, Gabriel has rarely sounded better. Creatively and commercially, he was approaching the height of his powers, and this album left a massive imprint upon popular music all over the world. The title, by the way, was Gabriel's way of protesting at the record labels insistence that his solo work now carry "proper" titles, rather than merely Peter Gabriel (as was the case already in America).

The creative torch he carried for Genesis was still well and truly alive, and Gabriel was and is living proof that creative commercial music deserves our attention and respect.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#420753) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 for sure

With So released in 1986 Peter Gabriel who was already by the time of this album was out on the market, a respected and world known musician, he become a megastar, loved and listened by everybody in that period. The album graced by mega hits of that era Sledgehammer, Red rain or Big times, shows Gabriel in a diffrent light then before, from the artist with a cult solo activity in one big star. I'm not a big fan of his solo career, I mean I like some of his albums, but I don;t embrace totaly his musical aproach, while I prefer this one over album IV for instance. This is more like art rock with great atmosphere thern a progressive rock release, anyway great musicians involved here kate Bush among them and helped by omnipresent Tony Levin on bass, the result is pretty ok, but to mainstream in my opinion, while far from being bad or unenjoyble. I usualy like more complicated prog, where arrangements needs to be discovered with repeted listning, this album is instantly enjoyble, you can sing along in the bathroom on some tunes. So, So 3.5 is the best for this one, a good and fan to listen release, but I prefer him in his teens when he was the master behind the mic in Genesis.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#572866) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Whilst Genesis' art pop efforts of the mid-1980s had a soulless cynicism to them - the band simply cranking out simplistic material for the sake of the lucrative album sales they were able to wrangle - Peter Gabriel's So is a pop album with heart. Taking the world music textures developed on his fourth self-titled album and applying a little clarity to proceedings - not for nothing is this the first of Gabriel's solo releases in which his image on the cover is not distorted in some fashion - he is able both to produce haunting and deep meditations and gloriously soulful pop. Sledgehammer might not be the most progressive thing he's ever done, but claim it doesn't get your foot tapping and I'll call you a bloody liar.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1170122) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 02, 2014

Latest members reviews

3 stars Remember me listening So at the times it came to light, just a great album, but in the prog context, IMO, it is not an essential one. If I must to recommend some album of Peter Gabriel with prog elements, surely it would not be So. By the way is a great job by Peter. Red Rain is without doubts ... (read more)

Report this review (#1091554) | Posted by genbanks | Tuesday, December 17, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "So" is Peter Gabriel's breakaway from his string of 4 consecutive untitled albums. It marked a change from the more experimental and progressive styles he was investigating and went into a more upbeat, almost mainstream, kind of experimentation. Although nowadays his third album (usually nicknamed ... (read more)

Report this review (#1042135) | Posted by Xonty | Sunday, September 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Probably the biggest album that Gabriel did relating to sales and success. "Red Rain" - I enjoy how Stewart Copeland (ex Police Drummer) uses the Hi-Hat to simulate rain falling on this track. "Sledgehammer" - I had a friend who loved this track and played it day and night - as a result I ... (read more)

Report this review (#947902) | Posted by sukmytoe | Monday, April 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars So, an excellent pop album. With this album, Gabriel prouved to us that he had really left Genesis musically. He also said to us that he was a major artist. Even though his old bandmate Phil Collins had even more commercial succes, Peter's songs were much more accomplished. All the songs on this ... (read more)

Report this review (#743435) | Posted by geneyesontle | Monday, April 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Now yes, this is how it should be. "So" is really a step forward towards self-titled debut album by Peter Gabriel and is so far my favorite album of the singer - although I'm in the middle of his career. The sound here and more pop and world music influences than ever before - and even more ... (read more)

Report this review (#484446) | Posted by voliveira | Sunday, July 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rating: 7.5 A wise Peter Gabriel combines his underground eccentricities with his most kind side through smooth melodies, creating a perfect pop model. The result is interesting though at some moments seemed like if Peter was uncomfortable with the songwriting sound amalgam the album pro ... (read more)

Report this review (#461173) | Posted by Mattiias | Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Perhaps overly polished with its contemporary production values that were all the rage in the mid 80's. There's no doubting that 'So' is an excellent album. Full of big fat bass sounds and a great splitting of individual instruments in the mix where everything sounds crystal clear. If you for ... (read more)

Report this review (#410581) | Posted by Dobermensch | Thursday, March 03, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Hit Before the Rot set in: I have very mixed feelings about this record. On the one hand it is beautifully produced melodic rock- pop, and on the other it is a dummying down of everything that had been great about Peter's previous recordings. It has a very different mood to his previous re ... (read more)

Report this review (#212938) | Posted by burgersoft777 | Wednesday, April 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Peter Gabriel's So is easily one of my favorite poppy albums. Pete's voice is rich and mature on this album, and his vocals on songs like Red Rain and In Your Eyes are simply stunning. Much of the album is propelled by the african percussion working in tandem with choruses and the token eighties ... (read more)

Report this review (#158302) | Posted by fighting sleep | Friday, January 11, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This 1983 album was Peter Gabriel's 6th studio effort as a solo artist, and his most commercially successful album to that date. This album marks the beginning of a new era for Peter Gabriel, an era of increased confidence and ultimately, musical control. This is evident from the album opener "Red ... (read more)

Report this review (#152942) | Posted by cynthiasmallet | Tuesday, November 27, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Peter's big commercial success! This is a very enjoyable album for me. He slightly leaves behind the style he had been creating over his last two albums and changes direction again. Peter is never one to stay with the same thing. That's partly why I think he left Genesis (I walked out of the ... (read more)

Report this review (#136347) | Posted by White Shadow | Wednesday, September 05, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The cover says it all. With four previous album covers distorting and hiding his face, Peter is ready to go full-force into the open. As soon as "Red Rain" starts, you'll know that everything has finally come-together; Peter has found his voice and it only gets better from here. He has settled wi ... (read more)

Report this review (#112052) | Posted by Avantgardehead | Tuesday, February 13, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I'll start this review with a personal note - when this came out, my buddy Claude (yeah, same name), were at that age stage where young males are into the party scene, where "rawk" music rules, and deviations from that rule don't get much play time. We'd both purchased PG's 3rd album after seeing ... (read more)

Report this review (#109858) | Posted by | Wednesday, January 31, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When I bought this album I didn't pay attention on the guest appearances. When I noticed how many musicians perform in this album I was really surprised. What you hear is much work done with synthesizers, Gabriel's voice, female vocals at times and it makes you think this album is done by four ... (read more)

Report this review (#94060) | Posted by sularetal | Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This little album was taken very well by all radio stations and retailers, but some fans, like myself, were a bit disappointed. What happened to Gabriel's old sound? His mix of progressive rock, excellent lyrics, and moving melodies? All we have here is a commercial set of songs, and very confident ... (read more)

Report this review (#89884) | Posted by Shakespeare | Sunday, September 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars You can't get any farther from prog than this. The songs have simple pop structures and all chords and harmonies are very typical for eighties pop/rock. There are some world influences appearing in the arrangements, but not in the melodies, chords, etc. The music itself is as pop as it can be. ... (read more)

Report this review (#57421) | Posted by | Tuesday, November 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars For the music and vocal, utter a comparison, music played on SO is like forest full of peacefullness, meanwhile PG's vocal is beatiful chirp of birds. Both of them, form unit a coolness. Like most of PG's album, SO was influenced by world music but progressive rock still as substance. This influe ... (read more)

Report this review (#57228) | Posted by torro | Monday, November 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Peter Gabriel's fifth rock studio album, "So," was his grand commercial breakthrough, making him a household name even among people who didn't know Genesis had a singer before Phil Collins. It was a true blockbuster, establishing Gabriel as a pop, rock, and video super-artist with mega-hits like ... (read more)

Report this review (#24044) | Posted by | Thursday, July 08, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of PETER GABRIEL "So"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.94 seconds