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Peter Gabriel

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Peter Gabriel i/o album cover
3.73 | 126 ratings | 10 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Panopticom (5:17)
2. The Court (4:21)
3. Playing for Time (6:19)
4. i/o (3:53)
5. Four Kinds of Horses (6:48)
6. Road to Joy (5:22)
7. So Much (4:52)
8. Olive Tree (6:02)
9. Love Can Heal (6:03)
10. This Is Home (5:05)
11. And Still (7:45)
12. Live and Let Live (6:47)

Total Time 68:34

Note: All editions of the album include both the Bright-Side and the Dark-Side mixes, and the Blu-ray includes the In-Side mixes as well.

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Gabriel / lead & backing vocals, piano, synths, percussion (5, 9), tuned wine glasses (11), tambourine (12), rhythm programming, charango (6), orch. & choir (10) arrangements
- David Rhodes / electric, acoustic & 12-string guitars, backing vocals
- Tony Levin / bass
- Manu Katché / drums

- Katie May / electric (4) & acoustic (1, 4) guitars, synths (4), percussion (2, 4, 10, 12), rhythm programming (5)
- Oli Jacobs / synths (1, 3, 4, 10), piano (5), guitar & tambourine (10), rhythm programming
- Brian Eno / synths, ukulele (6), percussion (2), rhythm programming
- Tom Cawley / piano (3)
- Ron Aslan / synths (6)
- Angie Pollock / synths (9)
- Josh Shpak / trumpet (6, 8), French horn (6)
- Evan Smith / saxophone (8)
- Paolo Fresu / trumpet solo (12)
- Melanie Gabriel / backing vocals (2, 5, 7, 9, 12)
- Ríoghnach Connolly / backing vocals (1, 9, 10)
- Jennie Abrahamson / backing vocals (9)
- Richard Chappell / rhythm programming
- Don E / bass keys (6)
- Ged Lynch / percussion (8, 9), conga (11)
- Linnea Olsson / cello & backing vocals (9)
- Oli Middleton / percussion (10)
- Richard Evans / D whistle (4), mandolin (8)
- Richard Russell / filtered percussion (5)
- Steve Gadd / snare brushes (12)
- Stuart McCallum / acoustic & electric guitars (1 - In-Side mix only)
- Hans-Martin Buff / rhythm programming & synths (6), percussion* (2, 4, 9, 10), sound effects* (4, 5), electric guitar* (8, 10, 12) (*In-Side mix only)

- The New Blood Orchestra (2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12)
- The Soweto Gospel Choir (4, 6, 12)
- The Orphei Drängar Choir (10)
- John Metcalfe / orch. conductor & arrangements
- Edward Shearmur / orchestral arrangements (3)
- Bongani Ncube / musical director & vocal arrangements (4, 6, 12)
- Cecilia Rydinger / choir conductor & arrangements (10)
- Dom Shaw / choir arrangements (10)

Releases information

Label: Real World Records
Formats: 2CD, 2CD+BR, 2LP, Boxset (4LP+2CD+BR), Digital
December 1, 2023 (all editions except Boxset)
March 8, 2024 (Boxset)

Thanks to projeKct for the addition
and to Dark Ness & NotAProghead for the last updates
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PETER GABRIEL i/o ratings distribution

(126 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PETER GABRIEL i/o reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This dude obviously knows he has time on his side: 20 years! Can you imagine a 17-year old taking 20 years to puy out an album?! In a solo career dating back to 1976, this is only Peter's eighth studio album of solo material--and four of those came in the first six years, so four albums of original new music over the past 40 years!

1. "Panopticom" (5:17) sounds like someone else's anthemic song--especially the chorus. Nice to hear Tony Levin's big bass sound on a PG song again. The layers of subtleties are PG-worthy but, 20 years worth? (8.75/10)

2. "The Court" (4:21) a song that is quite reminiscent of many of PG's most classic (and top-selling) albums. The strings-heavy chorus motif is rather fresh for PG. Having really lost any lust and/or enthusiasm for Peter Gabriel music since Passion, I can't say that I am a fan. (8.75/10)

3. "Playing for Time" (6:19) a cross between RANDY NEWMAN and PAUL SIMON. I don't know if Maestro Tony Levin ever played with Randy Newman, but I know he played & toured with Paul Simon (as well as Richard Thompson, Tom Waits, Jules Shear, and Warren Zevon). I love the presence and arrangement of the (New Blood) Orchestra. Though this is far from any kind of prog that I would credit as such, it is a nice song. (8.75/10)

4. "i/o" (3:53) more RANDY NEWMAN-like music and singing (with a slight nod to TOM WAITS). Interesting piano style for PG. (I'm guessing it's Tim Cawley). Again, builds like one of his classic crowd-pleaser hits. (8.66667/10)

5. "Four Kinds of Horses" (6:48) harkening back to the soundscapes of old PG. Unfortunately, there is something in the chorus that again sounds like it comes from an old classic (even one of his own [or Don Henley on THE EAGLES' "Hotel California": "You just can't kill the Beast"). Matter of fact, with repeated listens there is no doubt that this song uses the Hotel California chord progression. (13.25/15)

6. "Road to Joy" (5:22) sounds like a modernized revisitation to/melding of "The Tower that Ate People" and the theme from WAll-E. Great Tony Levin work. One of the more proggy, classic PG songs on this album. Another top three song. (8.875/10)

7. "So Much" (4:52) now this piano and bass-founded song is much more like PG piano, but another testimonial to the fact that PG's voice has changed and all those years of singing covers (on his Scratch My Back albums) (including one of Randy Newman's) (8.75/10)

8. "Olive Tree" (6:02) horns used in the Phil Collins accent way. Classic PG. (8.75/10)

9. "Love Can Heal" (6:03) sounds so much like STEVE HOGARTH that I thought for sure it had to be him! The music has a very ethereal otherworldly feel despite its use of a variation of the tuned-percussion-based music of his old masterpiece "San Jacinto" from 1982's "Security" (also used in his Birdy soundtrack music). The constant presence and use of Linnea Olsson's cello as the only other instrument other than Peter's voice in the foreground is brilliant. The spectre-like background vocals (courtesy of Peter's daughter Melanie) are also quite effective. Great song-crafting. A top three song. (9/10)

10. "This Is Home" (5:05) old-style "radio oriented" pop music. (8.6666667/10)

11. "And Still" (7:45) another gorgeous composition showing a side of PG that is new and like a freshly opened bottle of aged red wine. Another top three song. (13.375/15)

12. "Live and Let Live" (6:47) sounds like a Robbie Robertson song (very much like the song that PG performed with the late BAND member on Robbie's 1987 self-titled solo album, "Fallen Angel"). Nice touch with all of the unusual world instruments and Soweto Gospel Choir. (13.25/15)

Total Time 68:34

Note: All editions of the album include both the Bright-Side and the Dark-Side mixes, and the Blu-ray includes the In-Side mixes as well.

The songs are nice but, unfortunately, they are completely recognizable as Peter Gabriel songs as there are so many techniques and sounds that M. Gabriel has used before--but more, there is great evidence here that M. Gabriel has been lured back to the "great" songwriting styles and forms of some of the great masters of our pop-rock heritage--especially the artists of the 1970s and 1980s. In terms of the progginess of this album's music, well, M. Gabriel has definitely fallen (despite his amazing attention to detail in the sound engineering room) far from those roots and days. The choice between Dark-Side, Bright-Side, and In-Side Dolby Atmos mixes are really difficult to judge for several reasons:1) the amount of time one would have to invest into this album in order to differentiate between the three; 2) the absence of hi-fidelity external sound system in my life, and; 3) the lack of progginess necessary to keep me engaged and coming back.

B/four stars; an album of finely-crafted Peter Gabriel songs that easily stand up to any studio album PG has ever done, it's just not proggy enough to warrant too much excitement for prog lovers who are looking for progressive rock music (as I do).

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
4 stars A late-career gem is what 'i/o' could and should rightfully be referred to as. More than twenty years in the making, the new Peter Gabriel album and the follow-up to 2002's 'Up' is finally out, having seen a new single being released once every full moon, since the beginning of the year. I am not a particular fan of having half of the album out before its official release date, but here eleven out of the twelve songs had been out before December 1, leaving the listener with just one new song to hear on release day. Thankfully, I did not follow the gradual "leaking" of the album throughout the year.

Musically, this is by all means a very Peter Gabriel-ish album, beautifully honed, carefully considered, brilliantly well played and unquestionably excellently composed. As one reviewer mentions how it "ebbs and flows beautifully" I could entirely agree. Sonically, it is definitely the continuation of 'Up', as one could mistake it for it but revisited 20 years later. That's a compliment! It is diverse, subtle, elegant, humorous, introspective, progressive, rich, mysterious - everything one could expect and want from a Peter Gabriel record! It has to be quite unnecessary to point out to some particular highlights, as every single track is in a way a highlight of its own, needless to say that each one of them comes together with a "personal" artwork, all of which are quite excellent, further giving indications that Gabriel's art goes far beyond the musical canvas, simulating what the Arts & Crafts movement used to refer to as a Gesamtkunstwerk.

An excellent release, one of the best of 2023 - it sounds fresh and modern, while bringing nothing new to Gabriel's musical table, intending this as a reference to his ever-expanding musical universe, not sticking to a particular genre or label, always allowing experimentation and innovation to penetrate his work entirely, depicting a lovely musical landscape, where you are taken on a journey.

Review by siLLy puPPy
2 stars One of the major players in the music world starting out as the charismatic theatrical singer in Genesis in the 1970s and one of the most innovative art pop artists that took him all the way through the 1990s, PETER GABRIEL has had a very fruitful career with a series of classic albums and a propensity for non-existent or woefully inadequate album titles. Debuting in 1977 with his first eponymously titled album (followed by three more), GABRIEL could do no wrong with one magical mix of industrial prog pop hit after another including a propensity for some interesting soundtrack music.

Peaking in 2002 with "Up," his last album of all original material, GABRIEL pretty much sat the next two decades out with a series of weak half-assed orchestral and substandard cover albums that were as ennui inducing as his 80s output was captivating. Having gotten too comfy in his fame and fortune, GABRIEL like way too many rock stars fell out of touch with the music scene and in the process no longer found a connection to an ever changing musical world. It's hard to believe that GABRIEL and other artists of his era are now in their 70s but many are still going in 2023 finding not only GABRIEL releasing his first album in 12 years but a year the Rolling Stones are enduring yet another tour!

It took 20 long years in the making but finally in 2023 GABRIEL has released "i/o," a sprawling double album that demands an ever shortened attention span to endure basically two versions of the same album. Strike one for yours truly. I hate albums that do this. Release it as two albums for [%*!#]'s sake. Not to mention each version is 68 minutes long. OMG! GABRIEL is so out of touch with the 2020s! But it gets worse. Not only do both versions of the same album not really differ significantly from one another but neither do the tracks making this one of the most monotonous and uninspired albums of GABRIEL's career. Only the snooze fest combo bombs of "Scratch My Back" and "New Blood" make this seem like a masterpiece in comparison.

I slogged through this monotonous "comeback" album twice and can't believe how unbelievable dull it is. Sure GABRIEL has held up well as a singer and the material is a throwback to some of his 80s styles however it's all set to sap mode highlighting GABRIEL's abilities to craft easy listening ballads with only moments of deviation. Gone is the industrial grime that contrasted so perfectly with the intelligently designed melodies and grooves. Gone are the compelling themes that evoked myriad emotional responses. What we have here is what sounds like a bunch of leftover tracks from the "So" era minus the upbeat tracks like "Sledgehammer" or "Big Time." Yeah there are some okay-ish tunes but too few and far between for a master of the trade like PETER GABRIEL.

Twenty years in the making? Really? That only adds insult to injury. If this is the best ole PETEY can conjure up in two decades i'd say it's a fair bet that his best days are SO UP. No NEW BLOOD here but mere SNOWFLAKE music that makes some of US want to take a snoozer. This is not music that will SHOCK THE MONKEY nor will make me wanna be your SLEDGEHAMMER. He's lost it. BIG TIME. Like his PASSION has lost all its STEAM on SOLSBURY HILL. Basically this album plays it waaaaay too safe and fails to impress me on any level really. Not totally unlistenable but for a figure of GABRIEL's stature, a huge disappointment. Oh MORIBUND THE BURGERMEISTER you've gone DOWN THE DOLCE VITA to the SLOWBURN to DIGGING IN THE DIRT and despite all that no treasures to be found. Yawn.

2.5 rounded down, average at best

Review by Hector Enrique
3 stars Peter Gabriel is one of the most representative legends of progressive rock, both for his contribution in Genesis and in his later successful solo career; his music, always avant-garde, with a constant willingness to experiment with textures and styles that transcend the rock spectrum, has been an indelible personal stamp. But after 2002's "Up", there was a long creative silence in which he devoted himself to recreating his music on tour, reissues, and adapting covers by other artists. Two interminable decades later, almost a lifetime, he returns to complete a work whose first sketches were conceived in 1995: "i/o".

Accompanied by his faithful squires of years, guitarist David Rhodes, the extraordinary Tony Levin on bass and percussionist Manú Katche, and a battalion of guest musicians including Brian Eno, Gabriel's deep, raspy voice sounds fresh and up to the task, and he borrows from himself similar formulas with which mainly "So" (1986), "Us" (1992) and to a lesser extent the aforementioned "Up", placed him at the top of the general consideration, and makes use of them and their inertia to complete a mix of pieces that could easily be part of those albums. For example, the heartfelt and emotional "Playing for Time" with its reminiscences of "Here Comes the Flood" (piano version 1990), the depth of the lilting "Four Kinds of Horses" (one of the best pieces on the album, if not the best), the funky "Road to Joy" and its airs of "Kiss that Frog", and the melancholy of the whispering "So Much" in the best style of "Father, Son" from the experimental OVO (2000). Everything is in its place, just as the Brit demanded, obsessive about details. But the moment for these songs was that one, and not this one. No more, no less. Despite the impeccable production work, the light of creativity appears dim on the album and fails to illuminate it as it should, and that is something that is missed, in my opinion.

"i/o" is certainly a good work, as true as it is that after so many years and Gabriel being who he is, a little more creative brilliance was to be expected.

3/3.5 stars

Latest members reviews

2 stars Having been a PG fan for decades, I have to say this album infuriates me. Not because of the music, which is excellent, but because of the formatting. Many people have criticized progressive rock as being pretentious - the songs are too long or too complicated. That has never been a problem with ... (read more)

Report this review (#3050861) | Posted by Progosopher | Monday, April 29, 2024 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Having read some of the 2star reviews, I had to give my own opinion regarding the last (really probably the last album) album from Peter Gabriel. I'm a big Gabriel fan. Always have been, since the time I listened Solsbury Hill when I was eleven and my father was driving us our of the city, Gab ... (read more)

Report this review (#2980024) | Posted by santisoux | Friday, January 5, 2024 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I'm surprised by the current success of this album on progarchives (4.24 after 74 ratings), as after listening to it three times I find it a collection of mostly forgettable songs that would work well as background music of a shoes shop but surely not as an album wrapping what should be the resu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2979626) | Posted by apprentisorcier | Thursday, January 4, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Column on the bright face for info: "Panopticom" direct attack, its festive rock to make you pale, well given the list of guests it's almost normal; the direct panopticon to remind us that we have surpassed Big Brother's negative predictions? Good mention to drums, bass and keyboard; so Peter a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2978821) | Posted by alainPP | Monday, January 1, 2024 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After more than 20 years since the last studio album of new material, the long-awaited 10th solo album from legendary vocalist Peter Gabriel finally materialized this year and with a new song released on each full moon throughout the year, the album was slowly pieced together, with the full album fi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2977032) | Posted by BBKron | Monday, December 25, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Peter Gabriel is back with a bang. It took him a while to release new music, but it was worth the wait. It is important though to give it a few listens first before judging. Of course we've all had the opportunity to listen to the separate songs because of the drip release of a new song wi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2975096) | Posted by LakesideRitchie | Sunday, December 17, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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