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Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel 3 [Aka: Melt] CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

4.20 | 915 ratings

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4 stars Now this is the real business. Finally PETER GABRIEL delivers what we knew he had in him, and it chills, challenges, sears and uplifts us. This is because, unlike his first two albums, he meets us halfway, writing powerful songs with meaningful lyrics, while still holding on to his core assets: his eccentricity, humour and passion.

Dave Connolly's review has it exactly right. This album is an exploration of individual and social psychosis - a concept album if I ever saw one. The listener gets the sense that s/he is being taken somewhere, and the destination won't exactly be pretty. From the simple-minded intruder, through loss of control and memory, fantasies of revenge, side 1 takes us to the end of ourselves. Side 2 applies the same technique to Us as side 1 did to Me: foolish playground fighters, abnormal exclusionists who, GABRIEL argues, are responsible for what happens to people like Steve Biko. There is very little in the rock world that carries more power than this.

So, then. Is this not a masterpiece? No, not quite: GABRIEL is not yet at his peak musically. A couple of the tracks remain underdeveloped (And Through The Wire, Lead a Normal Life) and so the flow necessary for a concept album as momentous as this one is interrupted. And I'm afraid I find the destination (Biko) just a little too trite for someone with the lyrical breadth of PETER GABRIEL. I know its a landmark in political pop, but I'm not convinced that his songwriting, lyrics or performance delivers the killing punch (as it were) this album required.

So, as close as can be to a masterpiece. This is perhaps PETER GABRIEL'S most important album, positioning him politically for all that was to come, including WOMAD. But musically, his best is still to come.

russellk | 4/5 |


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