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Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel 4 [Aka: Mask, Aka: Security] CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

3.95 | 625 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Peter Gabriel's fourth album followed in the trend of not having a title like his three previous albums. Instead people referred to it as Peter Gabriel 4 or Mask. However, in the U.S., Geffen Records apparently gave it the title Security. I recall when I purchased this the word Security only appeared on the 33 1/3 rpm vinyl record label. The album sleeve made no mention of the title.

With another all-star cast of musicians, Peter Gabriel took his interest in world music another level deeper incorporating many African rhythms and percussion into this selection of songs. The percussion on many of these songs is simply amazing. The lyrical content became even darker than his previous album, often close to disturbing. Along with this, the instrumentation became more electronic giving the album a colder, bleaker atmosphere. The cause of this is partly Gabriel's compositions, but may also be due to this album being one of the earliest digitally recorded albums and the use of the new and extremely expensive Fairlight CMI sampling computer. The Fairlight CMI would become a popular synthesizer system throughout the 1980s that many top names of that decade eagerly acquired.

In many ways this album could be considered quite progressive, in the literal sense of the word, but not necessarily in the traditional sense defined by the prog rock genre. Nobody else (as far as I know) was making music quite like Peter Gabriel at this time. He combines African rhythms and percussion, world music, new wave, and synth pop together to make something rather unique. Although pop song structures are prevalent (like Shock the Monkey), some songs differ considerably from this mold.

This album is probably even more groundbreaking than Melt, Gabriel's previous album, particularly in regard to experimental rock. I'm finding it difficult to fit into the traditional prog rock mold, and in some ways that's a good thing. This is definitely not a masterpiece because it is more tailored toward mainstream pop music, but it sure is an intriguing album. Four stars seems fitting in my opinion, although I still feel uncomfortable giving this an accurate rating.

progaardvark | 4/5 |


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