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


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

4.21 | 939 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Peter Gabriel is reviewed surprisingly rarely! # 3 is my favourite - I enjoy most songs of 'So' even more, but this one's amazingly impressive on a thematic and narrative level too. If there's an album which could be a source of inspiration for a fantastic short story -or art comics- collection, this is it. (Who would be the writer? Hmm, some psychologically oriented, modern, dark-toned... J. G. Ballard, Ian McEwan, Patrick McGrath for instance.) The main theme is MENTAL SICKNESS (and global: wars, nationalism, racism). But there's a perfect balance, avoiding the album to be painfully depressive.

'Intruder', famous for its drum playing by Phil Collins, tells of a pervert who sneaks in homes of strangers. "The sense of isolation inspires... inspires me..." Basically a very monotonous percussion-based track, but strong as hell. Also 'No Self Control' deals with some sort of mania, and again the music reflects that perfectly. (PLAYS LIVE version sounds better but loses some of the tension.) What is the instrumental 'Start' (featuring sax, unusual in Gabriel's music) exactly about, I don't know but I like it.

'I Don't Remember' reminds a bit of 'Shock the Monkey' (on # 4) and lyrically I think it is as crucial to the whole as everything else: self-denial of having done anything bad. And then one of my favourite PG songs, 'Family Snapshot'. It narrates the assassination of some leader from the assassin's point of view. The song ends with a flashback of his childhood. "Friends have all gone home/ there's my toy gun on the floor/ Come back, mum and dad/ You're growing apart/ You know that I'm growing up sad/ I need some attention/ I shoot into the light". It gives me goosepimples. Only I wish the ending section wasn't mixed so quiet; PLAYS LIVE version is therefore better.

'And Through the Wire' I haven't got so deep into, and the chorus makes me bored, otherwise not bad. - SIDE TWO: 'Games Without Frontiers' gives some loose analysis on wars. A good single hit song, though KATE BUSH has quite a boring role of repeating "jeux sans frontiéres". Then comes 'Not One Of Us' about foreigner hatred - sadly still all too existent in the world. Apart from 'Lead a Normal Life' ("It's nice here with a view of the trees/ eating with a spoon/ they don't give you knives?") Side Two has a wider, sociopolitical point of view whereas Side One concentrates on individual psychology and mental issues. 'Biko' ends the album gorgeously; one of the first anti-racism songs and a definite classic. PG3 is a masterpiece of popular music with a meaning.

Matti | 5/5 |


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