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Peter Gabriel - Up CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

4.00 | 573 ratings

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3 stars Dark and dense

While I'm not a huge fan of Gabriel's solo material I really like this album. It's much better than US in just about every way. Brooding. Classy. Strange. Foggy. Painful. Elegant glacial unease. Just some of the words that pop into my head as I think about what the music sounds like and what it makes me feel.

The first three tracks are simply stunning material for any artist but even more so for someone who's been around this long. "Darkness" is like a living nightmare, a song that begins in a shocking manner and nearly jolts you from your seat. "Growing Up" is more typical Pete but still quite good. And then there is the money shot. "Sky Blue" is a phenomenally gorgeous ballad and a song that nearly brought people to tears when I saw Gabriel do it live. Yeah, "Barry Williams" is a little topical and breaks the trance-like intimate flow of the album but it's a minor complaint and an aberration. Once past that track you resume the emotional deep sea dive that is UP. He also helps the material by giving the songs 6-8 minutes to breath rather than doing 3-4 minute tracks. I believe he made a conscious decision here to largely pass up radio play, both by the lengths and the dark moods and I respect him for that.

Before this album came out I had zero expectation that it would be good. I figured we'd get more video friendly pop schlock like "Kiss the Frog." I was wrong. This is a deep and dark album with so many layers of atmosphere that I owe Pete an apology. I didn't think he had it in him any more.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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