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Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel 1 [Aka: Car] CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

3.57 | 685 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Upon his exit from Genesis, Peter Gabriel became a recluse in the next few years only to come back with this album in 1977. He draws a number of guest musicians, including Robert Fripp and Tony Levin, on this album and also strays away from the symphonic sound that was identified with his past ventures with Genesis drastically. The sound on this album is a quirky mix of glam rock, barbershop quartet, bombastic classical, quasi-disco, and blues, but they are all mixed well together and there seems to be a cohesive flow within the album. While not terribly progressive, this album is a strong foundation for the mega career that would follow for Gabriel, and it would also provide one of his biggest hits (and one of his most personal songs) in Solsbury Hill, the "story" of why he left Genesis.

Moribund the Burgermeister opens quietly with some vocals from Gabriel but soon breaks out into a guitar driven rock anthem, with an interesting chord progression and a quirky chorus section in which Gabriel says, "I will find out. I will find out,". Solsbury Hill is a gentle acoustic tune with a great 7/4 motif and a very uplifting feeling throughout. The distorted choruses and the great hammering chords at the end really give this song that triumphant edge. No wonder it's one of his biggest hits. Modern Love is a poppier number but it still retains a rocky edge and it has a nice chorus/bridge. It's not the best song on the album but it's not a bad song at all. Excuse Me opens with a barbershop quartet and it really sounds cool. When Gabriel comes in with the main vocal, the piano in the background is really fun and quirky. It's a bit of an off the wall track, but I really enjoy it. Great guitar from Fripp on this track.

Humdrum continues the rocky edge of the album with solid guitar and bass work, as well as some great keyboard work from Larry Fast. Slowburn is a bit of a throwaway, and my least favorite song on this album. It doesn't really seem to go anywhere terribly fast and it seems more like filler than anything else. Waiting for the Big One is a bluesy number with some great soloing and a nice breakdown towards the end. This is also the longest song on the album, running at 7:14, and it doesn't really get boring at all. Down the Dolce Vida begins with a bombastic orchestra hammering out triumphant notes that break into a disco type chords and patterns, but the epic orchestral score is what really makes this song great. Here Comes the Flood ends the album with an epic chorus and some emotive vocals from Gabriel. This song is only improved on Robert Fripp's album Exposure, in which Gabriel sings this song solo while playing the piano, a beautiful piece on this album, though, and it really ends the album well.

In the end, Peter Gabriel's first solo album marked the beginning of a new era for the vocalist. His work would only improve, though, but this album acts as a high mark for his career and shows that he didn't need Genesis to make fun, engaging, and quirky music. Recommended to all, as it would make a very excellent addition to your collection. 4/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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