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Peter Gabriel - Up CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

4.00 | 573 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Old Dog has some New Tricks

Peter Gabriel's album _Up_ begins with brief gentle rhythmic figure before bludgeoning the listener with a blast of industrial distortion that is the thematic riff for the opening song, appropriately named Darkness. The song continues to alternate between moments of catching your breath and spasms of pain, in one of the best musical depictions of depression I've heard. (Lord knows there have been many). The first time I heard this song, and then the entire album, back during a particularly dark time in my life in 2002, I was knocked back in my seat, thinking This is more like it. The old dog still has some life left in him.

This album was a long time coming, with Gabriel fans clinging to his soundtracks as the only new music since 1992's _Us_. Unfortunately, these didn't add a lot to his catalog that hadn't already been covered on the wonderful _Passion_ and elsewhere. In any case, I didn't have high expectations, but my brother (a bigger PG fanatic than me) reassured me. Well, _Up_ delivered completely. Along with plenty of the signature Gabriel sounds, with updated production, were a number of new elements, not least of which was the use of more aggression. A good example is "No Way Out" which updates his signature "Red Rain" sound with a low, twangy guitar riff along with Tony Levin's signature rolling bass. In fact, the whole album is darker than he'd been in almost 20 years, more personal and close.

Every song except one is excellent. "The Barry Williams Show," the first single, was a cheap shot in the bucket at daytime TV hosts, and a complete throwaway. But other more poppish singles such as "More Than This" and "Growing Up" are superb, up with any of his previous work. The song that is most often quoted, however, is "I Grieve" which had already appeared on the soundtrack to the movie _City of Angels_ 4 years before. (Yes I bought the album just to have the Gabriel song). The song is bonecrushingly sad and yet uplifting at the same time, an emotional masterpiece in a catalog that is filled with some of the most emotionally expressive performances in rock. I could go on. Suffice it to say, that each and every song stands on its own, but the album remains cohesive.

4.5 stars rounded down because you don't round up to masterpiece. Recommend completely.

Negoba | 4/5 |


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