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Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel 2 [Aka: Scratch] CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

3.00 | 555 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Peter Gabriel's second album, a self-titled piece (like the first one) that spawned the names 2 and Scratch (based off of the album cover), shows a man trying to find a voice and trying to find what sound suited him best. What you'll find here is a lot of varying pieces in intensity and emotion and a lot of pieces that are completely different from one another. Retaining many of the same musicians from his past album, you can expect high level musicianship from the likes of Robert Fripp, Tony Levin, and Jerry Marotta. It may not be Gabriel's best album, but it certainly is a trying, and overall pretty good album.

On the Air begins with some strong guitar chord progressions and some glam rock tendencies (as did Moribund the Burgermeister on the first album). Gabriel's lyrics are simplistic and the chorus is catchy, but the vocals I'm not terribly impressed with. Usually Gabriel's vocals are superb, but here I don't feel that way. D.I.Y. begins with an infectious stick rhythm and some smooth drumming and keyboard frills. The catchy 5/4 chorus only goes to make this probably my favorite song on the album. It segues into Mother of Violence, which is a more atmospheric piece, with melodic pianos and acoustic guitar arpeggios. It's not a bad song, but not the best on the album. A Wonderful Day In A One Way World begins with some electric piano and has a definite groove to (because of another infectious Stick line from Levin). Gabriel's vocals, once again, aren't really up to measure, though, they are really low in the mix, and the music is more in front. White Shadow begins withn modulated synthesizers and an underlying piano/guitar motif that really comes off effectively. Musically, this song is brilliant, and vocally, Gabriel really goes above and beyond.

Indigo is a piano/vocal piece that features some intuitive playing from Gabriel and some emotive vocals from him as well. Slowly, recorders and other wind instruments are added, giving the song a more wholesome and down to earth feeling. Very creative piece, and unlike other Gabriel pieces. Animal Magic has an interesting bass groove from Levin and has much of the same feeling as On the Air, although it isn't as good as On the Air. Exposure is the most avant-garde piece on the album, and it comes off effectively (and it's later used on Robert Fripp's solo album of the same name, only that time around with a more grating vocal). A rather simple drum beat keeps the song together with another infectious groove from Levin and some atmospheric guitar from Fripp as the word exposure is repeated over and over again. Flotsam and Jetsam is the shortest piece on the album, and it's one of the eerier pieces as well. Some well timed interplay between Levin and Marotta breaks into a primarily vocal led piece that doesn't really do much for me, but I appreciate it. Perspective is another glammish piece that in the end doesn't come across right (even with some cool saxophone). Home Sweet Home ends the album with more somber piano work and some atmospheric guitar. It ends the album on a bit of a bleak yet uplifting note, which is very nice.

In the end, Peter Gabriel's second album would ultimately be his sophomore slump. It is sandwiched between one excellent album in his first and his masterpiece in his third. This album is his one of his more experimental albums, and you can see that in the varying styles and moods. It's not a bad album at all, but it's just not up to par with his other works. 3/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 3/5 |


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