Monster Music & Movies

Peter Gabriel - Up


Format: CD
Catalog: 493388
Rel. Date: 09/24/2002
UPC: 606949338824

Artist: Peter Gabriel
Format: CD

Formats and Editions


Peter Gabriel has always been a progressive rocker, in the best sense of theword and not just because he was Genesis' original frontman. Gabriel's28-year solo career has been a continuous exercise in musical exploration andadvancing the pop form, whether by integrating new technologies or embracingexotic international styles. This course reached its commercial zenith with1986's multi-platinum, Grammy-winning So and held steady with thesuccessful Us in 1992.

Of course, that was Gabriel's last mainstream studio effort, and despitesome soundtrack and special projects during the intervening years, we'vebeen left to wonder "O Peter, where art thou?" On Up, Gabrielironically steers closer to his initial progressive roots than he has sincehis first post-Genesis releases. The album's ten tracks, reportedly culledfrom more than 130 compositional ideas Gabriel worked on, are mostly long, suite-likepieces with discernible movements, crests and ebbs. The opening track, "Darkness,"shifts from a hollow start to crashing, King Crimson-ish aggression into a hopeful,hypnotic mantra. "Sky Blue" displays a rich, trancey quality, while"I Grieve" builds from hushed ambience towards a strident, martialrhythm. "Signal to Noise," featuring the late Qwali vocal legend NusratFateh Ali Khan, is a seven-and-a-half minute sojourn into the otherworldy.

It's more of the ambitious, heady music that Gabriel has made his stockin trade. But it's fair to wonder where the "hits" are-thisalbum's "Sledgehammer" or "In Your Eyes" or "Diggingin the Dirt." Short of some judicious editing, there aren't many here,though the funky "Burn You Up, Burn You Down" and "The BarryWilliams Show" could certainly do the trick. Then again, Gabriel has neverbeen about the singles; true progress meets commercial success as happy accidentrather than a creative design.
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