Pin It
Favorite

CD Review - Peter Gabriel 

by Sheri Boggs


There's no doubt that expectations for Peter Gabriel's new album Up were running a little high. After all, 1992's Us had delivered such memorable and radio-friendly fare as "Steam" and "Digging in the Dirt," and the fire that had originally fueled his landmark 1986 album So showed no signs of going out any time soon. Still, as the years went by, fans began to get that anxious-dog look on their faces: Where did he go? Is he coming back?


Well, 10 years later, Peter Gabriel is back with a new album (Up) and quite frankly, it's good to hear his voice. Of course, it's not as if he disappeared completely from view. In the past decade, he's founded world music festival WOMAD, helped create the narrative and visual concept for London's Millennium Dome show and furthered the careers of new artists on his Real World label. He's also written the scores for Red Planet, City of Angels and most notably, the soundtrack for Martin Scorcese's The Last Temptation of Christ (which he released under the title The Passion).


In fact, it's not hyperbole to say that his sense of the cinematic informs much of Up. It unfolds in somewhat narrative form, moving back and forth between the adjacent territories of birth and youth and death and grief. The strengths of his previous work -- his clever lyricism and his sonic ingenuity -- are just as present here. "Growing Up" sounds like vintage Peter Gabriel in theme and delivery, and certain lines in "The Barry Williams Show" (named for a fictitious TV show host, and not, as far as we know, Greg on The Brady Bunch) lodge disturbingly in the brain for days. "I Grieve" is as perfect as they come, with a slow dirge dissolving into the chaos of life-goes-on street rhythms.


In sum, however, Up is not flawless. Some of it feels done before, and there is nothing here that is likely to become a single. Rolling Stone even ripped the record, saying "Gabriel has never seemed more out of touch." Still, most other critics and fans have found much to appreciate about the album. The late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the Blind Boys of Alabama and even producer Daniel Lanois on guitar all make appearances, and Gabriel has never been more beautifully melancholy. To those who've always responded to his work, this album is a significant and welcome addition to the canon.

  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
A T. Rex Named Sue

A T. Rex Named Sue @ Mobius Science Center

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 4

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Sheri Boggs

  • Beer and Branding in PDX

    • Sep 15, 2005
  • Rural Revolution

    All the farms I remember from growing up in North Idaho and Eastern Washington were not what you'd call stylish. In fact, what I do remember are blocky sofas covered in that ubiquitous mauve upholstery, copper Jell-O molds lining the kitche
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • Pictures of an Expedition

    First things first. Author Claire Rudolf Murphy has it on good authority that "Sacajawea" is pronounced the way we've always done it here in the Inland Northwest. Soft "j" sound, accents on the first and fourth syllables. Of course now, his
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation