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Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel (aka "2" or "Scratch") (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

This is Peter Gabriel's second solo album. It's definitely quite a bit different than the first one. I'd say that this album is perhaps a bit more unusual. Yet there are also things that seem more Genesis-like It has some particularly strong music, and there is nothing here that really disappoints. Among the musicians on this disc are Larry Fast, Robert Fripp, Tony Levin and Jerry Marotta.

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Track by Track Review
Side I
On the Air

Keyboards start this. The cut drives out with a punky, almost new-wave sound from there. Yet, there are some definite Genesis-like vibes in place at times. The chorus hooks are decidedly infectious. This turns pretty heavy in an instrumental movement later. We get some cool synth work further down the road, too. In fact, just as they began it, keyboards end the track.

The rhythm section is in the driver's seat as this song gets underway. It works to a bouncy sort of jam that again seems to have a decent amount of Genesis is in the mix. This is quirky and tastefully cool.
Mother of Violence
Starting with the sounds of nature, acoustic guitar and piano rise up from there. This is complex, but also rather Earthy. This is more of a ballad, and it's much more mainstream. The piano is really the focal point of it.
A Wonderful Day in a One-Way World
This is a bouncy kind of rocker that has a lot of energy and some fun grooves. This is quirky and proggy, but also somewhat new-wave and pop-oriented.
White Shadow
There is a cool, and intricate spacey rock vibe on display here. This turns to some killer rock that's very much trademark Gabriel. The jam later in the track includes smoking hot bass and guitar work. That movement is purely on fire.
Side II

Starting with vocals and piano, the singing on that opening section is so evocative. The track powers out into cool rocking jamming from there.

Animal Magic
A driving, fun number, this has some hints of Genesis in the mix. I love some of the soaring, guitar-driven sections of this piece. This is another powerhouse tune and a highlight of the disc.
This song was co-written by Robert Fripp, and he has done a version of the track in his solo career. This includes Frippertronics. It's an amazing number with some smoking hot bass and so much magic at play. This is trademark Gabriel solo. It is also great stuff.
Flotsam and Jetsam
I dig the echoey sort of thing on the vocals. This has more of a bouncy kind of groove. The track has a bit of a Genesis like element to it. It also has some great bass work. I can make out hints of The Beatles on this, too. This is another classy art rocker.
There is a driving rock with more of the punky, new wave element that we heard on the opening track in place. Horns bring some jazzy things at times. This is a fun piece that still manages some proggy angles.
Home Sweet Home
A piano arrangement gets this underway. There is a bit of jazzy, bluesy ballad vibe to this. The track gets pretty rocking before it's done and makes me think of the Saturday Night Live band to some degree.
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