Peter Gabriel - Car (1977) [From Favorites]
I decided to start with an album from my favorites that I havenít listened to in a while. Peter Gabrielís debut album, Peter Gabriel, or Car as Iíll call it, is his first major music work after leaving Genesis. Moribund The Burgermeister, the opening track, is a great bridge from the sort of pastoral and nursery story imagery evoked in Genesis to the more urban, modern focus of Gabrielís albums. There str still some holdovers from Genesis: Gabriel uses a few different voices throughout the song and the overall structure feels like it has the kind of sweeping movements of a prog song, but condensed into a much shorter runtime.
After that, you have the wonderful Solsbury Hill. Sadly, this has come to stand for a lot of sappy, feel-good parodies (See Shining), but Iím still able to enjoy it as a beautiful piece in and of itself. It is a classic, after all.
And then we get into where the album definitely takes a step down. I still enjoy a lot of the tracks after this, but I think Gabriel swings wildly to hit the highs and lows as hard as he can and the result is a song like Slow Bun that goes from quiet and contemplative to bombastic and over the top. The last couple of tracks in particular feel too relentless. They need to be toned down. Down The Dolce Vita is way too much, but I can still enjoy it.
I still enjoy Modern Love and Excuse Me quite a bit even though they feel a bit on the nose. Also, Humdrum is one of those songs Iíll probably forever associate with England. Listening to that song while wandering around London or riding a train across the UK in the rain felt like getting a glimpse into what Gabriel hoped to evoke with that song. It felt so much like that mood and that place so I think the song will always mean a lot to me just because it evokes those memories in my mind.
While I donít like it as much as I did about a year ago, I still connect strongly with a few of the songs and can enjoy most of it even though I recognize that they are a bit overblown. There's no way this will make the final list, but I can see myself returning to it when I'm in a certain mood.