i/o (Real World)
It is incredible to think that it has been over 21 years since Peter Gabriel released his last studio album of original music, Up. And, featuring a host of his long-time collaborators, i/o really does pick up where Up left off – but it’s very much set apart through its presentation and release. Many of the songs will be known to Gabriel fans, as he’s shared a number throughout the year to coincide with each new moon. But most surprising is the availability of two different mixes of the album by two different mixing engineers – a Dark-Side and Light-Side mix.
As for the music itself, well Peter Gabriel doesn’t really do sub-incredible. There may be one or two many of the midtempo, less melodic songs that have become his staple, but the heavy groove of Road To Joy and Olive Tree, in comparison with the stunningly beautiful Playing For Time, are up there with some of his best work.
Of the two mixes, the Light-Side does more to show off his still-sublime vocal ability, at 73 years of age. Let’s hope the next album comes a little sooner.
words JOHN-PAUL DAVIES