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Peter Gabriel - I/O

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 19 / 1 / 2024

Peter Gabriel - I/O
Label: Real World Records
Format: CD


Excellent first album of new material in over twenty-one years from Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel has released his first album of new material in over twenty-one years. Its title is ‘I/O’ (standing for “input/output”) - and Peter Gabriel says he is delighted to be fully engaged again - “back in the world, walking down the road to joy” - as he puts it on the track, ‘Road To Joy’ which is a swaggering pop-funk number a little reminiscent of his huge MTV hit ‘Sledgehammer’. There are songs on the new album about mortality, grief, global warming and mass surveillance but Gabriel, now 73, rarely seems dejected. “We float on love,” he sings on ‘This Is Home’, assisted by Brian Eno on piano. Gabriel's style remains familiar and his backing musicians are largely unchanged since the 1980s. He has described his work as “pieces of melodic art-rock with blue-eyed soul plus world music trimmings”. Supported by a Sowetan choir, Gabriel's voice retains its tuneful clarity on the title track and on the optimistic album closer, ‘Live And Let Live’. Advances in technology are wryly addressed as he sings about data storage on ‘The Court’ and Artificial Intelligence gets a mention on ‘Olive Tree’ which features David Rhodes on guitar, perhaps giving a nod to Gabriel's prog-rock past. But Gabriel also sings of getting older, with fine backing vocals from his daughter Melanie on ‘So Much’ - and one of the new album's most touching moments is ‘And Still’ - a beautiful elegy to Gabriel's late mother. ‘I/O’ runs for 68 minutes and, perhaps a little confusingly, it is released in two marginally different versions – a “bright” mix and a “dark” mix. But this is a very welcome return from one of the great talents of the UK music world.

Track Listing:-
1 Panopticom (Bright-Side Mix)
2 The Court (Bright-Side Mix)
3 Playing for Time (Bright-Side Mix)
4 i/o (Bright-Side Mix)
5 Four Kinds of Horses (Bright-Side Mix)
6 Road to Joy (Bright-Side Mix)
7 So Much (Bright-Side Mix)
8 Olive Tree (Bright-Side Mix)
9 Love Can Heal (Bright-Side Mix)
10 This Is Home (Bright-Side Mix)
11 And Still (Bright-Side Mix)
12 Live and Let Live (Bright-Side Mix)
13 Panopticom (Dark-Side Mix)
14 The Court (Dark-Side Mix)
15 Playing for Time (Dark-Side Mix)
16 i/o (Dark-Side Mix)
17 Four Kinds of Horses (Dark-Side Mix)
18 Road to Joy (Dark-Side Mix)
19 So Much (Dark-Side Mix)
20 Olive Tree (Dark-Side Mix)
21 Love Can Heal (Dark-Side Mix)
22 This Is Home (Dark-Side Mix)
23 And Still (Dark-Side Mix)
24 Live and Let Live (Dark-Side Mix)

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