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Peter Gabriel i/o

Peter Gabriel’s “i/o” Album Review: He’s Back, Better Than Ever Before

Peter Gabriel’s latest album “i/o” stands not only as a testament to his enduring creativity but also as a potential crowning achievement in a career already brimming with groundbreaking work. Gabriel, a legend in the music industry, has been known for his innovative approach to music, particularly through the 80s and 90s, and “i/o” might very well be considered his best work to date.

The Legacy of Peter Gabriel

Gabriel’s influence on the music world has been profound and multifaceted. Rising to fame with Genesis in the 1970s, he quickly established himself as a visionary artist. His departure from Genesis and subsequent solo career in the 1980s and 90s saw him breaking new ground, particularly with albums like “So” and “Us.” These works were not just commercially successful; they were also artistically daring, blending world music with electronic and art-rock elements, and they solidified his reputation as an innovative and fearless artist.

Groundbreaking Work in the 80s and 90s

During the 80s and 90s, Gabriel was at the forefront of the world music movement, integrating sounds and rhythms from various cultures into his music. His use of innovative recording techniques and embrace of new technologies set him apart. Albums like “So” (1986), with its hit “Sledgehammer,” showcased his ability to merge artistic depth with mainstream appeal, featuring groundbreaking music videos that revolutionized the medium.

“i/o”: A Culmination of Artistic Evolution

Now, with “i/o,” Gabriel seems to have distilled his decades of musical exploration into a singularly impressive work. The album encapsulates his signature sound while pushing into new territories. The dual “Bright-Side” and “Dark-Side” mixes are a clear indication of his continued innovation, offering listeners two distinct ways to experience the same music.

“i/o” is rich with the thematic depth and stylistic diversity that have defined Gabriel’s career. Tracks like “Panopticom” and “The Court” reflect his enduring ability to fuse diverse musical styles while tackling complex themes. The reflective nature of songs like “Playing for Time” and “So Much” suggests a maturity and introspection that might resonate deeply with longtime fans and new listeners alike.

In a career marked by constant evolution and boundary-pushing, “i/o” might be seen as Peter Gabriel’s most comprehensive and compelling work yet. It’s an album that not only reflects his legendary status but also reasserts his relevance in the contemporary music scene. For those who have followed his career since the Genesis days, or those just discovering his genius, “i/o” is a testament to Gabriel’s unwavering commitment to artistic exploration and innovation.

“i/o” marks a remarkable return to the music scene, offering a rich tapestry of sound and themes that reflect both his enduring legacy and his forward-thinking artistic vision. This long-awaited album, released track by track every full moon, showcases Gabriel’s unique approach to music-making and his ability to blend a wide range of styles and themes into a cohesive whole.

The Evolution of Sound and Style

The album’s opener, “Panopticom,” is a standout track that immediately sets the stage for what’s to come. It combines acoustic elements with electronic influences, creating a soundscape that is quintessentially Gabriel. The use of a 12-string guitar alongside Tony Levin’s deep bass tones and a blend of electronica exemplifies Gabriel’s knack for combining traditional and modern elements. This stylistic choice echoes back to his previous works, especially “Up” and “Us,” while introducing new textures and tones.

Exploring Deep Themes

Throughout “i/o”, Gabriel doesn’t shy away from diving into complex and often challenging themes. For instance, “The Court” revisits the tribal rhythms of his earlier work while layering in a haunting choir that contemplates the nature of justice in the era of cancel culture. Similarly, “Four Kinds of Horses” is a sensitive exploration of the corruption of religious faith into terrorism, backed by an evocative musical arrangement.

Personal Reflections and Contemplations

The album also has a deeply reflective side, with songs like “Playing for Time” and “So Much” exploring themes of mortality, hope, and renewal. These tracks reveal their layers over time, both musically and lyrically, providing a sense of peace amidst the inevitability of aging and change. This introspective quality is further exemplified in tracks like “Olive Tree,” which is not only the most commercially accessible song on the album but also a celebration of life and resilience.

Celebrating Life and Rebirth

Tracks such as “Road to Joy” and “Olive Tree” stand out as more upbeat, celebratory moments on the album, offering a counterbalance to its more contemplative moments. These songs embody a sense of joy and rejuvenation, resonating with themes of rebirth, which is particularly poignant considering the long hiatus since Gabriel’s last album of new material.

The Production and Collaborations

The production of “i/o” is notable for its use of both “Bright-Side” and “Dark-Side” mixes, showcasing the postproduction skills of producers-engineers Mark “Spike” Stent and Tchad Blake. This dual approach adds depth to the album, allowing listeners to experience it in different lights. Additionally, the involvement of artists like Brian Eno adds another layer of sonic depth to the album.

A Culmination of Artistic Journey

At 73 years old, Gabriel demonstrates that his creative spark is as bright as ever. “i/o” is not just a collection of songs; it’s a complete artistic statement that encapsulates Gabriel’s career-long journey of musical exploration and innovation. It’s a testament to his ability to stay relevant and compelling in a constantly changing musical landscape.

In summary, “i/o” is a rich, multifaceted work that showcases Peter Gabriel’s unique talents as a songwriter, composer, and musical innovator. Its blend of introspective lyrics, diverse musical styles, and thematic depth make it a noteworthy addition to his already impressive discography. For fans of Gabriel’s work, and for those new to his music, “i/o” offers a profound and rewarding listening experience.

Order or listen here.

Danny Tenaglia Brooklyn Cover

An Homage to Danny Tenaglia

In the rich tapestry of electronic music, Danny Tenaglia stands as an artist whose works transcend genre boundaries and touch the heartstrings of listeners. His latest magnum opus, “GU45: Brooklyn,” is more than just a DJ mix album; it is the essence of a life dedicated to curating soundscapes that defy norms and embody the soul of a city. It’s a journey through House music, and it bangs like only Danny Tenaglia can make it bang.

Brooklyn: A Love Letter

“Brooklyn” is an homage to Williamsburg, Brooklyn – the cradle of Danny’s musical odyssey. Comprising 42 tracks, the album is a rich collection of stories narrated through the beats of artists like Guy J, Moderat, Ralph Falcon, and Monika Kruse. It serves as the perfect finale to the Global Underground series, which already features milestones in Tenaglia’s career like “Athens” and “London” which I as a young DJ grew up with.

In my opinion, “Brooklyn” is the best of Danny. Ever.

Tenaglia’s career is a sequence of moments that have shaped not just a genre but the entire club culture. From his beginnings at Paradise Garage to his influential stint at Cheers in Miami, he has always created soundscapes that cross boundaries.

His remix of “Surrender Yourself” in 1992 was more than just a hit; it was an expression of his musical ethos. “Mix This Pussy” (1994) and his residency at Twilo (1996) further solidified his status as a visionary.

When I met Danny about 15 years ago at the Winter Music Conference in Miami, I encountered a person whose warmth and attentiveness were as profound as his music. He is just the the nicest and sweetest guy, and an artist whose heartbeat syncs with the rhythm of the people on the dance floor.

Personal Battle

Lately, Danny’s life took a turn when he disclosed his battle with colon cancer. This revelation was not a note of defeat but a testament to his indomitable spirit. His message was clear – life, like music, is a journey through ups and downs, and one must approach it with the same passion one brings to the turntables.

As Danny continues his treatment, with the future’s uncertainty looming, his dedication to his craft remains unshaken. He stands as a beacon of strength, reminding us of the power of music to heal, unite, and inspire.

A Symphony of Resilience

Danny Tenaglia’s story is more than the sum of his albums or the clubs he has transformed. It is a narrative of resilience, a reminder of the enduring power of art in the face of life’s unpredictability. “Brooklyn” is more than just an album; it’s a chapter in the life of a man whose music will continue to echo through the annals of time.

As I listen to the driving and soul-stirring rhythms of “Brooklyn,” I’m not just hearing music; I’m experiencing the heartbeat of a true legend.

I wish Danny a full recovery and only the best, from the bottom of my heart.

Aaron Spears: A Rhythm That Never Ends

The music world has been left with a void that’s hard to fill with the sudden passing of Aaron Spears. Although I never had the chance to witness his artistry live, his music and influence have deeply resonated with me.

Aaron was not just a drummer; he was a musical savant whose talents transcended what one might expect from a “typical” musician. He had an uncanny ability to craft complex rhythms and melodies that were not just technically demanding but emotionally profound. His drumming was a language of its own, speaking to the hearts of those who listened.

Interestingly, while the artists he drummed for – names like Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Usher, and Chris Brown – never quite aligned with my musical taste, Aaron’s drumming itself was a different story. His skill and artistry were so compelling that they transcended genre and personal preference, serving as an inspiration to me and countless others.

Aaron was a pioneer, always pushing the boundaries of what music could be. He was a master at blending different musical styles, creating something entirely new and groundbreaking. His work in various genres, from pop to jazz to gospel, showcased his versatility and depth as an artist.

But Aaron was more than just an extraordinary musician. He was a man filled with warmth and humor, inspiring those around him. He had the rare gift of creating an atmosphere of community and cohesion in a room full of strangers. His humility and genuine love for his craft made him not just respected, but deeply loved by his peers and fans alike.

The news of his sudden death at the age of just 47 has shaken us all.

My heart is with his family, his friends, and everyone fortunate enough to have known him or been touched by his music. His legacy will continue to live on in the hearts of those he touched and in the music he leaves behind.

Aaron will be sorely missed, but his music and influence will eternally reverberate.