Review Summary: The fourth album from the former Genesis frontman continues to further develop the heavy drum and synthesizer sound shown on previous albums. Standout tracks include San Jacinto, The Rhythm Of The Heat, and I Have The Touch.
Peter Gabriel's fourth album, Security
, continues to further progress his music along the atmospheric and world rock sounds of his previous albums. While it may not be quite as dark and brooding as the previous album, III, it still contains just as much atmosphere through the new gated drum technique and use of synthesizers to color the music in front of it. Through these sounds Gabriel creates perfect mood music, not necessarily something to crank up on a car ride barring one or two select songs. When listening to this album you may notice that Peter Gabriel's music is completely unique, and extremely difficult to pick out his influences. While it is easy to say that his work most sounds like his earlier solo albums and songs with Genesis, it is not entirely true. He has come a long way since his Genesis days and even the more world rock tracks off of Genesis' 1974 album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
no longer give a solid impression of the Peter Gabriel in 1982. Each song further shows why Peter Gabriel managed to create some of the most thoughtful music around throughout the later 1970s and 1980s.
But what do these drum and synth heavy tracks show for the album? The opener, The Rhythm Of The Heat
, begins right where III
left off in a very dark state. It is through the use of the lead synth lines and Phil Collins drum techniques a la In The Air Tonight
to make a dense atmospheric sound which is capped off by the chanting of Gabriel's voice overtop of it. He manages to create strong tracks out of a largely minimalistic sound on several occasions. San Jacinto
and Lay Your Hands On Me
are both quieter tracks that retain the heavy drum technique and synth leads to color the sound. San Jacinto is a special track in itself due to the strong lyrics dealing with the native american struggles with colonization "We will walk on the land/We will breathe of the air/We will drink from the stream/We will live - hold the line
Not every song on here is dark and brooding, however. The hit from the album, Shock The Monkey
carries a traditional 80s pop synthesizer sound along with more catchy drum work. Peter Gabriel's voice shines in particular through the quirkiness of the song at times, making a relatively weak melody a relatively good one through a strong voice. I Have The Touch
is another fun song that features a very standard drum line that manages to stand out somehow, with an extremely fitting vocal melody overtop to round out the sound. But there are always tracks that will get overlooked, not due to being underrated, but to being weaker in general. Although Kiss Of Life
is an upbeat song that carries more outlandish synthesizers with a very rock-like bassline behind it, fails to captivate an audience as it is like two entirely different elements are being thrown together into one track. Even though Peter Gabriel would be one to make that work, this time it does not. The drums and bass work fit perfectly, but the vocals and guitars are just not right for the song.
has its high points, sometimes it falls flat in the fact that there is no immensely catchy tune on the album. There is no Sledgehammer, no Solsbury Hill, and not quite enough sheer emotion like Digging In The Dirt. The production also does not help this point as while it may be average, it is not quite clear enough and does not allow any flair to shine through. Fortunately all of those problems would be solved with Peter Gabriel's next album, So
, which does have good production and
some very catchy tunes. But on the contrary, this would be the last album in which Gabriel would have 100% of his voice. Beginning with So
it becomes clear that his voice is beginning to go hoarse. But the last outing with all of it shows that Peter Gabriel can continue to progress his music further and make yet another good album.
Peter Gabriel - Security