1. Darkness 6:51
2. Growing Up 7:33
3. Sky Blue 6:36
4. No Way Out 7:53
5. I Grieve 7:24
6. The Barry Williams Show 7:16
7. My Head Sounds Like That 6:29
8. More Than This 6:02
9. Signal To Noise 7:36
10. The Drop 3:01
That Up exists at all is faintly miraculous. Over the past seven years, with guests including Youssou N'Dour, Peter Green, Blind Boys of Alabama and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Peter Gabriel has held recording sessions in Senegal, Atlanta, Singapore, the French Alps and on a boat on the Amazon, as well as spending lengthy sojourns in his own Real World studios.
Having written and prepared over 150 songs, it's amazing that Gabriel's managed to cut this huge body of work down to just 11 tracks. It's still more amazing that these tracks should be so consistent, and so contemporary. This quality springs from a thoughtful (and rare) layering process, with Gabriel combining his usual tribal rhythms with complex backing vocals, myriad samples, rock guitars, deep piano and crucially electronic sound effects. Indeed, the opening "Darkness" begins like the Prodigy before slipping into a quiet discussion of vulnerability and fear.
Elsewhere, there is the funky gospel rock of "Burn You Up, Burn You Down", the dreamy, Peter Hammill like fragility of "The Drop" and the vocal pyrotechnics and orchestral heights of "Signal to Noise". Throughout, Gabriel uses water metaphors, from droplets to oceans, to examine human troubles and put forward his positivist message. It's all brilliantly done--sophisticated and soulful both. The man's a marvel, and this is a big, big hit.
A decade in the making 'Up' is Peter Gabriel's 12th solo album but his first 'song based' effort since 1992's 'Us'. Featuring numerous guest appearances including Peter Green, Black Dyke Mills Band, Youssou N'Dour and the late Nusrat FatehAli Khan. 'Up' was reportedly pared down from a staggering 150 recorded songs. Features the single 'The Barry Williams Show'.
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