badwater12612 February 2010 at 9:16pmPosts: 51 (0 today)Status: offline
As a filmmaker, I have long been drawn to Gabriel's work as a template for creating scenes and mood. I'm not only referring to his film scores. Yes "Passion" (IMO his best complete album) and "Rabbit Proof Fence" are intended to be cinematic backdrops, but "Security" works equally as well. In fact, there is a danger in imagining scenes through some of his work, as the music can overtake the image.
SMB strikes me - at first listen - as his most evocative, consistent work since "Passion." "Up" certainly had its moments - No Way Out and Signal to Noise among them. But "Up" hedged its dark anthems with (misplaced, IMO) numbers such as the Barry Williams Show and Growing Up. Each fun songs, on their own - but as part of the larger picture, they seemed patchwork. And added to PG's unhealthy appetite for layering and overproduction, and that gorgeous voice was lost inside it all.
The immediate beauty of SMB - and I think PG himself recognizes this - is that it is clean, stripped down. Its clarity reminds me of "So" and "III (Melt)." Stripped down to their core elements, these songs are unified into a greater whole by Gabriel's voice. No matter how diverse the song choices, they all seem to advance a master film plot centering upon themes of alienation and vulnerability. From cover to cover, SMB spins a narrative of a man straining for human connection. In my view, it reads like a Kieslowski masterpiece.
rraven12 February 2010 at 9:52pmPosts: 3102 (0 today)Status: offline
Are there any particular images SMB conjures up to go along with the sounds, Badwater?
(Frantically Googling Kieslowski.)
badwater12612 February 2010 at 10:41pmPosts: 51 (0 today)Status: offline
off the top of my head.
(Most literally) Listening Wind evokes that of a young terrorist recruit, toiling away with duct tape and wires in a dark Istanbul basement.
Flume - a middle-aged man dispatched for assignment overseas receives a letter that the love of his life has gotten engaged to another man back home.
And then there's Apres Moi. Wow. I'm not sure what yet, but whatever it is, it is at the climax of the film.