From the shock tactic opening killer 'Darkness', you can be sure that you have trespassed in Gabriel's World. Before you are allowed to go free, you'll have to reside for a while and focus on the surroundings, eloquently delivered, by your most expressive host.
First track, 'Darkness', is going to mug your soul. It's a rare Gabriel track, one that is instantly in there, never to be forgotten. As other tracks are left to grow on you, this opener has already taken root.
It's been a painful wait for this album and it's obvious that based on the recognisable Gabriel touch, a whole decade of further influences have been shaped and moulded.
'Growing Up' has a more retro feel, an old style comfortably waiting to be heard. 'Sky Blue' is also very reminiscent of his early work, hints of 'So', and a very welcome feeling it gives too.
'No Way Out' is barely a departure, nothing scarily unfamiliar, just mellow and mixed. Uncertain of it's identity of era, it's one of the more worthwhile tracks.
'I Grieve' is a typically heartfelt affair, slightly overshadowed by the next track, 'The Barry Williams Show', the more up-beat, down-morals number punctuated by Tony Levin's unmistakable Bass.
'My Head Sounds Like That' gets the nerves back together and brings you down in a similar, rather spooky, vein to 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' of old. While 'More Than This' gives back some sense of reality, 'Signal To Noise' will just pitch you right back. Teasing you with the regular normality at the start, this finishes off as something close to epic.
And relax. The last track, 'The Drop', will ease you back with a slightly more improved perception of the world.
Typically, Gabriel brings together some outstanding musicians from the globe and, at long bloody last, gives us another worthy work of art.
Slightly more sinister perhaps, or just my own paranoia, on the sleeve notes it is written: "...and to Martin - we will miss you."