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79 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Downside Up
Up is the first song based album release for almost a decade. The subject matter is dark, death a common theme featuring on four separate tracks, but this album shows Peter at his most creative and innovative in twenty years. Indeed, the commercial sounds of So and Us are dispensed with and the arty, complex and dense layered sounds of his third and fourth albums...
Published on 7 Sep 2002 by JonnyD75

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A new direction
This CD is yet another new direction of his ongoing search to find new ways of presenting music
You may like it but its not for me!
Good quality recording well delivered
Published on 12 April 2011 by MR J L HAYHOW of JEZarts


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79 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Downside Up, 7 Sep 2002
This review is from: Up (Audio CD)
Up is the first song based album release for almost a decade. The subject matter is dark, death a common theme featuring on four separate tracks, but this album shows Peter at his most creative and innovative in twenty years. Indeed, the commercial sounds of So and Us are dispensed with and the arty, complex and dense layered sounds of his third and fourth albums reappear.
The variety of styles is wide, from electronica, naked vocals and cinematic orchestrations. One track, The Drop, features here in its demo form complete with vocal and piano errors and background noises. Throughout, the sound is demanding and nuances are only revealed on repeated listens. The quality of the music is consistant throughout and it is probably his most accomplished album to date. Not bad for 25 years into his solo career!
Up will certainly challenge the most loyal fan, and the beauty of some tracks is not readily apparent, growing over time. This is no coffee table CD!
If you have only heard the single, The Barry Williams Show, then do not let this colour any view - it is the weakest track. Indeed if criticism is levelled, then some of the lyrics are not of the callibre of the music, and at times the sound appears a little over produced. Disappointingly, Burn You Up, Burn You Down, one of Gabriel's funkiest tracks has been dropped from this release, despite it providing an improved balance to the record.
With his contemporaries releasing patchy affairs or stuck resting on past glories, Gabriel has forged ahead creating new pathways in his sound. At times sounding like Bjork, BT, Goldfrapp and Gus Gus, this is a very modern album.
Essential.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Gabriel Exceeds Expectations, 24 Sep 2002
By 
C HARMONY (LOS ANGELES, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Up (Audio CD)
Peter Gabriels UP is a brilliant combination of his early solo albums Melt and Security with his amazing soundtrack for Last Temptation of Christ "Passion", with a whole lot of new millenium technology and sound thrown in. It has echos of the more ambient and ethereal songs on So, such as Red Rain and Mercy Street. Gabriel always up to date with technology, is once again in top form. The lyrics are the best he has penned since Security. The opener "Darkness" kicks off the album with a bang, with an ear bleeding screech of guitars and keyboards, then jumps back and forth between gentle piano. "Growing Up" is a mix of early Genesis art with techno beats. "Sky Blue" is the most moving song Gabriel has written in decades.
The best way to listen to Up is from beggining to end, lights out, candles lit. Its a journey, a rollercoaster ride, an album not to be missed. My only complaint is that I have to buy the import CD now to get the song "Burn You Up, Burn You Down". Oh well. This Cd should keep fans more than happy, and gain some new ones as well. But lets hope we don't have to wait another ten years. Word is he recorded 150 songs, and that in a years time or so he will release another ten of those for an album entitled I/O (input/output). Until then, take the ride.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About time..., 24 Sep 2002
This review is from: Up [VINYL] (Vinyl)
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."
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only way is UP..., 29 May 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Up (Audio CD)
Peter Gabriel has always produced music that sounds interesting, sometimes because of its melody (such as Solsbury Hill), originality (Games Without Frontiers) or its emotion (Don't Give Up). This album is no different.
Though it has been in the pipeline for nearly ten years the result is a CD of breathtaking depth, sonically, musically and emotionally. This new SACD multi-channel release adds even more to the effect this CD has on the listener.
From the start with Darkness you are placed in the centre of the incredible sound, buffeted almost by the bass and textures pounding your senses. The balance is perfect, and though essentially unchanged from the earlier release the multi-channel mix takes it to another level. Gabriel isn't afraid of technology and this is evident when listening to this SACD.
A generally more up tempo release (including Growing Up, The Barry Williams Show and More Than This) the sound of the bass and drums are fantastic. Yet every note, every word is audible. My one and only complaint is on Growing Up where the vocal seems a little lost in the mix, due to it being confined to the centre speaker.
I love all the tracks, but my favourites, Sky Blue, Signal to Noise and The Drop are perfect examples of good songwriting, production and performance.
The original stereo release (available on this Hybrid SACD) was great anyway, but now it sound more complete, more involving. Simply put it's a joy to listen to. Any Gabriel fan should invest in the technology to experiance this fine piece of work. Definately 5 out of 5.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it time and be well rewarded, 14 July 2003
By 
J. A. Storey "John S" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Up (Audio CD)
I have been accustomed to technical experimentation from Peter Gabriel with successive albums. It is part of the pleasure of listening to him, so I was surprised, after such a long gap, that there is really no technical development on this album from the last. At first listening, it is tempting to think that it is just Peter Gabriel doing more of the same.
However, as I have continued to listen, the songs have grown on me more and more, each one for their own particular attention to detail and mood creation. If I were to single any track out in this respect it would be 'I Grieve' in which the muffled soundscape skillfully creates a sense of depression and despondency, opening out into a wonderful life affirming beat which almost sounds like a different song until the muffled tones take hold once more and drag the mood back into grieving.
Maybe this album is more of the same in style, but judge each song on its own merits and a little persistence will be its own reward.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure genius, 11 Jun 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Up (Audio CD)
Like a few other reviewers have commented, I bought this the day it came out and was initially disappointed. This album does not contain the instant hooks of "So" or "Us", and despite being a dedicated PG follower since about 1985, I'm sad to say this stayed on my shelf for a good few months due to my first impressions.
However, as I found out for myself, first impressions are not necessarily the way to judge this particular Gabriel offering.
If you're of a similar opinion, and your first impressions were less than favourable, take this tip. Purchase and watch the Growing Up Live DVD (possibly the best concert DVD ever made), then after you've marvelled at the performance and production, come back to this album for another listen. Then another. Then one more for luck. The third time, I guarantee that it will jump out like a spiritual revelation and knock you flat on your back.
This is quite simply, one of the best albums ever made. It's not so much of an album as a journey. The music and lyrics take you on a trip through almost every concievable emotion.
I won't go into detailed reviews of the tracks as that has already been covered. I'll just say that my favourite is the opening track, "Darkness" - stunningly frightening, but strangely comforting at the same time.
This is not a word I would use lightly, and certainly not to describe many of the current crop of "artists" recording today - but Gabriel is a genius. There's no other way to describe him, and "Up" is probably his best work to date, reminding me very much of the energy and emotion of PG3. It's not So, and it's not Us - and that's an essential thing to realise before listening. Buy it, leave your expectations at the door, and prepare to be blown away.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gabriel's best, 21 Oct 2002
By 
This review is from: Up (Audio CD)
Okay, here's the rub: Up is Gabriel's best solo album to date.
Now, like a lot of people out there, I didn't really think anything of the sort when first listening to it. And even now I can well understand the reservations. For example, you can't help but noticing that Up lacks a lot of the flow - the diversity, if you will - of, say, PG 1 (his first eponymous solo album). Something as fluent and arresting as "Solsbury Hill" is lacking here, as is the later pop/rock appeal of tracks like "Sledgehammer" or "Don't Give Up" (both from "So").
But when you sit down, listen to what's offered, and reflect a bit, you'll find (a) that each and every track is a wonderfully balanced, thoroughly condensed gem of both musical composition and lyricism, and (b) you'll simply not be able to get a great number of "bits and pieces" out of your head.
What this means is this. Firstly, Gabriel took a long, long time to come Up with this - and it shows. Just about every track is 6 or 7 minutes long, and forms an entity onto itself. That makes the album a little difficult to tackle at first - there are no light moments, there're no let-up. Whilst it won't take you as long to get to grips with it as it took to write it, this simply ain't easy pegging and no bridges - no quick thoroughfares - are provided.
Secondly, and alternatively, in spite of the album's "difficulty", Gabriel has lost none of his sense of melody or his astute lyrical prowness. Give it a chance and you'll find parts of it settle into your mind - even if you don't want them to. For me, the first example was "More Than This" (initially the chorus, then the lines preceding it). Then came "Sky Blue", then "Signal to Noise". In the end - well, the relative end - it's "The Drop". With each and every one of these songs, lines and melody stuck in my head for days.
Listening to "Up" the first few times, I was ready and willing to call it a disappointment. I'd be lying if I said anything of the sort now. This is the best album I've heard for a very long time. And in spite of the fact that I wasn't prepared for it, it's Gabriel best. (Yes, it harks back to the "darker" side of Gabriel, as evidenced on the third and fourth - again, eponymous - albums. But it combines this with a greater maturity, with more personal and more relative points of view, and with less "escapes" into personas than before.)
Amazon called this a miracle simply for being released in the first place. Thankfully, it's something of a miracle in and of itself, as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Up Import, 30 Dec 2007
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Up (Audio CD)
Here is an album that can stir the soul and uplift the spirit as only PG can. The album moves from one amazing track to another, until ending on a plaintive, haunting note in 'The Drop'. Songs like 'Sky blue' which features The Blind Boys Of Alabama and 'More than This' move me so deeply every time I hear them that it is almost impossible to express. His biting observations of reality and chat show TV are noted in 'The Barry Williams Show' and although this is my least favourite track on the album, I respect it for the message it is trying to give. As typical to PG the lyrics are inspired and the music builds in emotional force on each track and throughout the album. A great album, my personal favourite of all of his work, and that's saying something as his back catalogue is incredible as well!!! A quick note, try to find the UK, or enhanced, version of this album, it is usually cheaper.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable..., 26 Sep 2002
By 
Edgar (Rome, RM Italy) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Up (Audio CD)
This is the only thing that can be said of Peter Gabriel work and particularly this last jewel. Got used to its Genesis work and its solo career (and I cannot find a single Gabriel album not worthing a place in the best collections), I was expecting an excellent album, on the trails of "US", which was a perfect balance of different sounds, impacting songs and intense and concentrated playing.
But this time it's come up different. Intimate ("The Drop", "My Head sounds like that" ). Profound ("Signal To Noise"). Intense ("Sky Blue"). At times, worried or even scared of what he's singing and playing ("Darkness" and again "My Head sounds like that" ). And always, always absolutely continous, from a song to the next.
Peter Gabriel doesn't miss a step in the entire CD and the entire work should be listened at a time and should be lived as a whole.
Fans waiting for Peter Gabriel have been greatly repaid, fans waiting to get a Genesis memory too.
An incredible gift from one of the most influencing artist of the last 30 years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not the peak of So and Us together but still good, 3 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Up (Audio CD)
A good signing off by Peter Gabriel if he's not going to make any more brand new studio albums (I say that since in 2013 Gabriel will re-release the So album and tour with it again). The Barry Williams Show is one of the standout tracks but as always with Gabriel it's a whole-album ride and it grows on you and hangs together well.
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