(Eagle Rock) Though this is completely unfair to Mr. Gabriel, because of his visual magnificence in Genesis, and his avant-garde performance art and costuming sensibilities, I've always wanted to group him with the Klaus Nomis and Arthur Browns and Jobriaths of the absurdist music world. Thus, it is no ones fault but my own that I was so profoundly disappointed by such finely crafted, yet genuinely conservative, musical offerings as "In Your Eyes" and "Red Rain." Consequently, while I am not overwhelmed by this live, orchestra-aided greatest hits concert, I can at least appreciate that the use of classical musicians is not only no contradiction to Gabriel's aesthetics (see Metallica's "S&M"), but in fact enhances the tame, exquisite compositions. The New Blood Orchestra , conducted by Ben Foster at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo, do a fine job turning the aforementioned tunes, and even my fave PG solo song, the 90s almost-hit "Digging in the Dirt," into grand statements. While he did not win me over completely, this is way better than the KISS orchestral album, though I think we all know which act remained more committed to crazy costumes.
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