7d Media 2017
Giving Peter Gabriel’s classics a female voice, the G-man’s disciples raise their game and expand their frontiers.
For all the new concert context these musicians have created to shine a light on a great songwriter’s repertoire, obscure and otherwise, the experimentation on the first and second documents of their presentation of it was too subtle for non-connoisseurs to discern. This 5-track digital-only addendum to the set is drastically different from their previous releases, thanks to the presence of Happy Rhodes whose voice gives a fresh perspective even to the most familiar pieces.
It’s not her vocal range, though, that’s the heart of “Rhythm Of The Heat”; it’s her handling of the hooks in Peter’s book. Formulated in “I Have The Touch” which may serve as an embodiment of the band’s groovy cool when Jerry Marotta’s drums accentuate funky turmoil, the songs’ reinvention will go a long way to bring out their core values – patinated over time and dusted off now. Here, with a heavy, jagged edge on “No Self Control” where Michael Cozzi and Trey Gunn cross riffs, Rhodes is exploring lower reaches of the number’s urgency before instrumentalists take it to higher ground for a better, panoramic view and let the listener marvel at the emotional vista.
Still, a genuine paradigm shift happens once Happy has passed the otherworldly “Games Without Frontiers” on to “Of These, Hope” stressing the passionate nature of Peter Gabriel’s work. More so, an obvious, if also unexpected, association places Kate Bush’s “Mother Stands For Comfort” into the set to shake its bottom end to the very foundation and gently enhance the progressive environment SP deal in.
As a result, short as it is, “Five” can become a pivotal release for the group by pointing them towards future beyond faithfulness to the book of Gabriel.