Review: PETER GABRIEL – “i/o”

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In the end here is Peter Gabriel’s new album in all its mastery and brilliance.

An album that has already been fully explored, analyzed and listened to, given that Gabriel had released a new song on the occasion of every full moon, but which finds its own reason and its definitive place in the overall nature of the project.

A closing of a cycle that collects the 12+12 songs (one bright-side and one dark-side) in a disc-container that represents Gabriel’s current creative and musical state.

“i/o” is a record with an infinite gestation lasting three decades. Some songs would have been born already in the 90s and should have been released a long time ago, but Gabriel’s meticulousness has brought it forward over time, continually chiseling it until it reaches an almost maniacal perfection.

A perfect album in terms of production, arrangements, sounds, musical engineering, where Gabriel’s voice is dynamic, full and intact.
A perfect album also in terms of lyrics, intelligent songs with sincere beauty, full of reflections on the state of the planet, society, life and the universe.
Borrowed time, mortality and pain, together with themes such as injustice, video surveillance and the roots of terrorism run through the album’s lyrics in a continuous alternation of meditations, warnings, worries, but at the same time positivity and hope.

“i/o” is first and foremost an experiential album. You can’t listen to it in the clippings of everyday life, between one thing and another. Attentive, absolute, dedicated listening is necessary. It would lose all its charm, its magic and its artistic peculiarity.

The explosion of his new work of art, yet another avant-garde from Gabriel. A project that goes beyond music and also embraces visual art. Indeed, continuing the idea developed for the “US” and “UP” albums, Gabriel has once again invited a series of visual artists to contribute a work of art to accompany his music. Each of i/o’s 12 songs has been entrusted to a world-renowned artist to create an accompanying work, be it painting, photography, sculpture or even clay. The dozen artists make up a truly impressive team of collaborators: Ai Weiwei, Nick Cave, Olafur Eliasson, Henry Hudson, Annette Messager, Antony Micallef, David Moreno, Cornelia Parker, Megan Rooney, Tim Shaw, David Spriggs and Barthélémy Toguo.

Another visual link to Peter’s past work is the cover shot. Shot by photographer Nadav Kander, it echoes the covers of his previous albums, with the exception of “So,” which are intriguingly obscured or manipulated.

“i/o” is a long meditation, which envelops you whether you listen to its shimmering or dark version.
An album absolutely worthy of the best Gabriel… let’s hope we don’t have to wait so long to have another pearl from the master.
In the meantime we live the experience of this “i/o”.

SCORE: 8.00


The Independent: 10.00
The Telegraph: 10.00
Mojo: 8.00
Uncut: 8.00
Clash Music: 8.00
The Guardian: 8.00
Pitchforch: 7.40


Playing for Time – So Much -Live And Let Live


Nothing. An absolutely experiential album. Listen from start to finish.


The Court
Playing for Time
Four Kinds of Horses
Road to Joy
So Much
Olive Tree
Love Can Heal
This Is Home
And Still
Live And Let Live

1977 – Peter Gabriel (Car)
1978 – Peter Gabriel (Scratch)
1980 – Peter Gabriel (Melt)
1982 – Peter Gabriel (Security)
1986 – So
1992 – Us
2002 – Up
2010 – Scratch My Back
2011 – New Blood
2023 – I/O




Written by

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.