Saturday, January 30, 2010

Album Review: Peter Gabriel – Birdy (soundtrack)

Before his mega-selling album So, Peter Gabriel released the soundtrack to the movie Birdy in 1985. I haven’t seen the movie so I came to the soundtrack without preconceptions. It’s a highly atmospheric set of tracks, largely instrumental with occasional vocals. With titles like At Night and Quiet And Alone, it’s a contemplative work, mainly keyboard led with flute and drums, not too far away from Eno. Apparently some of it is reworkings of Peter Gabriel’s older work, though I’m not familiar enough with it to detect this.

It’s difficult to isolate any one track though Dressing the Wound stands out a bit, which starts out quite sparse until some wordless vocals from Gabriel come in. The whole thing is very serene, but the next track Birdy’s Flight totally changes the mood with feverish percussion right through it. Most if it is classic mood music. The final track, Powerhouse at the Foot of the Mountain is very Zen, and probably the most Eno-like track.