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Thursday, December 08, 2016

Peter Gabriel -- Passion (Music from The Last Temptation of Christ)


7/10

Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ blew up a dust storm of controversy upon its release because of a scene showing Jesus partaking in sexual intercourse with a woman. This offended millions of people who never saw the film. I did see the film, and I did not hate it because it showed Jesus having sex. The said scene is actually a vision shown to Jesus by Satan to tempt the former away from the cross. If Jesus was human, he was tempted in the same ways we are. That scene doesn't bother me. I am not bothered that Willem Dafoe's portrayal of Jesus is tempted by sex, but I am bothered by the fact that he is a pasty, ineffectual wimp. He gets slapped around by Judas and before his ministry begins, he makes crosses for the Romans for money. It's not that he his is tempted, because he was surely tempted: it is that he is not He. The portrayal is ridiculous.
This is actually a review of Peter Gabriel's soundtrack for the film, though. His soundtrack, titled Passion, saw Gabriel combining his knowledge of electronic music and ambient textures with the indigenous music of the Middle East and North Africa. Gabriel hired many musicians from these regions to create an original work of art that influenced musicians around the world, and shined a light on the genre of "World Music." As great as all that is, though, Gabriel's soundtrack, as an album, is a little bit of a test for your average listener or Peter Gabriel fan. While the music is beautiful, it has few peaks and valleys, mainly existing to create mood. Vocals are sparse, as are any moments of catharsis. Seventy minutes of that can get a little trying. I tend to break this album up into chunks when I listen to it. While as a part of the film, Passion is the best part, on its own, I only love it in bits and pieces.


1989 Geffen Records
1. The Feeling Begins 4:00
2. Gethsemane 1:23
3. Of These, Hope 4:05
4. Lazarus Raised 0:36
5. Of These, Hope (Reprise) 1:06
6. In Doubt 2:07
7. A Different Drum 6:05
8. Zaar Peter Gabriel 4:44
9. Troubled 2:46
10. Open 3:18
11. Before Night Falls 2:16
12. With This Love 3:36
13. Sandstorm 2:55
14. Stigmata 2:24
15. Passion 7:36
16. With This Love (Choir) 3:19
17. Wall of Breath 2:25
18. The Promise of Shadows 2:12
19. Disturbed 3:07
20. It Is Accomplished 3:30
21. Bread and Wine 2:23

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