Review by Steve Alspach
Peter Gabriel was one of the masterminds of the Millennium Dome in the East Docklands of London. The Millennium Dome was to be a multimedia-based attraction to celebrate the Millennium. It was short-lived and closed shortly. They're trying to sell it, but nobody wants to buy it. They can't even give the damn thing away. So there it sits, draining the tax money of Londoners. Gabriel would have been better off sticking to music to commemorate the year 2000. OVO, the album that Gabriel recorded, is an extremely inventive album that incorporates a wide range of musical influences from around the world. There is also a narrative story to this CD, but that story is a bit superfluous and, beyond the first song does not add too much to the music.
Gabriel arranged an astounding range of musicians for this project, and the eclecticism adds to the enjoyment of this album.
The personnel on this album: Peter Gabriel, vocals, keyboards, percussion, drone treatments, tanpura, piano, synthezizers, piano loops, hammer dulcimer treatments, crotales, claps, keyboard bass, African percussion, surdu, Peruvian drum, synth guitar; Neneh Cherry, vocals; Rasco, vocals; Richard Evans, synthesizer, Nord bass, treatments, guitar loops, mandola, bass, flute, hammer dulcimer, guitars, 12-string acoustic and electric guitars, caliope; Ganga Giri, didgeridoo; The Dhol Foundation, Dhol drums; Jim Barr, bass, upright bass, 12-string guitar; BT, drum and Nord programming, bass, fills, and chorus guitar; Richard Chappell, treatments, drum programming, drum loops, end toms; Babacar Faye, sabar; Assane Thiam, talking drum; Carol Steel, shaker, congas; Hossam Ramzy, finger cymbals, tabla, crotales, and dufs; James McNally, bodhran, whistles, piano accordion; Iarla O Lionaird, vocals; Shankar, vocals and double violin; Electra Strings, strings; Richie Havens, vocals; Ged Lynch, shakers; David Rhodes; Nigel Eaton, hurdy gurdy; Stuart Gordon, fiddle and viola; Jim Couza, hammer dulcimer; The Black Dyke Band, brass; Tony Levin, bass; Manu Katche, drums; Sussan Deyhin, vocals; Steve Gadd, drums; Omi Hall, vocals; Elizabeth Fraser, vocals; Paul Buchanan, vocals; Simon Emmerson, drum programming, finger cymbals, and bells. String arrangements by Peter Gabriel, Jocelyn Pook, and BT. Brass arrangements are by Will Gregory and Peter Gabriel. Brass orchestration is by Elizabeth Purnell.