Though OVO falls under Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack work, it still assimilates easily into his proper solo album catalog. Songs such as “Father, Son,” “The Tower That Ate People,” “White Ashes," and “Downside Up” all appeared in concert performances. OVO was conceived as an audio/visual project for London’s Millennium Dome. The list of contributors and collaborators is smart and astonishingly wide, from Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser and longtime Gabriel cohorts Tony Levin, David Rhodes, and Manu Katche to Neneh Cherry, The Blue Nile’s Paul Buchanan, Richie Havens, and Alison Goldfrapp. They're all thrown together with Gabriel’s meticulous, eclectic production hand for a song cycle that transcends worldbeat, goth, New Age, pop, and Irish jigs. Hardcore fans may have wished for a proper follow-up to So (it had been four years, and this was Gabriel’s second extracurricular activity, counting Passion). Yet when the sounds are this adventurous (Gabriel never phones things in), it’s time to admit that Gabriel isn’t your traditional singer/songwriter (duh?) and one who’s meant to explore nontraditional avenues as fervently as his day job.

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