peter gabriel - "in your eyes" / by Zack Free

if any record should be credited with bringing african folk music to the western consciousness, it should probably be paul simon's graceland. it has both a wider focus and a rounder appreciation of the culture than peter gabriel's so (released the same year). however, if we're talking about the influence of african music on western pop, the discussion would be incomplete without mention of the stunning "in your eyes". released as the third single from so, "eyes" is a ballad of spiritual proportions that draws much of its levitating power from its percussion section. it also features guest vocals from senegalese musician youssou n'dour, who also happened to play on graceland, and would soon after grow to become senegal's biggest star in the west (until maybe akon). the song contains two distinct, alternating sections that give it its wallop; the verses show gabriel at his lowest, "grovel[ling] in his car," while the chorus blossoms into what is probably the brightest moment of his career. the singer has further explored african influence later in his discography, but "in your eyes" remains his most transcendent effort, a revelation in itself, and one his signature songs



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