Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The album tells the surreal story of a half-Puerto Rican juvenile delinquent named Rael living in New York City, who is swept underground to face bizarre creatures and nightmarish dangers in order to rescue his brother John. Several of the story's occurrences and places were derived from Peter Gabriel's dreams, and the protagonist's name is a play on his surname. In an interview Phil Collins remarked, "It's about a "split personality".
In this context, Rael would believe he is looking for John but is actually looking for a missing part of himself. The individual songs also make satirical allusions to everything from mythology to the sexual revolution to advertising and consumerism.
Back when I was the age the main character of Nick Hornby's "High Fidelity" cristalized into, I always pointed out Genesis "The Lamb lies down on Broadway" as my favorite album of all time.