Peter Gabriel - Scratch My Back
This is the new covers album from Peter Gabriel , and if you haven't heard, this is the concept record where Peter has a 'deal' with artist like Bowie, Elbow, Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Regina Spektor, Radiohead...that Paul is covering where...'I'll do one of yours, if you do one of mine' vibe...and it started off brilliant. Wow. Especially, after listening to the non musical Titus Andronicus. (sorry blogocide in action).
You are immediately struck by something listening to this Peter Gabriel covers album. Music! Yeah..can you imagine that? Really? That 'M' word...seems to have escaped most bands and artists these days. But Peter Gabriel is KILLING IT here...at least in the beginning. Great selection of covers...done in an artistic way with great arrangements that put a totally new light on these songs. Not just like...let's change tempo or do some acoustic yada yada thing but really pulling the meaning out of the song. And you know what? Peter Gabriel knows how to PERFORM a song...PERFORM a lyric...get to meat of the bone. It's amazing that someone leading the edge in yes...that 'M' word (music) is not a young renegade hipster but a 60 yr old who really knows the score.
But then we get to the second half...and you know, PG...you are making me bored! Did you have to do a whole symphonic album? My biggest critique of this album is that there is 14 covers all done pretty much in a lush symphonic style. PG, man...its too heavy and too friggin much! Give us a break on the heaviness. How about a 'Sledgehammer' or classic uptempo 'Shock The Monkey' vibe from time to time? (even if you use your 'hired our orchestra for the day').
Of course it probably comes down to time and money. I'm sure easier to outsource the production and arrangements to Bob Ezrin and walk in and out to lay down the vox. That's ok we know you are busy. You have your 'The Filter' website to run among other failing tech endeavors and takes your time. Still no matter what you're doing way better than Bono and Dave Stewarts multiple tech ventures fails. (Listen up! Irish and British rock stars...step AWAY from the Venture Capital funds!) That being said, check out this album. There are some gorgeous moments. Notably: 'The Boy In The Bubble,' (amazing...really pulls out the depth of Paul Simon's lyric), 'Mirrorball,' 'My Body Is A Cage'
p.s. Peter, GOOD LUCK getting Paul Simon to stick to recording one of yours on his next (??) album! But don't worry maybe Randy Newman will fit one in on the next 'Toy Story 3.'