Saturday, September 3, 2011

Peter Gabriel - Scratch My Back

Straight away can I declare myself as a huge fan of Peter Gabriel, stretching back to his Genesis days and through his solo career. The man is a genius. Now, I'll try not to be too gushing about this album!
It's taken me a year or so to get around to buying this CD. I guess I was a little disappointed when it came out to discover it was in effect a 'covers' album. I had a quick listen to it on Spotify and it sounded dull, so I didn't exactly rush out to the shops to buy it. Duh.

For some reason I thought about it the other day, and it turned to be cheap as chips to buy, so I ordered it. It arrived. I played it. Dull.

Played it again. Hmmm. Played it again... oh yes... Played it again (etc) - now I LOVE it, can't stop playing it, am humming it constantly - the missus is sick of it!

Just to briefly explain the concept, Peter has persuaded a diverse selection of artists to allow him to record their material in his own inimitable fashion, and they are going to reciprocate by recording one of his songs in the future, hence the title. And the other thing - no guitars or drums. So, this album is dominated by orchestral instruments and arrangements. It sounds fantastic - it is 'lush' - the proper use of the word.

There are songs by David Bowie, Paul Simon, Neil Young, Talking Heads, Elbow, Lou Reed, Randy Newman, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, and, new to me, The Magnetic Fields, Regina Spektor and Bon Iver. They're all interpreted brilliantly, and (because I'm biased!) are all better than the original versions. His version of Elbow's Mirrorball is absolutely fantastic, I could talk about each track... but I did say I wouldn't gush...

Suffice to say that this album is simply wonderful - it's not a driving record, you've got to sit and listen to get it, but if the mood is right this is about as good as it gets. Do yourself a favour and give it a listen... no - don't be an idiot like me, give it several listens... then you'll thank me.

Very highly recommended, 10/10, you could buy it here.

No comments: