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Peter Gabriel - New Blood CD (album) cover

NEW BLOOD

Peter Gabriel

 

Crossover Prog

3.63 | 139 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

madcap68
4 stars As an old fan (solo as well as early Genesis) of him who quite liked "Scratch my Back" but loves most of his original stuff I wasn't too enthusiastic when I heard about Peter re-doing the orchestral thing. The good thing is, I bought "New Blood" nonetheless (luckily in the special edition as it was an special offer - luckily, because the almost instrumental CD2 really can stand for itself, just the orchestra minus Peter's voice! The arrangements of Maestro Metcalfe are that good!)

With "Scratch..." Peter made perfectly clear that he certainly wasn't going for the rock star with orchestra noodleing behind him cliché but that - albeit good - effort is easily excelled by the majestic "New Blood". I'm not going into details (as another reviewer so nicely did before) but John Metcalfe's orchestration perfectly match Peter's song which shine (er, in fact, most of the time, they shine quite darkly) in their new incarnations. The whole emotional spectrum is covered from the tender "Don't Give Up", the incredible sad beauty of "Mercy Street" (always one of my all-time faves) to the the thrilling "Intruder" or "Darkness". Not to forget the more upbeat songs/arrangements! The blending of African percussion and "western" orchestra (of which Peter prouded himself in an interview) works amazingly well on these.

The songs are infused with new blood, indeed! Wonderful re-interpretations of his well known songs (by the way, this is not intended to be a greatest hits collection! ). His singing is outstanding as always, most of the time quite dark and sombre but if need be he reaches the high notes easily enough for the, er, mature man he is!

As some of you might have wandered about the ambient "A Quiet Moment" with it's birds and environment sounds: If I recall the interview I read correctl, Peter didn't want to include "Solsbury Hill" but people kept asking. He felt, that it didn't fit in well between the other songs and liked "The Nest..." too much as program closer. Thus, in true peter-like fashion he added some minutes of environment sound recorded on or by the one and onely Solsbury Hill and after that, finally, we get the reworked version of "Solsbury Hill".

4 stars, excellent addition to any prog collection. In its own realm of "prog artist backed by an orchestra" easily 5 stars as an stand-out reference. Orchestra haters might make it 2 stars or less, nevertheless.

One last word: In my special edition I also found an download coupon leading me to an 24bit-FLAC version hosted by the honorable "Society of Sound". Well, if you have the equipment to play this (basically a computer with a good sound card or one of this multi media player streamer thingies) try to get your hands on that one. Sounds brilliant, much better than 16bit-CD.

madcap68 | 4/5 |

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