Peter Gabriel: And I’ll Scratch Yours
On the past few releases from the enigmatic Peter Gabriel, his fans have had to wade through the “concept” project of a song exchange where a musical artist would cover a Gabriel tune after he covered one of theirs. And though Gabriel did release his Scratch My Back back in 2010, quite a few of the artists were late in getting their songs in, while still others simply failed to return the favor. Nevertheless And I’ll Scratch Yours still features a grouping of high-powered musical guests covering twelve Gabriel tunes.
The CD opens with David Byrne warbling over a funky machine-firing drum beat on “I Don’t Remember,” while Bon Iver mumbles with solid backing vocals on a banjo-led cover of “Come Talk To Me” and Arcade Fire adds a great marching beat and noise background to “Games Without Frontiers”…though after a while I’m not sure if the song goes anywhere.
Old timers like Randy Newman, covering “Big Time” with a big splashy piano-led jazz band, Brian Eno’s robotic noisy big drum take on “Mother Of Violence,” the loud feedback on “Solsbury Hill” roiling under a wonderfully rye Lou Reed talking vocal and Paul Simon’s acoustic send-up of “Biko” (with his voice never sounding better) proves the over 50 crowd (well over in some cases) courts the ability to truly make covers their own while still retaining a songs original essence.
While And I’ll Scratch Yours is fun and there are some neat takes on Mr. G’s tunes, I think I’d rather have a CD of new Peter Gabriel music. Hint hint!