Monday, June 7, 2010

Scratch my Back -----

I don't usually blog about music, but I've been listening to this CD at work while I've been working on statistics and other stuff --- and I just wanted to say a little something.  I picked up this CD at my library, loved it, returned it, and then picked it up again and really listened to it.  I own several other CDs by Peter Gabriel, and have to say, he is one of my favorite artists.  I have always thought he was a talented musician, and a real artist (not an "artist" like anyone who puts out a CD these days is referred to as --- that's an entry for another day).     This particular CD is actually Peter performing beautifully rendered covers of songs by other artists.  In the liner notes, he explains that this CD was meant to be a project where artists "swapped a song for a song," and that another companion CD is on the way. 

  On this album, Peter covers a wide selection of songs from artists, including David Bowie (Heroes), Paul Simon (The Boy in the Bubble), and Arcade Fire (My Body is a Cage).  I was familiar with about half the songs as performed by the original artists, but listening to Gabriel cover these songs makes them completely new and unique.   The first song on the CD, Heroes, is so beautifully done --- it's like encountering a winter scene of trees that you've only known in summer.  Does that make sense?   Let's try again.   Peter Gabriel takes the bare essence of this song and exposes it, delicately outlining it and showing all of the beauty that is there.   And he does this with the other songs, as well.   Some songs weren't recognizable to me right away --- I had to listen to them again, and really pay attention.   That's art. 

Even if you don't usually think you like Peter Gabriel, and especially if all you know of his music is "Shock the Monkey," or "In Your Eyes," pick up this album.  Listen to it with headphones on.  Better yet, listen to it with headphones on, in a dark room.   Magical.


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