Wednesday, April 14, 2010


So I've been putting this one off. When you think Peter Gabriel, you don't think cover album. And when you think cover album, you worry about breaking into hives - because let's be honest, there are some pretty terrible cover albums.

I think one of the reasons why I've been putting Scratch My Back off - and really putting it off -is because I'm not really sure what to do with it. Peter Gabriel is a tremendous force, there's no doubt about it, and I suppose, if anything, you have to give the guy credit for covering some of the big names of these last couple years like Arcade Fire, Radiohead (which, wow, still very, very unsure of what to do with the cover of Street Spirit ...), and Bon Iver. Of course, there's your Neil Young track and your Lou Reed track.

It's just that I don't know what to do. It's an album that, however much it'll grow on me or on the off chance that I may be walking in the city with my iPod on shuffle, I'm not particularly attached to. There might be a rainy day. There might be a cranky day. He's good, don't get me wrong. The album though falls short however with songs not really finding their own weight, being either flat or too melodramatic. I do keep wandering back to his cover of Arcade Fire's My Body is a Cage and am remind of Johnny Cash and his cover of NIN's Hurt; the difference between the two cover songs is simple: Johnny Cash's song is Johnny Cash's song. Peter's? Well, it's just a cover. And that's how you know a good cover song.

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