Peter Gabriel: New Blood

Peter Gabriel performing without an accompanying rock band? A chameleon of world music significantly modified his old hits into orchestral arrangement and right at first glance, or listening, it is clear that his song remakes jazz in a chick way even with an absence of drums, guitar and bass. But don’t think that „New Blood“ is any kind of a common Best of; this time Gabriel managed to achieve even more emotional heights that his structurally selected hits originally contained.


Peter Gabriel has been enjoying the swing of show business prosperity for over forty years. All through that time he cannot be denied being able to surprise by his selection of bizarre costumes, especially during art rock beginnings with Genesis or his pioneering albums of world music genre. And what´s more; it was him who revitalised pop and reclaimed artistic prestige of the ill-fated genre. With Genesis he created famous art works starting with undervalued first-fruit From Genesis To Revelation up to the most commercial article The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. On top of his carrier he gave the go-by to his playmates whose egos could not cope with growing Gabriel´s popularity and launched his solo carrier. In twenty five years he created seven studio albums and many side projects some of which got massively popular and are acknowledged art works. The recordings have one thing in common; they seem main-stream at first glance but after more detailed listening one can only bow to architectonically remade compositions composed from tiny motives, leitmotivs and his authors’ minimalism. The very same applies to his last album „New Blood“.





„New Blood“ follows the steps of his older predecessor „Scratch My Back“. Under artistic supervision of John Metcalf, an arranger and a conductor, Gabriel set to music his favourite colleague musicians´ songs and the next album is called I´ll Scratch Yours with participation of artists performing Gabriel´s songs in return. David Bowie or Radiohead withdrew from the project at last minute so the resulting singles are simply available on iTunes. The following tour and performance with New Blood Orchestra Gabriel enjoyed so much that he decided to rearrange his own compositions into an orchestral versions and released them under his own name. And the result? „New Blood“ sounds very civil, by no means it is a kitsch project of an aging rocker with a symphonic orchestra covering his back. „I was not interested in recording hits with an orchestra and behave as someone who hasn’t got a clue which way to shift his own carrier. We just chose the songs with a specific atmosphere”, stated Gabriel.

Twenty-headed orchestra much softened the rock feeling but preserved the songs´ original charm and harmony. The introductory The Rhythm Of The Heat lifts you up on your feet by its directness; the hits In Your Eyes or Solsbury Hill are the highlights even after arranger’s modifications.  The rhythmical orchestra is even rockier than an original and Gabriel definitely proves that „you can teach an old dog new tricks“. What will another project look like remains a question; it may be a disco album or a solo tour with only a drummer or finally a classical electronic album the fans have been waiting for over ten years. We can only hope that Gabriel comes to the Czech Republic during his tour and performs live what he can do best with the New Blood Orchestra…


Petr Gabriel: New Blood

Format: Audio CD, Special Edition, 2 CD

Released: 2011

Label: Real World




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