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Art rocker's hits and history re-imagined with a concert orchestraPeter Gabriel - Live Blood
(Real World/ Eagle Rock Entertainment)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: April 16, 2012
Review by Andy ArgyrakisConsidering he usually waits a decade between discs, Peter Gabriel's been on a surprisingly prolific release streak as of late. Granted, 2010's Scratch My Back was a covers affair and last year's New Blood was a reworking of his past original crests (both accompanied by an orchestra), though at least that pair of studio projects inspired a two year international tour.
The results of Gabriel and the 46-piece New Blood Orchestra's stop at London's famed Hammersmith Apollo are traced on this ensuing live collection, which includes a few of his more indie-minded remakes from the aforementioned album, plus a blend of freshly arranged hits and obscure treasures. Whether it be gentle renditions of Regina Spektor's "Apres Moi" and Lou Reed's "The Power of the Heart" or Gabriel's signature wails throughout his own "Biko" and "Mercy Street," the veteran's in absolutely stunning vocal form.
Though the double disc set gets a little slow at times, it picks up plenty of stream on the home stretch, starting with the striking "Red Rain," the carefree "Solsbury Hill" and the African-influenced "In Your Eyes." Though the collection leaves off some of Gabriel's biggest smashes ("Shock the Monkey," "Sledgehammer," "Big Time"), they're barely missed since Live Blood refuses to rest in obvious nostalgia, but instead offers an ambitious sonic overhaul of the past and present.
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