Peter Gabriel/Various Artists: Scratch My Back/And I'll Scratch Yours

NICK WARD
Last updated 15:50 28/11/2013

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Peter Gabriel's 2010 covers album Scratch My Back was an odd beast, with its minimalist, string-drenched versions of everything from Paul Simon's Boy In the Bubble to Radiohead's Street Spirit (Fade Out).

The long-promised sequel has most of the artists returning the favour, and while there's more musical variety, it's of two sorts - the youngsters stay close to the spirit of the original recordings, while the veterans branch out.

Bon Iver do their ethereal folky thing with Come Talk To Me, Regina Spektor adds light to Blood of Eden, Arcade Fire mellow out in Games Without Frontiers, and Joseph Arthur apes Gabriel with a funereal version of Shock the Monkey.

In the oldies' corner, however, David Byrne wraps I Don't Remember in twisted electronica, Randy Newman applies his rollicking tongue-in-cheek style to Big Time, Brian Eno brings grinding menace to Mother of Violence, and Simon atones for any lingering traces of Graceland controversy with a beautiful reading of Biko.

Best tracks: Blood of Eden (Regina Spektor), Big Time (Randy Newman)

  • Reviews by Nick Ward; CDs from Everyman, Nelson.

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