badwater12617 October 2011 at 9:56pmPosts: 51 (0 today)Status: offline
1. Bring on the dread: The album opens like a primal scream. Rhythm of the Heat, San Jacinto, and Intruder are precisely what I wanted from this album - an opportunity to take songs in a new direction, rather than simply making elevator music. Indeed, I think Intruder IMPROVES on the original - I can see a lot of color that I couldn't before. For each of these songs, PG's voice is urgent, up front - the songs pulsate with intensity and makes me long for the days when PG sang as a man in over his head, overwhelmed by the world.
2. Downside Up: What a pleasant surprise. The strings truly enhance this song. An abrupt ending with an ambivalent coda.
3. In Your Eyes: This is what I feared most; the opening strings are evocative of a hokey 1950s Western B movie. The problem is that IYE is such a heartfelt, mushy, beautiful song made interesting and dynamic by the West-African rhythms pulsating through it. In this version, that edge is gone. And we're left with a Disney soundtrack.
4. Wallflower is on my Desert Island Five, and this version does it justice. I would love to hear this stripped down even further, as a chamber quartet.
5. The Nest That Sailed The Sky is one of those songs I questioned for this album - would it not be duplicating what appears on OVO? Another pleasant surprise, as the arrangement brings out intracacies I had not observed in the original.
6. Where does New Blood leave him? This album is like a Valentines' dinner with your wife. She's gorgeous, you're happy to be there with her, but when it comes down to it, you're still looking to the doorway for the next hot young thing to walk in. (I kid).
But really - as much as I like the album, and as much as I enjoyed Scratch My Back, I am in some respects troubled by them. It's been almost 10 years since Up. No, he doesn't owe us anything, and it's great that he's seeing his family - kudos for keeping his perspective. And of course he has other projects. But Peter seems immobilized by his possibilities. Put another way, if he's so easily distracted, has he lost his passion? Has he gotten soft?
The intensity and clarity of New Blood augurs against that narrative, and in favor of a man who has rediscovered his voice. Whereas I thought Up was too busy and muddled with the indulgences of an artist with "too much freedom," New Blood seems alive and direct. I can only hope PG retains this spartan aesthetic and sense of urgency, and moves on to his next chapter soon.
Nice post, badwater. Well written.
or what it's worth (nothing) my 6 thoughts about New Blood:
1) Overall, disappointing in comparison to the live gigs, to Scratch My Back and (in some cases) to the original versions. There are only three songs that capture the intesity, full sound spectrum and sheer listening pleasure of the gigs -- Red Rain, Intruder and Mercy Street. Those three blow me away.
2) I'm enjoying PG's prmotional tour for New Blood more than the actual CD.
3) "Downside Up" should have been replaced by either "Blood of Eden" or "Washing of the Water". The New Blood version is really poor in comparison to the gigs.
4) "A Quiet Moment" was a REALLY BAD IDEA. Yes, I get that it was to shift the mood, but COME ON. It's fucking 4 minutes and 49 seconds long. How long does it take to shift a mood (ala Pink Floyd)? Three seconds? Four? Sometimes I like to place a CD on when trying to fall asleep. I'm snoozing away by the end of A Quiet Moment and then Solsbury Hill blasts on and so much for getting any sleep for the evening.
5) Could PG get even more soppy with that cringe-inducing dedication to Wife Number 2? That was the creepiest thing I'd read in weeks. The last time he dedicated an album to his wife, she asked for a divorce.
6) Put the orchestra to bed and get back to new material.
rise18 October 2011 at 12:08pmPosts: 956 (0 today)Status: offline
6 thoughts of mine:
1. What does he want to say? He seems to change his course while he is doing .
2. 'Silent Moment ' may have been a good idea, but it is spoiled, because it's too silent compared to the songs.
3. The blurb and the dedication are more like: I do what my mother said,but I do it in a way, that everybody sees.... Also the 'Solsbury Hill'-version. Man- is it really so important to put your album down???
4. I like the whole main album very much- different to the live-shows, but awesome cooperation between the orchestra and PG, Melanie and Ane Brun.
5. Peter's voice and musically empathy is stunning .
6. Go ahead, however, but don't play tricks!
Progressive jen18 October 2011 at 7:11pmPosts: 5472 (0 today)Status: offline
I don't have the album and won't for a while due to money issues.
Listening to the tracks on the website I really do like Intruder, Washing Of The Water, Darkness, Mercy Street.
In Your Eyes and Solsbury Hill were better in the original form IMO.
Since I won't be getting the album anytime soon - what did he say in the dedication that was so "soppy" ?
dagobah18 October 2011 at 11:15pmPosts: 47 (0 today)Status: offline
Jen, you don't have the album and you won't be getting it anytime soon? What the hell's the world coming to? Gosh, I live here in Colorado along with you and Lore. I'd buy the damn thing for you (if you want) - the 2-CD Special Edition (via Amazon). I mean . . . . for christ's sake, you're one of the biggest Peter Gabriel fans in the f'n world! It's a crime, I tell you!!!! I'm a pretty selfish person (when it comes to my personal life) so if I can help a Peter Gabriel fan out, then I've done my good deed for the day. I'm being serious so just let me know. The offer is good for only Progressive jen, though.
Progressive jen19 October 2011 at 12:48amPosts: 5472 (0 today)Status: offline
I've been unemployed for 2 years in June and the benefits have run out.
The job market is the pitts, I've been laid off in the past and NEVER had a problem getting a job. I know there are plenty in the country who are in the same boat as me and I'm just hoping it will get better soon.
That's a very sweet offer dagobah but don't worry I'll get the album eventually.
I got to go to the concert at Red Rocks so I can't complain.