Music Review: Scratch my Back

July 15, 2010 2 By Sankhya Samhita

Album name: Scratch My Back (2010)
Artist/Band: Peter Gabriel
Genre: Rock


Scratch my Back

If any of you’ve watched the Richard Gere movie “Shall We Dance?” with half as much as concentration as I had, then you might have remembered the song “The Book Of Love” from that movie. Specially since it comes at a crucial time in the movie. Now this is not about the movie, so I will come to my point. The song. That was the one that made me fall in love with Peter Gabriel’s amazing voice. The next song I had heard was “I Grieve” from the movie “City Of Angels” and that just about sealed my loyalty to Peter Gabriel. So what with his latest album “Scratch My Back” being declared one of the most awaited albums to get released in 2010, I almost waited with bated breath to listen to all of the songs.

Before anything, however, mention should be made that this is an album of covers, six from the time-tested names like David Bowie and Neil Young, and six from fairly newer names like Radiohead and Bon Iver. But once you listen to the tracks of this album, I am sure you would start seeing the same old songs in a whole new way. And that is because of the Peter Gabriel touch to all of them. Take “Heroes” for instance, the first song in the album, originally by David Bowie. Now remove the beats from the song and add a whole world of solemnity to it. That gives you the Peter Gabriel version of it. And that kind of sums up the essence of the whole album. I hadn’t heard most of the originals so maybe that’s why I couldn’t, wouldn’t compare these tracks with the originals. “Mirrorball” and “Listening Wind” both would remind you of a complete orchestra playing a soulful symphony, what with the heavy strings used in both songs. “The Boy in The Bubble” and “The Power of The Heart” are both heavy on the piano, while “Flume” and “My Body is a Cage” would sound like more modern classical pieces. “Apres Moi”s beginning caught my attention as it starts on a loud note unlike the other tracks, which start really softly and gradually build up. My favorite would remain “The Book Of Love” though, which is included in this album. The sucker for good lyrics that I am, this song kind of satiates all my senses, including the romantic soul which aches for a good song that sings of love. Oh, add to it the fact that in the movie, this is the song in which Richard Gere wears the killer tuxedo that inspired a Raymond ad sometime later.

On the whole, a brilliant album by a man known for his great theatrics. Listen with a good pair of headphones (yeah, these are so not the kind of songs you would enjoy on the woofer speakers) and enjoy the symphonies your mind conjures up from the tracks. Although I would suggest you not to listen to this album if you’re looking for “happy” music, it doesn’t mean the music will not make you feel better. Just let your mind free, and let it flow with the music. This is one album you will come back to, for many a moon.

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