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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful interpretations of some of Peter's finest music
Peter Gabriel is possibly one of the most exciting artists in popular music history. He has always been driven to explore new sounds and create new concepts whilst maintaining a very high standard on each of his releases. "New Blood" does not disappoint and Peter delivers very convincing reinventions of some of his best known tracks as well as some less obvious...
Published on 18 Oct 2011 by Amillionmiles

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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great songs, but a missed opportunity.
Scratch My Back split opinion: it was very slow - monotonous even, and very sad. But it also stripped back the songs to their melodic roots, and then surrounded Gabriel's voice with judicious arrangements which served to support, rather than combat, his voice.

New Blood sounds a similar project, an album of orchestral versions, but this time of Gabriel's own...
Published on 16 Oct 2011 by Stayintouch


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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A joy !, 10 Oct 2011
This review is from: New Blood (Audio CD)
**** stars.
Like his namesake, the archangel, Peter Gabriel has a heavenly voice - rich in tone, emotive and entirely unforced.
On "New Blood" he revisits a selection of songs from his long solo career, eschewing rock instrumentation for the backing of a 46-piece orchestra.
In typical Gabriel fashion obvious choices have been avoided: no "Sledgehammer" or "Biko" here.
Instead, he and arranger/composer John Metcalfe have opted for songs that might best benefit from the grown-up treatment.
Mostly, it is a great success.
While the opening "Rhythm of the Heat" is a might bombastic, tunes like "San Jacinto", "Wallflower", "In Your Eyes" and "Red Rain" have acquired a mellow splendour.
I missed Kate Bush's vocals on "Don't Give Up" - her place taken by the ceramically fragile vocals of Norwegian Ane Brun - and the decision to send sound engineer Dickie Chappell up "Solsbury Hill" to record five minutes of ambient nothing as a prelude to the song of that name is bunkum.
The rest is a joy. Pete Clark.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make your own mind up, 18 Oct 2011
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S. A. Hawkins (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: New Blood (Audio CD)
I am surprised by the negative comments about this new Gabriel masterpiece. The arrangements are awesome and they bring new depths to some of Peter Gabriel's extensive back catalogue. The first time I played it I did not want it to finish but hey I just replayed it. From opening track The Rhythm of the Heat you know this is going to be special. I am still trying to warm to Don't Give Up but only because the female vocal (Ane Brun)is very different to Kate Bush. Peter Gabriel's vocals are suberb, crisp, clear and at times edgey. But don't be swayed by the negative comments. Buy this album and be prepared to play it many time. I look forward to the DVD.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Blood - A Positive, 16 Oct 2011
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N. Huckle - See all my reviews
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This review is from: New Blood (Audio CD)
I've been a lifelong Gabriel fan, and have only been a little dissapointed twice by his albums. Firstly with Ovo, which I find too disjointed as a coherent piece. Secondly with Scratch my Back, where I felt the string arrangements often lacked sufficient dynamism to bring many of the songs to life. Therefore it was with some trepidation that I awaited the release of his latest orchestral based album.
With New Blood though I truly believe Gabriel has done an excellent job. Whether because of his intimate familiarity with his own material, or that he has learnt from Scratch My Back,these reworkings of highlights from his back catalog work wonderfully. The orchestral arrangements bring new dimensions and sonics to all the songs reworked on the album. The orchestra is never over "stringy" with plenty of brass woodwind and percussion included to great effect. Also, unlike many orchestral reworkings of rock music, Gabriel and his arranger have ensured plenty action in the lower frequency areas of the arrangements maintaining their rhythmic pulse. Best of all though is Gabriel's voice, deeper and more mature than 20 years ago, it contrasts and interacts with the orchestra perfectly. Neither one overwhelming or clashing with the other. It would probably be misguided to compare these arrangements with the original releases, so I won't. Except to say that for me though Darkness is the standout track, with its pseudo operatic vocal interplay with the orchestra, making it less dark than the original, but no less powerful.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly lovely from start to finish, 11 Oct 2011
This review is from: New Blood (Audio CD)
While 'Scratch My Back' was a bit hit and miss for me, this takes the same basic premise - reinventing songs using the orchestra and voice only - and turns it into a thing of absolute splendour. Perhaps it's because Gabriel is interpreting his own songs this time, or perhaps he and arranger John Metcalfe have just hit their stride, but the results here are very very lovely.

Rhythm of the Heat, San Jacinto, Red Rain (the orchestration in the first half is genius), Darkness, Mercy Street and Wallflower are all verging on better than the originals - which takes some doing! Intruder is suitably creepy and the Nest That Sailed the Sky a thing of floaty beauty.

The only one I'm not so taken with is Digging in the Dirt. Frustratingly, while it has arguably one of the best orchestral arrangements of the lot, the vocals don't quite sit comfortably atop the swirling music for me. On early listens, I prefer the instrumental version. Don't Give Up sounds slightly strange at first with Ane Brun in place of Kate Bush, but she does a great job and the scandinavian twang and slight tremor let her vocal stand on its own after a couple of listens.

Throughout, Gabriel's voice is as wonderful and emotive as ever, perhaps with even more depth (well, he is 61), but overall for me it's the arrangements that really shine out and grab you. The instrumentals on the second CD are fantastic unadorned by vocals.

The ambient track (a quiet moment) will be mainly skipped by most listeners, but despite the fact that nothing really happens, it's actually a very nice interlude. By the time, you've absorbed the 12 emotionally charged and demanding songs which go before it, you'll be in a meditative state anyway. If anything, the stately version of Solsbury Hill which follows may be a shock on headphones!

Overall, just great. While I'm desperate for PG to release some new material soon, this is a fine addition to his catalogue.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So?, 11 Oct 2011
This review is from: New Blood (Audio CD)
Having tested the water with interpretations of some of his favourite songs on Scratch my Back, Peter Gabriel returns with an album of his own material put through the blender of ambient, orchestral re-working. The result is fine and there's nothing here to offend Gabriel fans obviously, and a fair bit to like if you're not a convert. But there's a nagging suspicion of "playing it safe" with the choice of material. When I saw the track listing my immediate thought was "great, these are some of his best and most enduring songs" only for that thought to be followed up a moment later with "but how's he going to do them differently in this context?" And so the question remains. People will like Don't Give Up with the addition of Ane Brun's delicately cracked voice, Mercy Street takes on the appearance of a lament almost, and San Jacinto arguably benefits from a lovely piano refrain and pulsating chants in the background. But they're not diverting themselves too far from the feel and intent of the originals. Of course an artist finds it hard to win at all in these situations and when we get to the interpretations of Red Rain and Intruder which are in altered states, they don't work for me at all here, leading, as some reviewers have noted, to the sense that the orchestral flourishes on a few tracks sound a bit like music to a Hitchcock film at times. In Your Eyes is great mind you, but so was the original and there's not much here to distinguish them. Solsbury Hill is in effect an acoustic version and again it's fine but possibly lacks some of the immediacy of the tried and tested arrangement. The lovely Downside Up with Melanie Gabriel is also terrific, though fans will note it wasn't bad on OVO in the first place, while Signal to Noise finally does all the things a record like this should do and almost transforms the piece into another work entirely, leaving the squeaks and loops from the Hit album version to one side. All in all a worthwhile endeavour and Gabriel knows his strengths, particularly with a voice that remains as rich and sonorous as his in the midst of what is often quiet and affecting material. You long for slightly bolder re-interpretations with some of the tracks but the beauty and power is still resplendent on a number of songs here. Time for the technology to allow for half-stars Amazon for this is in 3 1/2 territory.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well it works for me!, 30 Oct 2011
This review is from: New Blood (Audio CD)
There is little that Peter Gabriel has produced over the years that I have actively disliked. Even so, it seems to me that he has taken a real risk in this reworking of a number of his old favourites. No doubt some of the more negative reviews here are from folks who have not taken easily to this kind of intervention.

In fact, after a couple of listens, I have realised that what he has achieved is simply outstanding. The use of orchestration - particularly managed as sensitively as this is - has genuinely produced a completely new take on these songs. And, because of the outstandingly sympathetic arrangements, we are left in every piece alone with Gabriel's compelling, and utterly individual voice - it feels as if the stripping away of all the customary rock paraphernalia takes us to a completely new, and far more powerful place.

This is an outstanding album. It is great because the original material is superb, but it is also great because it makes the listener engage with the lyrics and be beguiled by Gabriel's voice which manages to be, at the same time, both vulnerable and marvellously gutsy. Of course, some songs work better than others in this format, and I am sure that my favourites will be different to others'. I particularly loved 'Downside up' and 'Wallflower'.

P.S. We are in my family having a debate about the version of 'Solsbury Hill' on this album. My sister prefers the original, and I find this new version charming and exhilarating as Gabriel throws more and more orchestral elements into the mix, in order to capture the exuberance of the piece.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a voice, 20 Oct 2011
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This review is from: New Blood (Audio CD)
Brilliant, Brilliant , Brilliant, that's what I say! Like other reviewers I was a little nervous at this venture from Mr G, particularly as experimental accoustic/orchestral interpretations of beloved favourites can often marr one's fondness for certain songs (as demonstrated by MTV's extremely variable 'unplugged' series). No chance of that here. Gabriel's talent for musical theatrics takes off into the outer atmosphere on this album with all the power and raw emotion that his Lordship's gravelly vocal chords can muster. Some of this stuff is just breathtaking - try listening to 'Intruder' late at night with the lights down low, and you'll see that this is actually a piece of modern opera - and in most cases a radical departure from the album's tracks' original formats. Some of the orchestration is just unbelievable - try 'San Jacinto' as a taster, and you'll see what I mean.

Complaints? The choice of guest/backing vocalists leaves something to be desired. Melanie Gabriel's voice certainly isn't the strongest anyway (I remember her murdering 'Upside Down' on the Growing Up tour, though she has certainly improved since then, particularly her harmonisation of her dad's lead) but why the choice of Ane Brun for 'Don't Give Up'? Her warbling style drives me to distraction - so much so that I have only listened to this track twice on the album - she ruins it I'm afraid, and the song is unlistenable in my view.

Otherwise this is a must buy - download it now!
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5.0 out of 5 stars New blood, 1 Feb 2014
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V. Frain (Greater Manchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: New Blood (MP3 Download)
Heard a couple of tracks live on Jools Holland. Bought the album and am really impressed with it. Good re-working of his classic tracks
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Artist, 25 Nov 2013
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This review is from: New Blood (Audio CD)
Got this for my sister for Christmas as we all love Peter Gabriel. Have just seen him at the O2 in London which is now the fourth concert of his we have been to. He always puts on a really great show
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5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Gabriel orchestrated, 10 Nov 2013
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P. Cook - See all my reviews
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This review is from: New Blood (Audio CD)
Many, but not all, of Peter Gabriel's best known songs with an orchestra instead of a rock band - certainly different and worth a listen.
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New Blood
New Blood by Peter Gabriel (Audio CD - 2011)
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