Saturday, February 27, 2010

Album Rating: Peter Gabriel: Scratch My Back

Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Peter Gabriel: Scratch My Back  4.5/10.0
allmusic ((( Scratch My Back > Overview )))
Scratch My Back reviews at 66/100 (generous)

When I saw Pitchfork's dismal review I Facebooked Gar that it made me want to hear it even more. It was Peter Gabriel, and if he choose to do a cover album then it was a cover album that was needed, and it would be good if not great, because a cover album by Peter Gabriel apparently was what needed to be done. So I listened, disregarding Gar's skepticism at the rock icon from our youth covering Bon Iver. Now, O'Barr, I wish it was banned. I would rather spend the rest of my life longing to hear it than to have heard it. None of the renditions came close to the original, and a meek attempt of mine to imagine it was all original material, to see if it could stand without the foreshadowing, failed miserably to bring any relief.

I have a better understanding now of the critic's dim hopes for any cover album. The potential for nail screeching is too great to relax and enjoy because it has to be so great in order merely to be good. And when it doesn't come close to even that it can be root canal disturbing. My recent take on the Hotrats cover album may have set me up for failure because it soared, but to hear the great Peter Gabriel struggle to measure up to a bar band's output made me wince and turn away. I'll stick with Bon Iver for my Bon Iver, thank you, and suggest the same for everyone else. My next listen might be The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, because I need to remember.