After the Scratch My Back and New Blood albums of orchestrated re-imaginings of his and others' songs, and last year's New Blood Live in London DVD, another two-hour, two-CD live set based on the same material may be a case of Peter Gabriel returning to this well once too often.
There are successes here – "The Boy in the Bubble" turned into a modern elegy; "San Jacinto" rendered as an evocative stippling of piano, marimba and woodwind; the orchestral turmoil of "The Rhythm of the Heat" – but the overall effect can be gruelling. At best, the new arrangements open up dark alleyways of meaning, but save for "The Book of Love", where Gabriel's sincerity washes away the irony to leave the song more straightforwardly affectionate, the new meanings are rarely optimistic.
DOWNLOAD THIS San Jacinto; The Rhythm of the Heat; The Boy in the Bubble; The Book of Love
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