As with the Radiohead album, New Blood finds Peter Gabriel getting a second bite at his own material – in this case, continuing the orchestral re-arrangement approach applied to the cover versions of last year's Scratch My Back.
The prevailing tones are of awed wonder – the aspirant nobility of "Downside Up", the dancing woodwind of "San Jacinto" and "In Your Eyes" – or expectant tension, most notably in the emotional storm-surges of "Red Rain" and "The Rhythm of the Heat". Elsewhere, brass-band timbres lend warmth to "Mercy Street", while Ane Brun plays the Kate Bush part in "Don't Give Up" in fluttering, tremulous manner. Due to the choice of material, the arrangements lean heavily towards the dramatic and angst-ridden – well, it is Peter Gabriel – with the sole recourse to mellow calm reserved for the undulating strings of "The Nest That Sailed the Sky".
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