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Review: Peter Gabriel, ‘Scratch My Back’

SPIN Rating: 7 of 10
Release Date: March 02, 2010
Label: Virgin U.K.

Even in the early days of Genesis, this art-rock pioneer possessed the voice of a sage. Applied here to a covers album similarly rich in reflection and experience, he still sounds attractively knowing, but the degree to which Scratch My Back virtually rewrites several decades of unconventional tunes, from Randy Newman to Bon Iver, affirms Gabriel’s eternal youth. Drum and guitar free, with stark string orchestration, this imaginatively selected and sequenced collection achieves such a haunting consistency of tone that its spell lingers long after the speakers fall silent.