Magnet - p.55
"[O]n NEW BLOOD he reinvigorates and recreates -- rather than retreads -- selections from throughout his solo career."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1013 stars out of 5
-- "['Intruder'] carries a menace redolent of Bernard Herrmann's Hitchcock scores..."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.944 stars out of 5
-- "A joyous 'In Your Eyes' and the five minutes of ambient noise recorded on top of 'Solsbury Hill' before the song itself make this a rather memorable experience."
Uncut (magazine) - p.823 stars out of 5
-- "NEW BLOOD manages to eke new truths from old lyrics....The bulk of this album is motivated more by art than nostalgia."
Personnel: Tom Cawley (vocals, piano); Ane Brun, Melanie Gabriel (vocals); Deborah Widdup, Richard George, Magnus Johnston, Philip Gallaway, Charles Mutter, Roland Roberts, Alison Dods, Jonathan Rees , Louisa Fuller, Simon Lewis , Peter Hanson , Laura Samuel, Martin Burgess, Clare Hayes, Kathy Shave, Odile Ollagnon, Steve Morris , Ian Belton, Natalia Bonner, Ian Humphries, Rita Manning, Everton Nelson, Cathy Thompson, Jackie Shave, Emma Parker (violin); Chris Pitsillides, James Sleigh, John Metcalfe , Vicci Wardman, Morgan Goff, Timothy Grant , Reiad Chibah, Catherine Bradshaw, Fiona Bonds, Rebecca Crowley, Jon Thorne , Helen Kamminga, Bruce White (viola); Ian Burdge, Jackie Thomas, Jonathan Tunnell, Alice Neary, William Schofield, Nicholas Roberts, Nick Cooper , Caroline Dale, David Daniels , Nicholas Holland, Chris Worsey (cello); Eliza Marshall (flute, alto flute, piccolo); Richard Hosford (clarinet, bass clarinet); Alun Darbyshire (oboe); Sarah Burnett (bassoon); Simon Munday, Andy Crowley (trumpet, piccolo trumpet); Richard Edwards (tenor trombone, bass trombone); Dan Jenkins, Tracy Holloway (tenor trombone); Mark Frost, David Stewart (bass trombone); David Powell (tuba); Phillip Eastop, Richard Bissell, Simon Rayner, Michael Kidd , Richard Watkins (horns); Patrick Lannigan, Steve Rossell, Ben Russell, Roger Linley, Chris Laurence , Richard Pryce (double bass); Joby Burgess (percussion).
Audio Mixers: John Metcalfe ; Richard Chappell.
Liner Note Author: Peter Gabriel.
Recording information: Air Lyndhurst; Indieking, Stockholm, Sweden; Ladbroke Temple; Real World Studios.
Publishers: Sophie Beck; Sara White; Jon Berry ; Jo Harbutt; Ian Wallace ; Amanda Jones ; Adam Campbell .
Arrangers: John Metcalfe ; Peter Gabriel.
Almost every one of Peter Gabriel's best-laid plans winds up going awry, and so it was with Scratch My Back, his 2010 collection of orchestral covers of some of his favorite songs. He had hoped to have the artists he covered return the favor by interpreting his songs but that project never got off the ground, so he pursued New Blood, an album where he turned that orchestra upon his own songs. New Blood is in every way a companion piece to Scratch My Back; it's cut from the same aesthetic cloth, it's austere and cerebral without being chilly, it finds emotion within intellect. Some songs aren't considerably different tonally than the original versions -- this is particularly true of the So material, with "Mercy Street" and "Red Rain" seeming no different in their transition from Synclavier to symphony -- but the ones that are heavily reworked, such as "San Jacinto" and "Intruder," are startling, rearrangements that seem to give the songs a new set of bones. New Blood isn't always as astonishing but that's fine: the faithful adherence to melody on "Don't Give Up" and "In Your Eyes" functions as something of a palate cleanser, and even when the album isn't risky it's always quietly absorbing. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine