This two CD set is a compilation of Peter Gabriel performing other artists’ songs and other artists performing Peter Gabriel songs. On disc one Gabriel covers tracks by the likes of David Bowie, David Byrne, Regina Spektor and many more. The artists that cover Gabriel’s songs on disc two include the late Lou Reed, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, and other talented artists. Many will recognize the popular Gabriel songs performed on Disc 2, like Big Time and Shock the Monkey, but each artist brings their own style. Gabriel brings along a full orchestra to accompany him on his performance. The sounds are beautiful, uniquely Gabriel, yet still recognizable of the original artist. The mixture of contemporary and old school artists makes this CD attractive to those of all ages.
I couldn’t help continuously listening to disc one because Gabriel’s voice and the instrumentals brought new elements to the cover songs. His cover of The Book of Love by the Magnetic Fields is hauntingly lovely, much like the original. I listened to the second disc only once and while I enjoyed it I couldn’t help but like Gabriel’s covers better. The concept of this album is great: let me cover your songs and you can cover mine. The collaboration in this case was successful at producing an enjoyable album.