Leaves from the Tree: A Tribute to Peter Gabriel

Various Artists

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Leaves from the Tree: A Tribute to Peter Gabriel Review

by Johnny Loftus

Leaves From the Tree is probably the best name for a Peter Gabriel tribute album, since Shaking the Tree was already used by Gabriel himself. But unlike most of Vitamin's tribute collections, which usually feature the work of studio musicians or unknowns, Leaves From the Tree includes a few name-brand electronic artists. Mutantrumpter Ben Neill collaborates with vocalist Andrew Montgomery for an update of "Shock the Monkey"; it works, but only because it stays faithful to the innovation displayed in Gabriel's 1982 original. Dave Warrin reimagines "Don't Give Up" as steamy trip-hop, on which Jody Watley resurfaces for lead vocal duties. David Lynch chanteuse Julee Cruise lends her breathy vocal style to Supa DJ Dmitry's remix of "Only Us," from 1992's Us. This sound fails when applied to the spooky, somber "Mercy Street" -- the song was never meant to have a groovy beat, and suffers with one here. "Games Without Frontiers" is rendered as karaoke schlock by Los Angeles' Supreme Beings of Leisure affiliate Bonglab, but Soma Sonic somehow figures out a way to transform the bump-and-grind electro of 1978's "Exposure" (a gem from Gabriel's second solo effort) into the Pet Shop Boys. While the inclusion of tracks from 1989's Passion (aka, the soundtrack to Last Temptation of Christ) shows depth, a version of "In Your Eyes" is conspicuously absent.

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