The Fourth Course

The cover to Peter Gabriel's album Scratch My Back

The appropriate musical accompaniment will enhance any good meal, whether it’s a backyard BBQ or sophisticate soiree. Here are five recent releases to have on hand.

AC/DC – Iron Man 2 (Columbia)
This Australian quintet continues to prove that rocking out doesn’t have an age limit. The album features 15 classic AC/DC songs, complementing the release of the film Iron Man 2 that include the band’s music. If “Shoot to Thrill” and “Highway to Hell” aren’t already on your playlist, this album is for you.

David Byrne & Fatboy Slim – Here Lies Love (Nonesuch)
Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne teams up with fellow Zoomer Fatboy Slim to tell the stories of Imelda Marcos, former first lady of the Philippines, and Estrella Cumpas, the woman who raised her. Byrne enlists a myriad of vocalists to voice the 22-song double disc including Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos and Sharon Jones. It’s lively and beautiful.

Jeff Beck – Emotion and Commotion (Warner)
With his first album in almost six years, this Rock And Roll Hall of Famer opts for intricate arrangements with a 64-piece orchestra, rather than overtly showcasing his guitar shredding skills. The ethereal release hits its peak on Beck’s rendition of Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Peter Gabriel – Scratch My Back (Universal)
The indelible Gabriel, with Bob Ezrin controlling production duties, interprets 12 songs from a wide array of artists. He covers David Bowie’s “Heroes,” Neil Young’s “Philadelphia,” as well as taking on his contemporaries Radiohead, Bon Iver and Arcade Fire. An inspiring album.

Sally Seltmann – Heart That’s Pounding (Arts &Crafts)
The second Australian on this list, Seltmann may not be a household name, but she co-penned “1234” (performed by Canadian chanteuse Feist), which you certainly heard on TV, the radio or walking through the mall.Her bright and cheerful third full-length album is the quintessential album for this summer’s balmy evenings.

– Travis Persaud