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Tori Amos - Unrepentant Geraldines CD (album) cover


Tori Amos


Crossover Prog

3.81 | 40 ratings

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surrogate people
4 stars "Return to form" albums are one of rock`s most beloved cliches, something that fits perfectly in this era of ageing rockers. The veteran artist that after years or decades of releasing relatively minor works suddenly finds the inspiration to match his or her "golden years" is as popular as Hollywood`s retired pilot/football player/fireman/whatever that must return to prove that he still can do it for one last time. Every time that the Rolling Stones have released a new album in the last 30 years the critics hailed it as "their best since It`s only Rock and roll".. Well. I must admit that most of the times the results don`t really match the expectations (although there are some exceptions, of course) In this case, however things get a little more complicated. Tori`s two previous opuses hadn`t been exactly poor, I actually consider them both masterpieces, but we should bear in mind that they actually contained no new music, and were recorded with classical orchestras.On the other hand, her rock albums after The Beekeper seemed to have lost part of that "something" that made Toriīs music so special for quite a few people. (of course, more than 20 years listening to her albums also help to lose that element of surprise that makes new music attractive). So, .are we back in the "pretty good years" or are we in for a total bluff? Mmmm....somewhere in the middle, I think, but a little more towards the former option. While is true that I find Unrepentant Geraldines better than anything Tori released (in the rock field) since Scarlett`s Walk , I must admit that it has its weak points, and the real magical moments are not that many. But then again, I will never be in my twenties again (unless those cyclical cosmologies are right), so maybe it`s all about me. Who knows. The production, as usual is awesome, Toriīs voice sounds incredible, the instruments are crystal clear, even though I miss Jon Evanīs masterful bass lines (why not get a proper bass player?). The album starts with the folky America, that along with second song Troubleīs Lament are reminiscent of Scarletīs Walk album. Both very good songs, even if I could do without that interlude in America. After that promising start the albums decays a little bit with the standard ballad "Wild Ways" and the 6/8 "Wedding day" (I admit I quite like the chorus on that last one, though). Next comes the breathtaking "Wheaterman", a delicate beautiful ballad that bears Tori`s signature and will surely please old fans. The voice`s reverb is amazing in the chorus , 100% guaranteed to bring goosebumps!.Unfortunately "60 Shades of Blue" represents a sudden drop in quality, and is one to skip. "Maids of Elfen-Mere"is yet another piano led ballad, not particulary good or bad. The next piece "Promise" is ...well...a piano led ballad, but a really pleasant one this time. Tori is accompained here by her daughter, whose voice seems to have matured since Night of Hunters, she really shows promise. "Giant`s Rolling Pin" comes then and i must say that itīs probably the worst song Tori ever included on an album, something even embarrasing to listen to. I wonder what was she thinking of...the kind of songs that make me feel sorry for having lost my cd playerīs remote control. Compared to that one, "Selkie" sounds almost like a masterpiece...but is not, really. Just another solo piano ballad, thatīs it. The title song is a little more uptempo, a well crafted pop song, that includes some brilliant piano arpeggios that are the most interesting part (even if a little too short).The second part of the song finds Tori again alone with her piano, and has nothing to do musically with the first one, really could heve been a separate song (I actually thought it was a different song on first listening, since the CD booklet doesnīt specify song order or duration, and the lyrics to that second part are not printed). "Oysters" another piano/voice one (Well, if you donīt like that kind of songs youīd better stay away from Tori. A good one, with her characteristic falsettos and all. "Rose Dover" doesnīt cath my attention, surely below average. And the uptempo parts are plain bad . "Invisible Boy"is a beautiful piano ballad that could have been on Under the Pink or Boys for Pele, is almost that good. Then the album (I have the special edition with DVD) finishes with "Forest of Glass", and I must say that this is the song I liked better in the whole album, as it contains all the elements that made Tori`s music so unique: haunting melodies, emotional but flawless singing and playing...Just Tori and nothing else. All in all a good album that wonīt dissapoint old fans, except the ones that expect something as good as the classic albums. As I said, there are some unispired songs, but you can always skip them. I must admit that I hardly find myself in the mood to listen to "Giant`s Rolling Pin" alongside "Weatherman" or "Forest of Glass". But then , there are enough minutes of beautiful music here to warrant four stars.
surrogate people | 4/5 |


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