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Tori Amos - Night Of Hunters CD (album) cover


Tori Amos

Crossover Prog

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4 stars This year there are loads of great albums coming out and I listened to many of those. Among many artists i have loved for years including Neal Morse, Dear Hunter, Dream Theater (ugh), Phideaux, White Willow, PoS, Anathema, etc., I am happy to report that this album by Tori Amos seems to be one of the strongest pieces of work this year, in my humble opinion of course. Strangely I never cared to listen to Tori Amos before. In fact, i listened to some work by sort of similarly eclectic female rockers, i.e. Kate Bush or Michelle Young. Some of their songs grabbed my attention but i lost interest quickly. Upon hearing a few tracks i decided to buy this and since then this CD rarely leaves my car, and i've ripped it on my phone so i can listen to these beautiful songs during work time. (Yeah, hope none of you know my boss!) Overall, this CD is piano-oriented, with accompaniment of strings and woodwind. Her singing is pretty good, and the music arrangement fits her voice perfectly. An interesting concept flows well through the lyrics of these 14 songs. The mixing is superb. Obviously Ms Amos composed these pieces on top of classical pieces and the tunes really inspired me to dig deeper into classical music. In summary, i strongly recommend this to everyone, not just progheads. But please consider Night of Hunters very worthy of your prog music collection.
Report this review (#544051)
Posted Thursday, October 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars Tori's variations.

Sort of a musical version of comedy improv. Select various pieces of classical music from a set offered to you, now weave it into a story about a day in the life of a couple. Deutsche Grammphon her approached her with the rough concept. Tori delivers a song cycle story starting from the couple's tulutous arrival in a new place to ending up mending things in the end.

She hits on four of my favorite decomposing compsers: Satie, Mussorgsky, Debussy, and Bach amongst a few other notables. Tori does great justice to all the composers both her arrangements and lyrics (Greg Lake, eat your heart out). So you do get updated versions of old music. The non-vocal piece, Seven Sisters, though credited to a Bach piece, has a distinct Reich/Glass flavor to it. Take away all the voices and you would still have a decent classical album with a master piano player at the core of the various ensembles she assembled. With vocals of Tori and Natasha Hawley, you get something almost operatic (thank God not too operatic), that becomes something extraordinary.

Spring for the deluxe version with the DVD. There's much more to the story in, of, and around this album, plus it's a nice package to boot.

Report this review (#553022)
Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Queen is Dead?

No, I'm not stating Morrissey and the Smiths for the sake of it, it's true. Well, she's not completely flatline and this time, Deutsh Gramophon, defebrillo pads in hands, is shouting 'CLEAR!' over this record.

To me, this record is the best in a long time, a change of pace, a breath of fresh air in her claustrophobic world. She is joined by her daughter on many tracks, and surprisingly, I'm not bothered at all by it. Nastashya Hawksley is bringing a new dimension to the story, playing characters and singing the best she can , not trying to copy mommy (which is quite okay).

The orchestration behind falls a bit short in grandeur, the whole music is somewhat put in the back row because Mrs. Amos' voice is, again, up and front. And it's one of my few negative comments on this record, the music could've been a tad higher in volume. A bit more crazy moments would've been nice. A shame since American Dull..pardon Doll Posse was filled with arrogance and rawness.

I think that what brings me to this record is the homogenic blend of her piano skills and the feel of a simple orchestration behind. We don't experience that often in prog rock, and even less often in general rock. So if you don't have an anti-guitar album, this one is thick and juicy piece of vegan chamber rock.

The whole thing feels lushious green and charcoal grey, it's a great match!

Report this review (#796190)
Posted Saturday, July 28, 2012 | Review Permalink

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