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Tori Amos

Crossover Prog

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Tori Amos Ocean to Ocean album cover
3.25 | 5 ratings | 1 reviews | 40% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2021

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Addition of Light Divided (4:06)
2. Speaking with Trees (3:55)
3. Devil's Band (4:33)
4. Swim to New York State (4:21)
5. Spies (6:00)
6. Ocean to Ocean (3:31)
7. Flowers Burn to Gold (3:42)
8. Metal Water Wood (4:01)
9. 29 Years (4:47)
10. How Glass Is Made (3:57)
11. Birthday Baby (4:46)

Total Time 47:39

Line-up / Musicians

- Tori Amos / vocals, piano, organ, keyboards
- Mark Hawley / guitars
- Jon Evans / bass
- Matt Chamberlain / drums & percussion

- John Philip Shenale / synths, sampler, organ, Chamberlin, keyboards, Marxophone (1,3-5,11)
- Natashya Hawley / vocals (1-3)

Releases information

CD Decca - 357 390-2 (CD, Europe)
Cassette Decca - 00602438712991 (UK, Europe)
Digital album

Release date October 29, 2021

Thanks to TCat for the addition
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TORI AMOS Ocean to Ocean ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TORI AMOS Ocean to Ocean reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Necrotica
3 stars Yet another album born out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ocean to Ocean was the result of the time Tori Amos spent in lockdown in Cornwall, England. The newfound free time allowed her to bask in the landscapes and "ancient myths" (in her words) of the county, something that's conveyed very nicely by the scenic album cover as well. Such inspiration was quite promising to me going into the record because - let's face it - Amos has been in a bit of a holding pattern in recent years. Her artsy piano-driven alternative-rock-meets-Kate-Bush shtick has led to some fantastic albums, especially in the beginning of her career, but I feel as though it eventually led to her revealing her limits as a singer-songwriter. But as 2014's Unrepentant Geraldines has proven, Amos still does have the potential to pull out another quality release from time to time. So I was perfectly willing to give Ocean to Ocean a shot with an open mind; lo and behold, I was rewarded.

If you're looking for something revolutionary that redefines Amos' career, look elsewhere. This record is still very much in her wheelhouse; however, what Ocean to Ocean lacks in innovation, it makes up for in reflective songwriting and lovely chamber pop melodies. Opener "Addition of Light Divided" immediately sets the scene, as a sorrowful piano line is met with light tinges of acoustic guitar while subtle bass runs color the background. Amos' lyrics perfectly compliment the music, as she fleshes out the general theme of division and broken connections: "break this chain of pain / you don't want to stay broken". This makes a lot of sense, as Amos pointed out in a 2021 Pitchfork interview that the record is largely about "[...]your losses, and how you cope with them". That sense of loss and disconnection goes even deeper on "Speaking with Trees", as Amos equates her grief with the trees around her, whom she senses might be feeling the same emptiness as herself. The song itself has a nice sense of contrast, as the melancholic melodies belie surprisingly upbeat drumwork.

What I really appreciate about Ocean to Ocean is that its mood and themes are very consistent. Amos clearly entered the studio with a specific vision in mind, and she rarely deviates from this - for better or for worse. With that said, there are some highlights that bring out the album's palpable sense of sadness more effectively than the others. "Swim to New York State" is an absolutely gorgeous slice of chamber pop with sweeping strings and some of the most heart-wrenching piano work of Amos' career; lovely stuff. Meanwhile, "Flowers Burn to Gold" strips away all backing instruments entirely to leave Amos with a lone piano; the song harkens back to her classic ballad "Winter" in both mood and composition, which can only be a good thing as far as I'm concerned. Then there's the title track, which benefits from beautifully subtle and tasteful guitar work; this is especially true of the bass, which twists and bends around to provide its own unique melodies to the tune.

Still, none of this really shakes off the feeling of "been there, done that" when listening to Ocean to Ocean. As I stated earlier, this album won't change your opinion on Tori Amos' music; if you didn't like her before, you won't like her now. But for a solo career that's gone on for almost three decades now, it's nice to know that she has the inspiration to release something this solid. If you've avoided the last few Tori Amos records and need to be reacquainted with her work, Ocean to Ocean will catch you up to speed very nicely.

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