|Pictured: Tori going apeshit over this review.|
Let me be honest. I have not been a fan of Tori Amos' recent work. And I've given her a lot of shit for her “concept” albums and overall craziness. Abnormally Attracted to Sin, anyone? What was with her face? Linda Hunt called, she wants her sexy back.
|Pictured: WTF am I looking at?|
Okay, okay, sorry Tori. I still hold a lot of resentment for that album. "Some give blood/I give love."
American Pussycat Doll Posse, or whatever it was called, made me long for her suckling a pig on Boys for Pele. Needless to say (but I will anyways), I haven't wholly enjoyed a Tori album since Choirgirl Hotel, and even that is stretching it (honorable mention to Scarlet's Walk).
|Pictured here: Sadness|
I did like it slightly more than Abnormally Attracted to Sin. But not by much.
And The Beekeeper? Well...
|Pictured: GAAAAAH WHY TORI WHY|
When I heard Night of Hunters was another concept album, I balked at the notion. Now Tori was going to ruin the songs of some noted classical musicians? Great. Imagine my surprise as I listened to Night of Hunters and found myself enjoying it. It's a concept album in a broader sense, taking works from Chopin and Schubert, among others, and re-imagining them. This album brings back two of my favorite things about Tori: her lyrical prowess and her piano. The lyrics are fantastic. Beautiful imagery. It's almost as if taking these established pieces has given her more freedom than creating the music from scratch. Also, no drums, no guitar or crazy electronica beats. They're calling it an "acoustic" album, and for that, I'm thankful.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Tori's daughter, Natashya Hawley, duets with her on several tracks. It sounds like an atrocious idea, like Tori was running around the woods high on peote, channeling the ghost of Kate Bush: Oh my daughter is so talented, my little protege, stroke stroke stroke. She'll be a star just like her mommmmy. Where's Heathcliff?! In actuality, the girl can sing; her voice is still young, but it hints at a cool maturity, a learned quality.
|Pictured: The ghost of Kate Bush...she's alive? Really? Huh.|
Let's take a look at some of my highlights from Night of Hunters:
Job's Coffin is one of my favorite songs. Tori and Natashya sing a song that wouldn't sound out of place on a Fiona Apple album (Fiona better put a new cd out soon, by the way, before Natashya steals her spotlight in five years.) It's a lilting and sad song of longing. And also a call to female empowerment. Will we see mother and daughter at Slutwalk this October in NYC? I think so.
|Pictured: WHERE THE FUCK IS YOUR NEW ALBUM|
Nautical Twilight. Look no further for Tori's beautiful lyrics. It's a short song as far as this album is concerned, but it highlights Tori's masterful prose (because that's what it is: masterful).
Night of Hunters. This one had me by the first verse. Kelsey Dobyns (?) joins Tori on this one. Who is this girl? Because she's great. The harmonies in the song are Off. The. Fucking. Chain. (Suddenly, I'm back in the 90s).
Star Whisperer. This one, clocking in at nearly 10 minutes, is haunting and appropriately epic. It sounds like something off of Under the Pink. It's almost like two songs in one; halfway through the song shifts into something different. She uses this effect again in Edge of the Moon, the latter part of the song echoing some Boys for Pele awesomeness.
Cactus Practice. This song gets stuck in my head. I think it's the repetition of lyrics. I can't stress enough at how gorgeous the harmonies are on this album.
So Tori, I must say I'm impressed. You've created a beautiful album that almost makes me forget The Beekeeper (but I won't talk about that atrocity). I'd say to those of you who feel dissatisfied with Tori to give the bitch another go and check out this album. No girl posses, beekeeping or abnormal attractions to be found. Just Tori with her piano, her daughter, inspiration from the great masters, and some of the best songwriting she's done in years.
|Pictured: I still love you, Tori. But don't get me stared on your holiday album.|
PS: I'm predicting the song Your Ghost, will probably be featured on Grey's Anatomy or The Vampire Diaries or one of those types of shows (RINGER, MAYBE?!).