Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tori Amos is back with Night of Hunters

Tori Amos has resurfaced with a new album that combines beautiful classical tunes by Chopin and Bach and others with the emotionally vulnerable and visceral creativity of her musical touch.  Add to that mix the occasional participation of her 11-year old daughter, Natashya Lorien Hawley and her niece Kelsey Dobyns and you end up with an album that reminds one of her earlier albums and yet propels her forward in her creative path.

Night of Hunters, which comes out September 20, is an experience to listen to.  Away from her usual band, she works with the Apollon Musagete String Quartet and clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer to create a multi-faceted blend of songs that sound both familiar and new.   With titles such as Shattering Sea, Battle of Trees,  Edge of the Moon and Star Whisperer, among many others, Tori crafts an interesting interplay of old and new with each piece as strains of the familiar classical pieces flutter beside her strange and delirious lyric play.  Already I find myself having a few favorites, with Cactus Practice making me smile the way The Happy Phantom used to be my blanket against sad days and Job's Coffin making me seriously wonder if she is also preparing the two young girls for a serious future career in the music industry.  I find myself hearing strains of Emiliana Torrini and the delicate vulnerability of a budding Bjork in their voices.

Admittedly, however, I am not completely in love with the album.  In many ways I feel Tori was smart to dive back towards songs that displayed on the forefront her mastery of the keys, but in many ways as well this move feels possibly too late (?)  While her earlier albums had an honest confessional quality to them, Night of Hunters feels more like a creative thesis or an imagination-driven statement that wants to be noticed.   Still, I have faith in Tori.  While I may be long gone from the days of being a faithful Ears With Feet or Toriphile, I do still plan to treat this album like a bottle of long sought-out wine.  Maybe, just maybe, I'll learn to appreciate it with a few more gulps before I finish the bottle completely.

Listen to the WHOLE album legally by clicking here.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I just found your blog by searching for Kelsey Dobyns, thinking, as I listened to "Night Of Hunters," "Who is this amazing singer?" I don't know if you have changed your tune about the album since your first few listens; I do the same thing with Tori albums as a fan of hers since '94. It is a challenge for me to believe that Tori can make an album that is better than her last, whatever that one is. And every time I listen a few more times and I am sucked in and totally fall in love with the artist again. Something that I forgot on listening to "Hunters" the first couple of times is that the songs compose an over-arching story. I felt that once I remembered that, everything made sense. :) Anyway, I hope you've given it a few more chances and you're enjoying it now. Have a great day!



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