Tori Amos - Night Of The Hunters
Let's face it, with the exception of her collection of winter (dare we say Christmas) songs, Tori Amos' output over the last decade and a bit has been shoddy at best. Careening between uninspired and self-indulgent, it has really only been of interest to the most hardcore fans. With the release of her new studio album Night of the Hunters (out September 20th), I'm hoping for that to change.
It's clear that Amos has paid much more attention to the arrangements this time around. In the past they have often seemed like an afterthought, seemingly existing in isolation. For this project Amos has incorporated portions of classical works by the likes of Chopin and Bach to build her songs.
While the piano still plays a major role in the music, it's not usually not the only focus. The album's opener "Shattering Sea" is Amos' most orchestral efforts to date. Despite it's sprawling nature, it manages to hang together incredibly well.
There's an added whimsy on the new album as well. That comes to the fore on a piece like "Battle of the Trees", and surprisingly given it's title, "Job's Coffin".
Clocking in at nearly an hour and a quarter, Night of the Hunters is an ambitious work, for both the artist and the listener. It takes a commitment that most fans of pop and rock music (yours truly included) will not be willing to make. That ends up costing some marks in my arbitrary rating system.
Amos' Night of the Hunters could be the start of an artistic revitalization for the artist. Just be aware that it's unlikely you will be reaching for this record on a regular basis.
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