During tours, we do our best to cover setlists in real-time on Twitter. If you want to tweet a show in, just DM or @ us on the day and tell us to watch your stream that night.
Tori will be touring in 2014 to support the release of Unrepentant Geraldines. The European legs runs from May through June and the North American legs spans July and August. We do not know if additional dates elsewhere will be added.
by Dean O. Hillis
Online Exclusive / Posted October 27, 2009
I can think of no greater feat than a Christmas/Holiday album helping to get you in the mood for the forthcoming holidays in October. If ever a modern artist was suited for recording a holiday/seasonal album, it must be Tori Amos. From “Winter” and her live “Little Drummer Boy” cover from the Little Earthquakes period, her pretty “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and one of my personal favorites, her original holiday song “Purple People (Christmas In Space)” (both b-sides from the Spark single) not to mention her great live cover of Joni Mitchell’s “The River” (sadly never “officially” released) her love of this genre is more than evident. But “Midwinter Graces” isn’t your typical holiday album and its deep beauty reveals itself upon repeated listenings. Which is not to say that initially some songs don’t immediately grab you—they certainly do (this is a Tori Amos album after all)—it is just that this isn’t a “Christmas” specific album and there is nary a Santa or “White Christmas” in sight. Instead a very angelic-looking Tori (floating in heavenly clouds) is featured on the album’s cover, and in a few booklet shots I’ve been lucky enough to view online let me know immediately this album was going to be different than the standard holiday fare.
When I first learned of this release (announced on my favorite Tori site, www.undented.com) I thought it was going to be a compilation of these previously released tracks, and I was more than fine with that. I thought it would be great to have remastered versions of “Little Drummer Boy” or even “Purple People” (as 2006’s great A Piano boxed set included the live soundcheck version from To Venus & Back and not the original studio one) and maybe/hopefully a few new songs. When the actual title was officially announced alongside the track list (comprised of her interpretations of select holiday carols as well as original compositions) I was even happier. And now after several listens, I am not disappointed by any means.
One wonders how she has achieved this amazing accomplishment, especially after already releasing one of 2009’s finest albums, Abnormally Attracted To Sin, not to mention taking that out on the road. The press release explains that most of “Graces” was written/recorded during the promotion of Sin, then recording continued during the “Sinful Attraction Tour” mostly on days off and it is to Amos’ credit that she has created an equally listenable and intriguing album. Working with her loyal collaborators Matt Chamberlain (drums), Jon Evans (bass), Mac Aladdin (guitar), and John Philip Shenale (string arrangements), the recording is lush and crystalline courtesy of husband Mark Hawley and Marcel van Limbeek. What is always amazing about a Tori Amos album is the amount of research and attention to detail that she brings in as the producer. One doesn’t have to question her musicianship or artistry—she seems more attuned to her muses than ever—but it is her reworking here of classic songs (“What Child, Nowell,” “Candle: Conventry Carol,” “Star Of Wonder”) that is simply breathtaking—Even their titles are rechristened.
The original compositions get off to a fine start with the beautiful “A Silent Night With You,” and its irresistible opening line “the radio plays/my holiday faves/it takes me back to/when our love was new” and suddenly one is transported to their own Christmastime (and whatever configuration this feeling holds for you, of course). When the stunning and sure-to-be classic “Snow Angel” starts you will be pulled right into its landscape. It manages to be incredibly delicate, reverent and gorgeous at the same time. “Pink And Glitter” with its full big band orchestration lovingly celebrates the birth of a daughter and vocally reminds me of the improv section of her “Welcome To Sunny Florida” DVD, and that is not a bad thing at all, as she suggests we “shower the world…in pink.” The bittersweet, lovely “Our New Year” has rather sad lyrics, as it deals with those that are no longer with us during the holidays, yet somehow manages to be hopeful.