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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.
Blogcritics’ Mark Saleski weighs in on Midwinter Graces, declaring it one of the two holiday records of 2009 that are worth adding to your collection. The other? You, you guessed it: Bob Dylan’s Christmas In The Heart.
Thanks to Mark-Alexis for catching this one!
Author: Mark Saleski — Published: Dec 23, 2009 at 4:30 am
For many years now, I’ve gone out and purchased one new CD of Christmas music. The idea has always been to get something in a genre that I don’t already own. So in my collection there is: choral music, solo piano, solo guitar, rock, pop, jazz, blues, Rat Pack, reggae, old-timey, and several others I can’t remember at the moment. Yep, Christmas music is a big thing in our house, though despite this big pile of choices, we do listen to the classic Vince Guaraldi Peanuts disc several times through the season.
This year, I was pretty sure that the Bob Dylan album would be “it.” But then Tori Amos came out to put her own spin on things. So we have finally arrived: it’s a beauty and the beast Christmas. She of the faerie velvet sheen voice and propensity for unusual pronunciations, he of the illustrious folk career and “The Croak.”
Tori doesn’t just run through her favorites, but instead produces her own suite of holiday-related songs that are inspired by the season along with a handful of re-arrangements of traditional selections. It’s really too bad that some people hate music from the holidays. I can kind of see how the schlocky versions of things can turn a person off. If they’re lucky this year, maybe they’ll get a crack at Midwinter Graces. My favorite visitation from songs of Christmas past is “Star of Wonder.” The percussion and violin lines in the verse give the tune an exotic flair, setting up the deep bells that signal the soaring chorus. Tori is in fine voice on songs like “Snow Angel” and “A Silent Night With You.” These compositions sit firmly in the Tori Amos tradition but the overriding theme is both obvious and natural. But…the killer track here is “Pink And Glitter,” with Tori singing inside of a big band arrangement. When she sings “shower the world” in the chorus, I just get lost.
And yes, getting lost is what many people have wished on Bob Dylan for years. They just can’t take “the croak.” Why, oh why, did he have to do this to our beloved Christmas songs?! Yep, I’ve heard the lament — I just don’t agree with it. To me, there’s something oddly endearing about hearing the croak wobble through some of these tunes. It’s almost like listening to a modern field recording. Sure, there’s maybe too much phlegm-shakin’ going on (and part of me is pretty sure that he does this on purpose), but then there are incredibly cool things like the Cajun stomp of “Must Be Santa,” the slinky “The Christmas Blues,” and swing & sway of “Christmas Island.”
So there are only a couple of days left. If you’re looking to add to your holiday collection, I’ve given you two unusual choices. Hey, what’s the worst that can happen? If you end up hating on the Dylan, you can always use it to clear the room of unwanted and/or overstaying house guests. Think of it as musical fruitcake.