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Thursday’s edition of The Guardian included a short review of Night of Hunters by Alex Macpherson (whom some may remember as the author of a recent piece praising From The Choirgirl Hotel). Macpherson appreciates the musical content of the album but, expressing concerns with the concept, gives the album 3 stars out of 5.
Thanks to Mark-Alexis for alerting us to this on The Tweeter.
Tori Amos: Night of Hunters – review
3 of 5 stars
Thursday 15 September 2011 17.20 EDT
Another Tori Amos album, another overarching concept – which elicits trepidation these days, given that, for the last decade, her material has creaked beneath laboured over-explanations in lieu of the thrillingly cryptic bewilderment she had the confidence to trade on in her artistic prime. Thankfully, her “classical song cycle” necessitates sonic ambition as well: that Amos can weave her own songs so deftly into variations on classical pieces is testament to her talent, and the piano/strings/woodwind arrangements of Night of Hunters frequently sound as lovely as earlier orchestral experiments such as Yes, Anastasia. The heart-pounding drama of opener Shattering Sea even nears that career highlight’s intensity. But the album’s narrative – Celtic whimsy meets marriage counselling – is overthought, often dragging Amos’s lyrics into cringeworthy territory, and the bulk of it is given over to resolution rather than build-up. Amos herself performs with an insistently flat calmness: when her 11-year-old daughter Natashya pops up on a few tracks, in character as a shape-shifting fox, she actually proves an odder, witchier, more compelling voice than her mother, who could be mistaken for her piano teacher.