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Mary Keane reviewed Night of Hunters for The Epoch Times. Giving the record a score of 4 on a 5 point scale, she takes issue with the inclusion of Tori’s daughter Tash being featured prevalently on the record but, in conclusion, calls it “a much more coherent and consistent album than the other recent releases.”
Album Review: Tori Amos – ‘Night of Hunters’
By Mary Keene
Created: Sep 15, 2011
Without a doubt Tori Amos is a hugely successful artist. With eight Grammy nominations to her name and 12 million albums sold worldwide her career has now spanned 22 years – and that’s ignoring the early recordings from Y Kant Tori Read. And after 22 years of being the confrontational, conceptual pixie of the pop world, in typical Amos style she has done an about turn, choosing to release an album that returns to her classical roots and even brings in a string quartet, clarinet and bassoon.
On first listen to this “21st century song-cycle” as she has dubbed it, many Tori fans will be bemused at the lack of accessibility and most will miss the samples from such classical composers as Satie and Schubert that she uses. The piano is prevalent but there is heavy orchestration which is unusual for Amos, usually only sticking to drums and bass to reinforce the piano melodies.
However it’s clearly a slow burner and on repeated listens the cleverness of writing and references become clearer and, fans will be glad to hear, you find you can sing along after all. What is most interesting are the allusions to her past roots and not just in terms of classical music. On tracks such as ‘Your Ghost’ and ‘Edge of the Moon’ there are clear melodic references to church hymns and even carols, perhaps echoing the ghost of her past playing for her minister father in his church.
The one let-down of the album is the recent propensity of Amos to include her daughter on vocals. Where it worked in Midwinter Graces, it being a seasonal album and perhaps more redolent of children singing, this time it spoils what could have been excellent songs. Fortunately we are assured that “Tash” will not be joining her mother on tour, so fans will get to experience the songs as they should have been.
Overall then this is a much more coherent and consistent album than the other recent releases (American Doll Posse, Abnormally Addicted to Sin) and plays to Amos’s strengths with plenty of solo and melodic piano parts taking centre stage again after a long period in the wilderness. So whether you’re a long time Amos fan or you only bought her first two albums and then gave up, it’s definitely time to buy the next one.
Mary Keene is a freelance writer from London.
Rating: 4 / 5