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Music Review: Amos gets classically inspired for new CD

Music Review: Amos gets classically inspired for new CD

Tori Amos, "Night of Hunters" (Deutsche Grammophon)

September 21st, 2011 by KAREN HAWKINS, Associated Press in News

Tori Amos has established herself as an unmistakable musical presence with a distinctive voice, her powerful piano playing and a penchant for lyrics that can be a bit, well, confounding. "Night of Hunters" is packed with those piercing Amos vocals, her dominating piano and a fair share of head-scratching lyrics, this time around a classically inspired theme of reinvention.

"Hunters" is Amos' first release on the Berlin-based classical record label Deutsche Grammophon, and there are clear classical, even operatic influences, from sweeping strings and reedy woodwinds to back Amos' gripping piano ("Nautical Twilight," "Your Ghost," "Seven Sisters.") It's a beautifully composed album that highlights Amos' classical training and her fierce intensity as a musician and songwriter. But long gone are the pointedly poignant, and accessible, lyrics of her earlier work.

Amos has said the album uses the structure of a classical song cycle to tell the story of one life-changing night in the life of a woman who is at the end of a relationship. The album allows the listener to "follow her on a journey to explore complex musical and emotional subject matter," Amos says. It is heady stuff, and the complicated narrative probably will elude those uninitiated in Amos-speak. For instance, the song "Cactus Practice," while lovely, includes lines like, "Will you induct me into a drink of the Cactus Practice?"


CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: It is an unexpected treat to hear gently lilting youthful voices weave in and out of tracks like "Snowblind," courtesy of Amos' daughter and niece.