Tori Amos – Night of Hunters (Deutsche Grammophon)

November 6, 2011 by  

Night of Hunters is Tori Amos 12th studio album and is her first release for new label Deutsche Grammophon. The album is conceptually based on the tale of a modern love story that unravels after a journey taken to Ireland’s mythical past, a 21st century song cycle is highly influenced by composers such as Chopin, Granados , Bach, Debussy and Schubert.

This album falls in the Classical crossover box, a box she has flirted with previously but never fully explored until now. Amos being somewhat of a protégée, having learned the piano from a very young age has always had classical and mythical tendencies musically, such is her style. It is nice to see her fulfil her potential in the classical style, it suits her well.

The cycle opens dramatically with Shattering Sea, a piece full of heavy piano chords, strings and Amos evoking voice, very powerful and beautiful. On Snowblind Amos collaborates with her daughter whose vocal style should sound misplaced on a classical album but is a revelation in herself; she reappears on Cactus Practice, The Chase and Job’s Coffin. Job’s Coffin stands alone as the most contemporary sounding piece on the whole album. Carry is the most recognisable of all the Classical variations, taken from Debussy’s Preludes a piece used in many films such as The Leading Man. This record is an enchanting journey using string, woodwind instruments and Amos’ piano virtuosity is really showcased here.

This work bares a high resemblance to that of Kate Bush, highly experimental and eclectic, transcending genre. Amos is clearly a fan and as done well in trying to outdo her hero if that was her aim. Night of the Hunters is a modern masterpiece but likely to bore those who don’t have an appreciation for classical music. That said I would highly recommend it regardless of your taste lies, if you enjoy art music you should enjoy this record.

[rating:4.5]


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