Review: Tori Amos, Night of Hunters
October 3rd, 2011 • Album Review
Night of Hunters is the twelfth solo studio album released by singer-songwriter Tori Amos, a classically trained pianist who has never shied away from the weird, elaborate, or less conventionally popular. To wit, Amos broke away from musicians with whom she had worked in the studio or on tour for more than a decade. She chose to enlist lesser-known talent on Hunters, including her daughter, Natashya Hawley; her niece, Kelsey Dobyns; and principal clarinetist with the Berlin Philharmonic, Andreas Ottensamer. The result is a strong album that begs to resonate from your speakers. Turn up the volume: Tori is back.
Amos has released several concept albums since her 1992 solo debut, Little Earthquakes. Hunters is no different. Inspired by classical music made famous by greats like Bach, Chopin, and Debussy, the album follows the journey of a woman dealing with the end of a relationship in which she has lost herself for the sake of her lover’s happiness. The musical themes and detailed story behind the album, which includes the appearance of a mythological creature who guides the woman’s journey through figurative and literal light and dark, reminds one of an operatic heroine.
Hunters is Amos’ first release on German classical music label, Deutsche Grammophon. “Edge of the Moon” and “Job’s Coffin” are especially stunning. The latter is one of several songs that features Amos’ daughter, who was also featured on 2009′s Midwinter Graces. In “Coffin,” Amos can be heard singing, “Since time why do we women / give ourselves away / we give ourselves away / thinking somehow that will make him / want to stay / make him stay,” leading the listener to think, perhaps, of an opera’s mournful melody that plays before the heroine’s all-too-early and tragic demise.
Though Hunters isn’t rife with “deep weirdness” – that is, the oft-odd lyrics and atypical instrumentation that drove earlier albums like 1996′s Boys for Pele – the album is solid in its delivery and hearkens back to the inspired storytelling and earnest instrumentals that brought Amos her worldwide following. Learn more about Tori Amos and the tour supporting Night of Hunters at http://www.toriamos.com/.
Richard of artroommelody.com