Tori Amos – Night of Hunters

The idea of melding classical music with “popular” music in some way has always been appealing. I love artists that are able to pull this off.

I’m not afraid to say that I’m extremely envious of all of the talent Tori Amos has and the fact that she has the time and money to give herself to her creative process.

But I’m thankful.

Tori Amos continues to be a powerhouse.

I’m 3 songs in to the new album, “Night of Hunters”, currently listening to the song “Battle of Trees.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this album, but I’m liking the vibe so far!

It also feels a little unsettling. Here I am relaxing in a bubble bath (shut up, it’s been a long day.), closing my eyes and allowing my mind to just wander, and suddenly I hear the Satie melody shift into sharp focus.

Tori’s music has always been fantastic in this way. It’s fuzzy and muted and then suddenly….POW! She always has this way writing music that puts you to sleep and then just as you’re comfortable, jolts you back to reality.

Tori made the melody hers, as she always has done, but it feels….wrong almost!  It never really bothered me that some of her older songs were based off of popular hymns (I read this somewhere in an interview once). Maybe this is because all of that religious stuff has been dragged down through the ages, or that it really is the base of most pop music now anyway.

When someone starts messing with certain composers who are sacred to me (like Satie) – I wrestle with the idea of taking such a unique composer’s melody and using it on your own work.

After studying Satie’s music on my own so much for the last year -I am personally putting out an album of his piano works in their original forms – I still have to wonder what he would think about this track.

But again, she does it tastefully and creatively and makes it her own, and how many people are really going to hear that song and go “OH. That melody is from a Satie Gymnopedie”?

The only thing I don’t love about this album so far, is some of the string work.I have never been a huge fan of the way strings and guitars are orchestrated on most of her albums. The cello always seems to be fantastic, but the other strings never right. I’m sure a lot of the instrumentation was done on purpose – a lot of thought went into this music.  It doesn’t deviate too much from some of her older albums, so I’m really trying not to judge.

Also, it’s interesting to hear the younger & different voices on the album of her daughter and of her niece (Update: I think I finally figured out which voice is her daughters’.  Her daughter must only be 11 or 12 by now I would assume? I’m not sure, but it’s amazing to hear that her voice is already so cultivated. She definitely sings in that new style that is so popular with singer/songwriters now, but it’s great…keep it up kiddo.)

(oh, by the way, go listen to the album here)

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