TORI AMOSNIGHT OF HUNTERSORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 19TH 20111YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #38Night Of Hunters is most definitely a conceptual album yet it’s a fact that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone remotely familiar with the work of Tori Amos. Even as far back as Under The Pink she was ascribing overarching ideas to her songs (or rather, the songs were informing her) and these concepts only became more involved as the years went on. Yet the concept of Night Of Hunters isn’t actually the thing that has kept me returning to it again and again over the course of the past year. What’s most interesting about Night Of Hunters is that it was promoted as a 21st Century song cycle and released through Deutsche Grammophon, the German classical record label, and inspired by specific classical pieces from the past 400 years. Tori’s twelfth studio album and first for Deutsche Grammophon, it has since shown itself to be the beginnings of a new phase in her already illustrious career. Gold Dust, a selection of fourteen songs from her back catalogue backed by an orchestra, will be released in a few weeks on the same label. Drawing on classical music from many hundreds of years feels like an exercise that was destined to happen. It’s a testament to Tori’s musical capabilities that Night Of Hunters not only draws on these monolithic compositions with a controlled majesty, but that it carves itself out as a bold and thoroughly intelligent new piece of work in the process. Given her classical training at the Peabody and that so much of what she’s released since 1992 has retained an element of the classical to some degree, it’s not too surprising that this record works so well.I say all of this being more than willing to eat my own words. Everything (yes, everything) Tori has released post-Scarlet’s Walk has been a partial disappointment in some respect. The Beekeeper, American Doll Posse and Abnormally Attracted To Sin all had their high points, but these were few and far between. Somewhere along the line, the announcement of a new Tori Amos album introduced feelings of uncertainty and doubt within her core audience. This was also the case with Night Of Hunters, yet I think it’s safe to say that not since From The Choirgirl Hotel has she released an album that is as intriguing and as well conceived. Going back to the concept of the record, Tori - ever the wordsmith - submitted a 1,300-word essay detailed the story of a “woman caught in the dying embers of a relationship” who, over the course of one night on the banks of the river Bandon in Cork, Ireland “goes through an initiation of sorts that leads her to reinvent herself.” The protagonist of this story takes us through the night across fourteen songs where she will ultimately decide whether to abandon her relationship, encountering a shapeshifting fox called Annabelle along her way. At this point you’ll either be baffled and reject any notion of exploring it further or you’ll be hooked on what is a bizarre yet painstakingly crafted world. Those who proceed are advised to do so with equal caution and patience. Night Of Hunters is a beautiful and lush listening experience that will demand your time but reward you plentifully as a result.The total absence of percussion throughout results in this lush and warm feeling. Opening track Shattering Sea is tense and dramatic, with an opening line that cuts straight to the point: “That is not my blood on the bedroom floor.” It’s one of the best introductions to a record I’ve heard in the past year in the sense of defining what is to come in one fell swoop, moving from a frantic piano and strings introduction and onto a calmer middle section before climaxing as it began. Tori has served as sole producer on many of her records, often leading to mixed results. Yet her work here is truly impressive in that she pays special attention to the instrumentation. Nothing is lost in the mixing process and as a result Night Of Hunters feels as crisp and as fresh as the night time air through which the protagonist is journeying. That sense of movement through the music is very palpable. Indeed, the majority of this music is evenly paced and it can take a while to feel familiar but there is - as with so much of her music - a great sense of playfulness, tactility and theatricality. These elements are important to how the record has endured the past year. Hearing the variation on Satie’s Gnossiennes No.1 in Battle Of Trees is an exercise in restraint, akin to a controlled explosion and taken much further on later tracks such as Fearlessness and Star Whisperer.These are dense, often labyrinthine song structures that meander across long run times while retaining a specific pop music sensibility. Although it’s more likely the case, this shouldn’t deter classical aficionados. After all, Tori was a conservatory-trained pianist from the age of five and is accompanied here by string and wind octets courtesy of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Apollon Musagète. Personally I’m not well versed in classical music so I won’t even attempt to deconstruct the source material, yet I know that Tori’s scope and range of selections is vast, covering the Baroque and late Romantic periods. The addition of Tori’s daughter Tash on songs such as the title track, SnowBlind and the beautiful Job’s Coffin proves a welcome addition. It’s almost scary how mature and well rounded her vocals are for a ten year old (she’s now twelve), even more so when we consider that she actually made her recording debut on Tori’s 2009 release Midwinter Graces. Considering the magical mystery feel of the record that’s rooted in a very imaginative fantasy world, it’s perhaps to be expected that Night Of Hunters feels like her least personable record to date. Yet for a woman who has spent two decades wearing her heart on a very blood-soaked sleeve, she has more than earned the right to indulge her senses. Tori’s listener base continues to decrease with each passing year and her music has travelled to many interesting and varied places over the course of her career. Yet one thing remains unchanged, and that’s her ability to continually push her music into places that she has previously uninhabited. She is forever taking risks. Not all of them pay off, but her level of commitment is a thing of beauty all its own. She is an artist in the truest sense of the word and Night Of Hunters represents a high point in a career with many creative peaks.

TORI AMOS
NIGHT OF HUNTERS

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 19TH 2011
1YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #38


Night Of Hunters is most definitely a conceptual album yet it’s a fact that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone remotely familiar with the work of Tori Amos. Even as far back as Under The Pink she was ascribing overarching ideas to her songs (or rather, the songs were informing her) and these concepts only became more involved as the years went on. Yet the concept of Night Of Hunters isn’t actually the thing that has kept me returning to it again and again over the course of the past year. What’s most interesting about Night Of Hunters is that it was promoted as a 21st Century song cycle and released through Deutsche Grammophon, the German classical record label, and inspired by specific classical pieces from the past 400 years. Tori’s twelfth studio album and first for Deutsche Grammophon, it has since shown itself to be the beginnings of a new phase in her already illustrious career. Gold Dust, a selection of fourteen songs from her back catalogue backed by an orchestra, will be released in a few weeks on the same label. Drawing on classical music from many hundreds of years feels like an exercise that was destined to happen. It’s a testament to Tori’s musical capabilities that Night Of Hunters not only draws on these monolithic compositions with a controlled majesty, but that it carves itself out as a bold and thoroughly intelligent new piece of work in the process. Given her classical training at the Peabody and that so much of what she’s released since 1992 has retained an element of the classical to some degree, it’s not too surprising that this record works so well.


I say all of this being more than willing to eat my own words. Everything (yes, everything) Tori has released post-Scarlet’s Walk has been a partial disappointment in some respect. The Beekeeper, American Doll Posse and Abnormally Attracted To Sin all had their high points, but these were few and far between. Somewhere along the line, the announcement of a new Tori Amos album introduced feelings of uncertainty and doubt within her core audience. This was also the case with Night Of Hunters, yet I think it’s safe to say that not since From The Choirgirl Hotel has she released an album that is as intriguing and as well conceived. Going back to the concept of the record, Tori - ever the wordsmith - submitted a 1,300-word essay detailed the story of a “woman caught in the dying embers of a relationship” who, over the course of one night on the banks of the river Bandon in Cork, Ireland “goes through an initiation of sorts that leads her to reinvent herself.” The protagonist of this story takes us through the night across fourteen songs where she will ultimately decide whether to abandon her relationship, encountering a shapeshifting fox called Annabelle along her way. At this point you’ll either be baffled and reject any notion of exploring it further or you’ll be hooked on what is a bizarre yet painstakingly crafted world. Those who proceed are advised to do so with equal caution and patience. Night Of Hunters is a beautiful and lush listening experience that will demand your time but reward you plentifully as a result.


The total absence of percussion throughout results in this lush and warm feeling. Opening track Shattering Sea is tense and dramatic, with an opening line that cuts straight to the point: “That is not my blood on the bedroom floor.” It’s one of the best introductions to a record I’ve heard in the past year in the sense of defining what is to come in one fell swoop, moving from a frantic piano and strings introduction and onto a calmer middle section before climaxing as it began. Tori has served as sole producer on many of her records, often leading to mixed results. Yet her work here is truly impressive in that she pays special attention to the instrumentation. Nothing is lost in the mixing process and as a result Night Of Hunters feels as crisp and as fresh as the night time air through which the protagonist is journeying. That sense of movement through the music is very palpable. Indeed, the majority of this music is evenly paced and it can take a while to feel familiar but there is - as with so much of her music - a great sense of playfulness, tactility and theatricality. These elements are important to how the record has endured the past year. Hearing the variation on Satie’s Gnossiennes No.1 in Battle Of Trees is an exercise in restraint, akin to a controlled explosion and taken much further on later tracks such as Fearlessness and Star Whisperer.


These are dense, often labyrinthine song structures that meander across long run times while retaining a specific pop music sensibility. Although it’s more likely the case, this shouldn’t deter classical aficionados. After all, Tori was a conservatory-trained pianist from the age of five and is accompanied here by string and wind octets courtesy of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Apollon Musagète. Personally I’m not well versed in classical music so I won’t even attempt to deconstruct the source material, yet I know that Tori’s scope and range of selections is vast, covering the Baroque and late Romantic periods. The addition of Tori’s daughter Tash on songs such as the title track, SnowBlind and the beautiful Job’s Coffin proves a welcome addition. It’s almost scary how mature and well rounded her vocals are for a ten year old (she’s now twelve), even more so when we consider that she actually made her recording debut on Tori’s 2009 release Midwinter Graces. Considering the magical mystery feel of the record that’s rooted in a very imaginative fantasy world, it’s perhaps to be expected that Night Of Hunters feels like her least personable record to date. Yet for a woman who has spent two decades wearing her heart on a very blood-soaked sleeve, she has more than earned the right to indulge her senses. Tori’s listener base continues to decrease with each passing year and her music has travelled to many interesting and varied places over the course of her career. Yet one thing remains unchanged, and that’s her ability to continually push her music into places that she has previously uninhabited. She is forever taking risks. Not all of them pay off, but her level of commitment is a thing of beauty all its own. She is an artist in the truest sense of the word and Night Of Hunters represents a high point in a career with many creative peaks.


TORI AMOSNIGHT OF HUNTERSORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 19TH 20111YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #38Night Of Hunters is most definitely a conceptual album yet it’s a fact that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone remotely familiar with the work of Tori Amos. Even as far back as Under The Pink she was ascribing overarching ideas to her songs (or rather, the songs were informing her) and these concepts only became more involved as the years went on. Yet the concept of Night Of Hunters isn’t actually the thing that has kept me returning to it again and again over the course of the past year. What’s most interesting about Night Of Hunters is that it was promoted as a 21st Century song cycle and released through Deutsche Grammophon, the German classical record label, and inspired by specific classical pieces from the past 400 years. Tori’s twelfth studio album and first for Deutsche Grammophon, it has since shown itself to be the beginnings of a new phase in her already illustrious career. Gold Dust, a selection of fourteen songs from her back catalogue backed by an orchestra, will be released in a few weeks on the same label. Drawing on classical music from many hundreds of years feels like an exercise that was destined to happen. It’s a testament to Tori’s musical capabilities that Night Of Hunters not only draws on these monolithic compositions with a controlled majesty, but that it carves itself out as a bold and thoroughly intelligent new piece of work in the process. Given her classical training at the Peabody and that so much of what she’s released since 1992 has retained an element of the classical to some degree, it’s not too surprising that this record works so well.I say all of this being more than willing to eat my own words. Everything (yes, everything) Tori has released post-Scarlet’s Walk has been a partial disappointment in some respect. The Beekeeper, American Doll Posse and Abnormally Attracted To Sin all had their high points, but these were few and far between. Somewhere along the line, the announcement of a new Tori Amos album introduced feelings of uncertainty and doubt within her core audience. This was also the case with Night Of Hunters, yet I think it’s safe to say that not since From The Choirgirl Hotel has she released an album that is as intriguing and as well conceived. Going back to the concept of the record, Tori - ever the wordsmith - submitted a 1,300-word essay detailed the story of a “woman caught in the dying embers of a relationship” who, over the course of one night on the banks of the river Bandon in Cork, Ireland “goes through an initiation of sorts that leads her to reinvent herself.” The protagonist of this story takes us through the night across fourteen songs where she will ultimately decide whether to abandon her relationship, encountering a shapeshifting fox called Annabelle along her way. At this point you’ll either be baffled and reject any notion of exploring it further or you’ll be hooked on what is a bizarre yet painstakingly crafted world. Those who proceed are advised to do so with equal caution and patience. Night Of Hunters is a beautiful and lush listening experience that will demand your time but reward you plentifully as a result.The total absence of percussion throughout results in this lush and warm feeling. Opening track Shattering Sea is tense and dramatic, with an opening line that cuts straight to the point: “That is not my blood on the bedroom floor.” It’s one of the best introductions to a record I’ve heard in the past year in the sense of defining what is to come in one fell swoop, moving from a frantic piano and strings introduction and onto a calmer middle section before climaxing as it began. Tori has served as sole producer on many of her records, often leading to mixed results. Yet her work here is truly impressive in that she pays special attention to the instrumentation. Nothing is lost in the mixing process and as a result Night Of Hunters feels as crisp and as fresh as the night time air through which the protagonist is journeying. That sense of movement through the music is very palpable. Indeed, the majority of this music is evenly paced and it can take a while to feel familiar but there is - as with so much of her music - a great sense of playfulness, tactility and theatricality. These elements are important to how the record has endured the past year. Hearing the variation on Satie’s Gnossiennes No.1 in Battle Of Trees is an exercise in restraint, akin to a controlled explosion and taken much further on later tracks such as Fearlessness and Star Whisperer.These are dense, often labyrinthine song structures that meander across long run times while retaining a specific pop music sensibility. Although it’s more likely the case, this shouldn’t deter classical aficionados. After all, Tori was a conservatory-trained pianist from the age of five and is accompanied here by string and wind octets courtesy of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Apollon Musagète. Personally I’m not well versed in classical music so I won’t even attempt to deconstruct the source material, yet I know that Tori’s scope and range of selections is vast, covering the Baroque and late Romantic periods. The addition of Tori’s daughter Tash on songs such as the title track, SnowBlind and the beautiful Job’s Coffin proves a welcome addition. It’s almost scary how mature and well rounded her vocals are for a ten year old (she’s now twelve), even more so when we consider that she actually made her recording debut on Tori’s 2009 release Midwinter Graces. Considering the magical mystery feel of the record that’s rooted in a very imaginative fantasy world, it’s perhaps to be expected that Night Of Hunters feels like her least personable record to date. Yet for a woman who has spent two decades wearing her heart on a very blood-soaked sleeve, she has more than earned the right to indulge her senses. Tori’s listener base continues to decrease with each passing year and her music has travelled to many interesting and varied places over the course of her career. Yet one thing remains unchanged, and that’s her ability to continually push her music into places that she has previously uninhabited. She is forever taking risks. Not all of them pay off, but her level of commitment is a thing of beauty all its own. She is an artist in the truest sense of the word and Night Of Hunters represents a high point in a career with many creative peaks.

TORI AMOS
NIGHT OF HUNTERS

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 19TH 2011
1YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #38


Night Of Hunters is most definitely a conceptual album yet it’s a fact that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone remotely familiar with the work of Tori Amos. Even as far back as Under The Pink she was ascribing overarching ideas to her songs (or rather, the songs were informing her) and these concepts only became more involved as the years went on. Yet the concept of Night Of Hunters isn’t actually the thing that has kept me returning to it again and again over the course of the past year. What’s most interesting about Night Of Hunters is that it was promoted as a 21st Century song cycle and released through Deutsche Grammophon, the German classical record label, and inspired by specific classical pieces from the past 400 years. Tori’s twelfth studio album and first for Deutsche Grammophon, it has since shown itself to be the beginnings of a new phase in her already illustrious career. Gold Dust, a selection of fourteen songs from her back catalogue backed by an orchestra, will be released in a few weeks on the same label. Drawing on classical music from many hundreds of years feels like an exercise that was destined to happen. It’s a testament to Tori’s musical capabilities that Night Of Hunters not only draws on these monolithic compositions with a controlled majesty, but that it carves itself out as a bold and thoroughly intelligent new piece of work in the process. Given her classical training at the Peabody and that so much of what she’s released since 1992 has retained an element of the classical to some degree, it’s not too surprising that this record works so well.


I say all of this being more than willing to eat my own words. Everything (yes, everything) Tori has released post-Scarlet’s Walk has been a partial disappointment in some respect. The Beekeeper, American Doll Posse and Abnormally Attracted To Sin all had their high points, but these were few and far between. Somewhere along the line, the announcement of a new Tori Amos album introduced feelings of uncertainty and doubt within her core audience. This was also the case with Night Of Hunters, yet I think it’s safe to say that not since From The Choirgirl Hotel has she released an album that is as intriguing and as well conceived. Going back to the concept of the record, Tori - ever the wordsmith - submitted a 1,300-word essay detailed the story of a “woman caught in the dying embers of a relationship” who, over the course of one night on the banks of the river Bandon in Cork, Ireland “goes through an initiation of sorts that leads her to reinvent herself.” The protagonist of this story takes us through the night across fourteen songs where she will ultimately decide whether to abandon her relationship, encountering a shapeshifting fox called Annabelle along her way. At this point you’ll either be baffled and reject any notion of exploring it further or you’ll be hooked on what is a bizarre yet painstakingly crafted world. Those who proceed are advised to do so with equal caution and patience. Night Of Hunters is a beautiful and lush listening experience that will demand your time but reward you plentifully as a result.


The total absence of percussion throughout results in this lush and warm feeling. Opening track Shattering Sea is tense and dramatic, with an opening line that cuts straight to the point: “That is not my blood on the bedroom floor.” It’s one of the best introductions to a record I’ve heard in the past year in the sense of defining what is to come in one fell swoop, moving from a frantic piano and strings introduction and onto a calmer middle section before climaxing as it began. Tori has served as sole producer on many of her records, often leading to mixed results. Yet her work here is truly impressive in that she pays special attention to the instrumentation. Nothing is lost in the mixing process and as a result Night Of Hunters feels as crisp and as fresh as the night time air through which the protagonist is journeying. That sense of movement through the music is very palpable. Indeed, the majority of this music is evenly paced and it can take a while to feel familiar but there is - as with so much of her music - a great sense of playfulness, tactility and theatricality. These elements are important to how the record has endured the past year. Hearing the variation on Satie’s Gnossiennes No.1 in Battle Of Trees is an exercise in restraint, akin to a controlled explosion and taken much further on later tracks such as Fearlessness and Star Whisperer.


These are dense, often labyrinthine song structures that meander across long run times while retaining a specific pop music sensibility. Although it’s more likely the case, this shouldn’t deter classical aficionados. After all, Tori was a conservatory-trained pianist from the age of five and is accompanied here by string and wind octets courtesy of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Apollon Musagète. Personally I’m not well versed in classical music so I won’t even attempt to deconstruct the source material, yet I know that Tori’s scope and range of selections is vast, covering the Baroque and late Romantic periods. The addition of Tori’s daughter Tash on songs such as the title track, SnowBlind and the beautiful Job’s Coffin proves a welcome addition. It’s almost scary how mature and well rounded her vocals are for a ten year old (she’s now twelve), even more so when we consider that she actually made her recording debut on Tori’s 2009 release Midwinter Graces. Considering the magical mystery feel of the record that’s rooted in a very imaginative fantasy world, it’s perhaps to be expected that Night Of Hunters feels like her least personable record to date. Yet for a woman who has spent two decades wearing her heart on a very blood-soaked sleeve, she has more than earned the right to indulge her senses. Tori’s listener base continues to decrease with each passing year and her music has travelled to many interesting and varied places over the course of her career. Yet one thing remains unchanged, and that’s her ability to continually push her music into places that she has previously uninhabited. She is forever taking risks. Not all of them pay off, but her level of commitment is a thing of beauty all its own. She is an artist in the truest sense of the word and Night Of Hunters represents a high point in a career with many creative peaks.

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1YRON aims to shine the spotlight on albums exactly one year after their release. Presented as an alternative to writing about them instantaneously, I hope to recall the album in question with a fondness of time having passed. Perhaps you may even be inspired to go back and discover something new.

Since physical and digital release dates often vary worldwide (the US commonly a day after the UK for example, or for smaller releases, sometimes weeks or months apart), these reviews will only be published on their UK or US physical release date (whichever comes first).

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