Just what I needed
In my opinion this is her best album since Scarlet’s Walk. So relevant during these times, and it really gave me some power around our current situation in the world.
Can’t stop listening
I think this is Tori’s Best album since Scarlet’s Walk. This album really sets a mood. Her emotion comes through so strong in these songs. The chords, melody, and lyrics make you feel what she was feeling, just like a Joni Mitchell album does. I love these songs and I listen to at least some of this album every day. There’s so much here, it’s going to take me a few months to fully explore all the intricacies of the songs.
Tori Amos is an acquired taste. But much like wine, good wine, she improves with age. Not numerical age, but the time, the spans of time one spends listening to her voice, style, musical skills on keyboards, and the blending of this magnificent talent in producing the most creative sound Unknown and unequal in the genre of melodies.
She not only excels in the creative process but she exceeds previously albums with New and better material. From early days of “Cornflake Girl” to this most recent release, she captivated listeners with voice vibrato and lyrics to magnificent keyboard renditions that ebb and flow throughout each production on this latest release.
Bravo to yet another outstanding presentation of the talented songwriting and the subtle mixture of modulating voice interpreting each song with meaning and emotion.
Reflects the Tori we all love. A new perspective with gorgeous mix of piano and vocals. Amazing.
Stunning Expressions of Power and Pain - Best new album since the early 2000's
A much needed album for "these times". If you are a lifelong Ear Eith Feet, or a casual listener but haven't kept up with Tori Amos over recent years, this album is a resurgence. While resistence and protest songs are aplenty right now, most all fall short, or flat, in their ability to truly change how the listener thinks, acts and learns. Tori Amos is one of the few artists today who has the incredible ability to channel the fear, isolation, anger, sense of loss, of our world in chaos into extraordinary music.
Reindeer King is Amos at her finest and purest: One of the worlds most talented pianists, lyricists and voices, reminding us how powerful she can be when stripped down to those superlatives. A classic for sure.
Climb brings Amos to her roots of empowerment, religion, and guilt - and created a song that at once reflects struggles of the opressed, of women, and of the transgendered.
Broken Arrow is a simply stunning, border-line anthem of a song that should ignite fury and power to anyone who has given up the fight for equality and peace.
Bang is Amos letting loose as a rock star. Low-register, hard base, cosmic references - this is a Tori we knew in the late 90's. A song that has Amos calling to be "the very best machine" she can be - gets your blood flowing and your midn fired up.
Breakaway is an Amos ballad that will spark debate about the song's true meaning and be interpreted by her fans in so many ways for years to come (which is just what some of her best work has and continues to do). This song carries the weight of regret, fear, and resilience, that many of her best work does - and lyrics are on par with some of her work that has evolved over the years as speaking so strongly and emotionally to her legions of gay (LGBT) fans. Stay tuned for how this one is played live.
Mary's Eyes is Amos raw - her desperation, love, and pain is felt from her first utterance and is a stunning expression of the agony of loss of a life held so dear.
Tori tackles tough subjects with delicate grace. I have followed her since 1991 and I will never stop. I believe this is her best work since Scarlet's Walk. This album is so relevent in today's political and social climate, plus it resonates on a deep, personal level for me.
Amos Once Again Shows Her Talent for Turning the Personal and Political into Art
By E.P. Clark
I’ve always been conflicted about Tori Amos.
Actually, that’s not true. I thought, and still think, that “Under the Pink” and “Boys for Pele” were not just a couple of the best albums released in the 1990s, but perhaps some of the best albums released in the 20th century. Bold words, I know, but true.
That notwithstanding, my love for Amos’s music was always hemmed around with criticisms and caveats. She was brilliant, so brilliant, but…but her albums were long and weird, with songs that ranged from unbearably raw (I’ve only been able to listen to “Me and a Gun” all the way through maybe once in my 20+ years of owning the album) to the intolerably silly (“Hello Mr. Zebra,” anyone?). And I found a lot of her later work, with the exception of “The Beekeeper,” to be unapproachable. Why couldn’t she just settle down, streamline her production, and only focus on making music that made me, personally, happy?
So I approached the release of her latest effort, “Native Invader,” with equal parts excitement and apprehension. Would it be brilliant? Would it be ridiculously weird and over-conceptualized? Or would it be both?
The answer, of course, is that it’s both. Having listened to it daily for a week now, I can say that it’s entered my personal canon of favorite Tori Amos albums, up there with “Under the Pink,” “Boys for Pele,” “From the Choirgirl Hotel,” and “The Beekeeper.” It showcases Amos’s soaring vocals and delicately luscious piano work, her ability to create a sound that’s both catchily melodic and completely unique, and lyrics that are in turn earnest, mystical, profound, and just plain silly. As a listening experience it’s lovely and soothing, with some beautiful stand-out tracks such as the ethereal “Reindeer King” and gospel-tinged “The Climb.”
Conceptually, it is more obviously unified than many of Amos’s previous albums. Other reviewers have already noted the overt environmentalism of its message, and indeed, that takes front and center in many of the songs, showcasing Amos’s talent for combining the personal and the political into art: what would have sounded clunky or preachy in other hands is turned here into a medium that transcends the message.
And this is certainly an album that has a message, although it goes deeper than may be immediately obvious. The need to heal various breaches is present from the opening lines of the opening track, “Reindeer King,” in which Amos sings “Crystal core / Your mind has been divided from your soul / Now you say you are that stranger on your shore.” This division and the need to overcome it is initially presented as personal in the early songs in the album, but becomes increasingly general and political, finishing with the final track, “Russia,” in which Amos calls for both those on the right and the left to build a bridge.
This bridge-building is not just to those outside of us. The real split in this album is ultimately inside the protagonist, inside of us–we are the “native invaders” and “strangers on [our own] shore,” who need to be more like the chocolate in “Chocolate Song,” with its perfect tension between bitter and sweet. Amos does not claim that she can heal that breach, but in “Native Invader,” she recognizes it for what it is, and calls for us to reunite the broken parts inside us.
Which has made me think, really think, about the nature of Amos’s art and my valuation of it. I had been accustomed to thinking of her as “Brilliant Tori” and “Silly Tori,” and wishing that “Brilliant Tori” could get rid of “Silly Tori” so that the former could buckle down and concentrate on making music according to my strict standards of what was good, eschewing all that I thought was bad. But listening to “Native Invader” has made me realize that “Brilliant Tori” and “Silly Tori” are really one and the same, and that the one cannot exist without the other. Both “Brilliant” and “Silly” Tori are the organic components of “True Tori,” and a lot of “Brilliant Tori’s” brilliance is based on “Silly Tori’s” silliness. If Amos were to strip away all the parts of her art that I considered to be extraneous or in bad taste, it would no longer be her art, but just more bland pop music. Her albums need the lengthy digressions into weirdness to make them what they are. Or in other words, when it comes to truly groundbreaking artists, it’s probably the things about them you like the least that make them what they are.
What a most beautiful album. Took a few listens to appreciate the first single it but I'm glad I did. "Bang" is a standout for me! Wow!
By FLUX BOY
Wow! Her voice continues to shine and is the most beautiful female voice in music! The mix of piano and electronica with Tori's voice all come together beautifully. Unlike most of her cds this one in my opinion is more accessible then most. I still can't get over how beautiful her voice is. Usually as artists get older their voices don't hold up, but when I saw her on tour for Unpentant Geraldines and again with this cd her voice is better than ever. To bad your not playing South Florida like you always do. I will greatly miss seeing you live.