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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Throw away the dusters!
From 1992's shattering "Little earthquakes" to 2011's haunting "Night of hunters", Tori Amos has certainly come a long way. With 12 studio albums, and 40+ singles, her compelling songwriting genius has produced countless moments to treasure forever. Celebrating 2 decades of recording, Tori decides to pay a visit to her back catalogue. She does not really...
Published on 28 Oct. 2012 by Scarlet Jupiter

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long time Tori fans might be a little underwhelmed
There are no new tracks on this album - they are all remakes of songs from Tori's previous albums, and frankly, most of the originals sounded better (songs such as Cloud on My Tongue, Winter and Snow Cherries from France already had classical scores to them, and I just found them more emotionally powerful the first time around)
I did go and see Tori live this month...
Published on 12 Oct. 2012 by D. Lucas


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long time Tori fans might be a little underwhelmed, 12 Oct. 2012
By 
D. Lucas "guidebook vulture" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gold Dust (Audio CD)
There are no new tracks on this album - they are all remakes of songs from Tori's previous albums, and frankly, most of the originals sounded better (songs such as Cloud on My Tongue, Winter and Snow Cherries from France already had classical scores to them, and I just found them more emotionally powerful the first time around)
I did go and see Tori live this month when she was touring in London with the Metropole orchestra, and it was a beautiful concert - Tori's voice was very clear, and the strings complimented her vocals and piano playing perfectly. The songs sounded much better live than they do on this record, because in concert, the orchestra gave unique intros to each song, and there were lots of dramatic little pauses. Unfortunately, this album doesn't quite match up to the live show, and I would rather have bought a live recording of the concert.

That's not to say that Gold Dust is a bad record at all, just that if you've been following Tori for a long time, you might find that it doesn't quite meet up to expectations. But if you are relatively new to Tori's music, or you enjoy classical music in general and would like something a little alternative, then I would reccommend Gold Dust.

I'd say that the two major tracks that do stand out on this album are the first track Flavour, which sounds much more upbeat and more emotionally stirring than it did on Abnormally Attracted to Sin, and the final track Girl Disappearing, in which Tori puts much better pronunciation on the lyrics than she did in American Doll Posse. I find that the messages and stories behind both tracks come across so much better in their revamped forms on this record.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Throw away the dusters!, 28 Oct. 2012
By 
Scarlet Jupiter - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gold Dust (Audio CD)
From 1992's shattering "Little earthquakes" to 2011's haunting "Night of hunters", Tori Amos has certainly come a long way. With 12 studio albums, and 40+ singles, her compelling songwriting genius has produced countless moments to treasure forever. Celebrating 2 decades of recording, Tori decides to pay a visit to her back catalogue. She does not really need a reason for revisiting her own stuff whenever she pleases, but this anniversary calls for a special flashback. Never one to follow the usual tactics of most artists, even when it comes to re-releasing old material, she does it in her own unorthodox way. Instead of gathering the obvious hits, she makes an unexpected selection of tracks to comprise this career-retrospective release, that serves more as a reminder of her idiosyncratic artistic persona rather than a typical greatest hits package.

Drawing from 10 of her 12 albums, "Dust" presents a 14-song setlist that forms a Tori-fic concept record. Being the mother of these babies, Tori is entitled to her own cherry-picking, no matter how peculiar it seems. Not afraid of giving birth once again to her girls-songs, she goes one step furher and re-records them with full orchestral backing (courtesy of the Netherlands-based Metropole Orchestra), and she manages to offer new perspective to some of them, often even surpassing the tremendous strength of the early versions. Bold or unnecessary, re-interpreting such a repertoire is a challenging experiment, thus, she can be forgiven for the occasional self-indulgence. "Dust" is a pretty accessible record for newcomers and casual listeners alike, representing Tori's prolific catalogue. New arrangements, new vocals, new old, new gold.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could have been considerably better, 10 Oct. 2012
By 
A. Ribeiro (Earth (for now)) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gold Dust (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
I gave this product 4 out 5. For anyone out there that is unfamiliar with Tori Amos' legacy, this is just a sample of great quality music with amazing lyrics, something we hope there is more of, rather than the crap we hear on the radio and clubs nowadays.

For all the hardcore Tori Amos fans out there I'm assuming this is disappointment that doesn't deserve more than 2 out of 5. Why? Her voice just isn't the same. Anastasia is my favourite Tori Amos song of all time and having reduced it from its original 10 minutes to around 4 minutes is very disappointing. While the original is extremely powerful with Tori accompanied mostly by her piano, the newer version is overpowered by backing vocals and instruments. The same can be said of Silent all these years, Winter, etc.

I was expecting an orchestra to improve many of the songs but I didn't find any song on this album that is better than the original. Part of what made Tori Amos such a great artist was the fact that she could pull off entire concerts just her and a Piano, and suddenly hearing all these new renditions shows just how good she was and wondering if we'll ever get our old Tori Amos back. I certainly hope so.

Another thing that bothered me were the choices of songs for this album. Scarlet's Walk which is arguably one of Tori's best albums only features one song, and not even of the best ones of the album! But somehow Programmable Soda and Star of Wonder managed to get in. One can argue that the selection is subjective but wouldn't it make sense to promote songs from here better selling albums (and generally better albums)?

I hope we get the old Tori Amos back. I personally though it was all great and amazing until the Beekeeper - and I really pray for her to pick up from there.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Likely to gather gold dust on my shelf, 5 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Gold Dust (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
This project could have had a lot of potential but to me its an opportunity wasted.
I was expecting radical reinterpretations of some of Tori's back catalogue but the majority of the tracks are just re-recordings of the originals and sound practically identical to the original album versions. Tracks such as Winter, Silent All These Years, Flying Dutchman and Gold Dust already had orchestral elements to them and are rendered utterly pointless to listen to as they are the same as the album versions.
It would have been far more interesting if Tori had chosen to reinterpret tracks from Venus or Choirgirl such as Bliss, 1000 Oceans or Black Dove. A case in point is Tori's version of Cruel during the Night of Hunters tour.
Overall this is so disappointing from an artist I expect more from and I'm afraid whose best output is now behind her..very frustrating
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where did the old passion go?, 1 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Gold Dust (Audio CD)
I am a big fan of "Boys for Pele" and "From the choirgirl hotel", and I feel really disappointed about the lack of passion and colour Tori's offering us at this moment. She's still great, of course, but it seems that she's not really into the songs. If this is maturity, I don't wanted her to be mature.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remastered and revisited, maybe not reinvented, 30 Nov. 2012
By 
Amillionmiles (Hove, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gold Dust (Audio CD)
After the strong Classical influence on her 2011 effort "Night Of Hunters", Tori Amos has chosen to render this style to some of her masterpieces on "Gold Dust", her 13th studio album. I do quite enjoy listening to alternate versions of songs as they can often be completely transformed and reinvented - but, on this release, not all of them are as Tori has picked a few songs that sound very similar to their original versions as they are still piano led with orchestral arrangements. But overall, it does live up to the expectation.

The opening track "Flavor" is transformed from a poignant and sombre Pop Rock tune into a grandiose orchestral led ballad. "Yes, Anastasia" is a condensed version of the original, but that is pretty much the only noticeable change. The same goes for "Jackie's Strength" and "Cloud On My Tongue" although they are just as beautiful as when I first heard them in the 90's, the latter being one of my favorite Tori tracks. The fantastic "Precious Things" sounds just as creative and angst driven with a full blown orchestra as it did with electric guitars which is a pretty good achievement. I do not really remember "Gold Dust" from "Scarlet's Walk", but it does sound revived on here and much classier. "Star Of Wonder" is also quite spectacular and is greatly improved. "Winter" is just as perfect as the "Little Earthquakes" version released 20 years ago. "Flying Dutchman" is an uplifting number that I had only heard once before as it does not feature on one of her other studio albums, so it is nice that she has included one of her rarer tracks. "Programmable Soda" has such a lovely melody - it is such a shame that it is such a short song. "Snow Cherries From France" sounds much better than on her compilation album "Tales Of A Librarian", "Marianne" and "Silent All These Years" sound just as majestic and theatrical whilst "Girl Disappearing" ends the album with tenderness and the usual intrigue that surrounds Tori and her music.

"Gold Dust" as a whole is a great concept and it does work. However, I think I would have preferred it if Tori had chosen to change the melodies a little more rather than just the arrangements (and some of the vocal harmonies). I would have probably also liked her to chose some more daring song choices such as "Cornflake Girl" or "Professional Widow", but I will settle for what she has done on here as it is a strong collection of some of her best work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just a really nice re working of older songs rearranged with the orchestra, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: Gold Dust (Audio CD)
Just a really nice re working of older songs rearranged with the orchestra. Interesting to hear the 'how I sing them now' style that reflects the Tori's continuing journey from young 'rock chick with attitude' to a mature artist .... that can still rock it when she wants to!
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3.0 out of 5 stars I do NOT have cloth ears!, 19 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Gold Dust (Audio CD)
I've admired and bought Tori's music for over 20 years. Her latest 2014 album is wonderful, as were all of her previous albums before 'Gold Dust'. I've only just bought this album, I didn't buy it on release for various reasons, the luke-warm reviews for a start and because it was always very expensive. To get to the point - I can't hear much - or any difference between these 'orchestral' versions of previous material and the the original recordings. I do listen to music properly, my hearing is acute and I enjoy music, particularly classical. I actually thought that my CD was miss-pressed until I read further opinions on the album, I thought they had included a compilation of the original recordings instead of the promised orchestral re-recordings. But no. I really can't hear any significant difference. It just feels like another compilation, rather than a follow-up to the brilliant 'Night Of Hunters'. Could have been so much more dramatic, a live recording with full orchestra would have made this a better album.
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4.0 out of 5 stars With a better song choice..., 6 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Gold Dust (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
I think the idea of reworking songs with an orchestral arrangement can be fantastic and in many cases it is with this album like Flavour, Marianne, Gold Dust etc, but, personally with such a wealthy catalogue i don't know why she chose certain songs (Programmable Soda) when others would of been incredible even unexpected! Still an interesting album delivered with the usual passion.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A constant Tori fan's review, 6 Oct. 2012
By 
Andromeda Descendent (Tarn Vedra) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Gold Dust (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
Bear with me please - my review really starts in the last paragraph, but after reading some reviews here and elsewhere I thought it would help to give some context as to where I stand before I give my review. Note that I bought the deluxe CD, which has a bonus DVD with videos for Flavor and Gold Dust and is designed like a small book, but the reviews seem to be pooled together so I'll stick to the CD review.

There is often a big gulf between various groups of people who review Tori Amos albums. There is the group who may not have heard or liked anything since Little Earthquakes and Under The Pink, and always seem surprised that Tori's style of music has changed as she's aged. There is the group who love everything without being critical. And there is the group who keep resurfacing to criticise Tori for not being as good as she used to be, whilst nevertheless continuing to buy every one of her albums. There are the haters who like to pose as outraged fans to elicit a reaction (don't say there aren't any, I actually know someone like that). And, of course, there is every shade in-between.

It's people's choice whether or not to buy an album of songs that have been reworked in a certain way, be it orchestral, remix or acoustic - or even a best of - so people who use the words "rip-off" I feel have already undermined their own arguments. I think a small part of this currently comes from people who are understandably annoyed that two bonus tracks are only available if you buy the whole album again from different sources. Record companies should feel ashamed by that sort of tactic.

As for me, I've loved all of Tori's albums and always listen to new work with an open mind. There have been songs I've not been as keen on as others, but overall there have been more songs I've loved than been lukewarm about. I believe that artists should be able to change their style and reinvent themselves and we can't try and pin them down to eternally write the kind of songs they were writing at a particular point in their lives. I believe that I can still write a review as a fan and be critical in a constructive way. Here goes.

This album contains 14 songs that Tori has recorded before in a studio context, reworked to have a full orchestral backing. The choice of songs to be reworked in this way is something that fans could argue about all day, as Tori has such a large back catalogue. I personally was a bit sceptical when I saw the line-up - Flavor as an opening track for example - but I listened with an open mind and I really heard the difference in all of the tracks. The lyrics are the same - there's none of the chopping and changing Tori may do in live shows - and some of the inflections in these versions are on different words or lines - but the main change really is in the vibrancy and lushness of the soundscape an orchestra brings. Some of the songs really benefit from this, and you suddenly realise that they should always have been treated this way - a great example of this being Yes, Anastasia. Winter and Silent All These Years also really benefit. If you prefer the originals, you can go back and listen to them any time, but I love having the choice of hearing these songs in a new light. A couple of other songs that I was lukewarm about before, I actually like now because of the new versions. I said above that I'd be critical, and again this must be taken in the context that today's Tori is older and in a happier place than she was during her earliest albums, but some of the rawness of emotion that haunts the original songs is notably lacking. This is most apparent on Precious Things and Silent All These Years, the originals of which tear at your soul, but with the addition of an orchestra the stark intimacy is gone, and subconsciously I think that this must have influenced Tori during the recordings because although her voice is beautiful, the raw edges she put into emphasising some of the lines in the originals have been blunted down a bit. That doesn't put me off the songs - I've already said that Silent All These Years benefits from the orchestra, but I say that in terms of the music, not necessarily the vocal. In my opinion, only two or three songs are weakened by this orchestral nature smoothing out, or rather soothing out, the raw emotional edges in Tori's singing. The majority of the songs are improved by the orchestra, and often also by the change of inflection Tori puts in the vocals. Flying Dutchman for example has never been better, and even a less popular track as Programmable Soda feels the benefit. That is the way that I see it.
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