Top positive review
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Special edition is ABSOLUTELY worth the money
on 1 June 2014
Tori's music is very special to a lot of people, and it's not an over-exaggeration to say that if you are a fan of Tori Amos each new album is greatly anticipated. One of the reasons for this is that she's one of those rare people who stores up experiences – be they personal, discovered through conversations with people, or experiences of literature and art – and is able to weave incredible songs out of them, each of which tells a story that perhaps has never been told in such a way before. Where some recording artists seem after a few albums to lose some of the inspiration that made them their names, Tori's own life experience continually gives her new inspiration. Each album is an album that her younger self may not have thought of creating.
Approaching 50 as she wrote this, she explains in the special edition DVD that a number of songs on this album are about the things you think about when you get older, and her relationship with her teenage daughter Tash has also influenced her writing as it's given her another perspective on youth and how society's expectations influence us at both these stages of our lives.
I won't go through the tracks in turn, as there'll already be reviews on here doing that and I want to focus on the special edition, but I do want to say that although there's none of the rawness of earlier albums, this, to me, feels like a classic Tori album in several meanings of that word. There are real echoes of Night of Hunters in the way the music almost sounds in parts like classical music, there are some very haunting moments across the album, and there are songs here that will, I think, win over the sub-set of Tori fans for whom nothing is ever going to be as good as the first two albums (particularly the single Trouble's Lament and piano-led songs Selkie, Oysters and Invisible Boy).
The special edition CD comes with a great extra track that is not available for download as of yet. Whilst I love the track Invisible Boy, Forest of Glass to my mind makes a much better final track. Whilst I also love the other two extra tracks only available on digital download, this track seems to me like an integral part of this album and I am very surprised it doesn't come with the standard version. If you're intending to get the standard CD then please stop and have a think about this first, or at least look out for when they hopefully make this track available for separate download, because once you hear it, you may also think this album missing a piece without it.
The accompanying DVD has the following features and run times:
Studio Tour 5:35
Photo Shoot 3:44
The interview is one of the most illuminating Tori's ever recorded for an album. She explains the meaning of the album's title and gives an explanation of each of the songs in turn, giving a lot of insight into why the songs were written, her views on the America the world doesn't see, her relationship with her daughter and even her thoughts on the recent controversy about spying.