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Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Oct 12th, 2017

Tori Amos: Native Invader

Tori Amos
Native Invaders
(Decca)

Buy it at Amazon!

Tori Amos has always held a special place in my heart. Her voice is so vulnerable, but you can see shards of glass just beyond the veiled horizon of her soft sound. I implore you to play the Little Earthquakes masterpieces “Silent All These Years” or “Winter” at full volume (with just her and a piano) and tell me they are not some of the most powerful pieces of songwriting that you’ve ever heard.

Her cover of Lloyd Cole’s “Rattlesnakes” is better than the original. Tori Amos is where I go when I need a hug. I am a certified metalhead, but scoop up her albums with glee upon release. Her hypnotic tones and church mantle lightning mood are where it’s at. Amos’ records are storybook journeys of deep salvation. While this may have fallen off in recent years, her new record, Native Invader, is the best things she has done in a decade.

When Amos sings, it’s hard not to feel something. “Reindeer Games” is a long piano driven ballad that hooks you right out of the gate. “Broken Arrow” brings a sultry and sexy wah-wah guitar sound and a smoky feel. “Up the Creek” offers a vocal arpeggio that is reminiscent of an Appalachian bluegrass hymn, with a beat that does not belong, but you find that it was exactly what was needed.

“Breakaway” is a heart wrenching ballad, while “Wildwood” drives that same heartbreak with an electronic beat. “Climb,” “Benjamin,” and “Mary’s Eyes” all have that same diminished story line beautifully rendered with Amos’ voice and piano soaring. “Upside Down” is the second to last song on the record, but just might be its most beautiful.

Amos stated that this record wasn’t meant to be about “pain, blood, and bone”, but as she watched America become traumatized by division, along with the election, she found herself writing about those “raw emotions.” Whatever it is, there is an instant connection with Native Invader’s deep, poetic verse that will cling to you like an anxious dryer sheet.

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Tori Amos: Native Invader