I have to admit that I first approached Tori Amos' new seasonal album Midwinter Graces (out tomorrow) with some trepidation. Her previous body of work combined with other recent holiday record disasters (i.e. Bob Dylan) pointed towards an album that could go terribly terribly wrong. This was of particular concern as the album was being billed as a collection of seasonal favorites alongside new Amos-penned songs.
A few bars into the record and those fears subsided. Amos' voice is perfectly suited to this kind of music. Her delivery is gorgeous and melds well with the vibrant choral arrangements. Those arrangements are best when they include less traditional elements. For example, the middle eastern rhythms on "Holly, Ivy, and Rose" transform the track from a tepid standard to a wholly engaging new experience.
My concern regarding the lyrical content was also misplaced. There are nary the references to conjoined twins in a manger or menstruating angels that could so easily have come from Amos. Instead of her usual attempts to disturb, she really does use her lyrics to celebrate the season and make it welcoming to all.
If you only wish to buy one seasonal album this holiday season you really won't find anything more beautiful than Midwinter Graces.
Best tracks: "Harps of Gold", "A Silent Night With You"
Track listing for Midwinter Graces:
What Child, Nowell
Star of Wonder
A Silent Night With You
Candle: Coventry Carol
Holly, Ivy, and Rose
Harps of Gold
Pink and Glitter
Our New Year
Comfort and Joy
Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht
Fonte: @forumz e Snob's Music.