Universal Republic Records
Only Tori’s unique talent can make a seasonally-themed album work this well
“Oh no,” I must admit I initially thought on receiving this in my review package, “Tori’s done a Christmas album!” Knowing how frequently such things descend into the mire of schmaltz in even the most talented and capable hands (ever seen David Bowie’s version of “Little Drummer Boy”?), I had, to say the least, some reservations. But this is Tori Amos, after all, and knock me down with a feather if she hasn’t pulled it off.
OK, it probably helps that most of the songs on “Midwinter Graces” are either her own winter-themed originals or are much more well known (I assume) in the US than the UK, giving me little opportunity to have had my understanding of the songs tainted by repeated listens to inferior versions (or even worse, having been force to sing them at school!) But what really makes this record not just listenable but truly enjoyable is, as always, the deftness and skill with which Tori’s talent for arrangement can breathe life into even the tiredest melodies. I should also point out that this is strictly speaking a “seasonal” album and that most of the songs do not have an overtly Christian message attached.
No, this is just as beautiful and soulful a listen as anything you will have heard from Tori before. Though most fans (including myself) have their favourite among her burgeoning discography, no matter how many records she releases she never slips below a certain standard, and that is equally true here. See the likes of “Star Of Wonder” or “Emmanuel” for the most delicious proof.
By: EDDIE THOMAS
Fonte: toriphorums e Subba-Cultcha.