REVIEW: Tori Amos ‘Night of the Hunters’

Tori Amos sings a slightly different tune with her first album for the legendary classical Deutsche Grammophon label. With Night of the Hunters, she creates an orchestral woodsy gothic atmosphere that plays more like an opera than an album.

This is precisely her intention as the tracks unfold in a song cycle instead of a mere track list. Although the opener, “Shattering Sea” is misguided in its musical delivery with aggressive and jarring tones, she sets sail beautifully with second track “Snowblind.” Enlisting the help of her 11 year-old daughter, Natashya Hawley,who has a surprisingly mature handle on her own voice, the track puts the listener in the right atmosphere for the thoughtful album.

Amos’ classical background is no secret so perhaps this is the album she was meant to make. She doesn’t miss the mark with luxurious instrumentations that belong in a different time — like in Middle Earth. Titles like “Battle of the Trees,” “Star Whisperer” and the title track give way to such an ambiance, as does her mystical voice.

As beautiful as the poetic nature of the album is, it gets a little wearisome. Fourteen tracks is a heavy load to bear with such complexities and I wished she had gone for a less is more approach.

—  Rich Lopez