- 29 Oct 21
Lockdown album from quirky songwriter harks back to past glories.
The concept of lockdown didn’t sit well with Tori Amos, who describes the enforced stillness as her own “private hell”. However, out of adversity she has created an album that harks back to her best work. Written and recorded in Cornwall during Covid, Amos’ sixteenth album has an overarching theme of coping with loss and tragedy. “It’s about sitting in the muck together,” she insists. “I’m going to meet you in the muck.”
Amos’ voice has rarely sounded better, from the multi-tracked chorus of "Shame, shame” on the southern gothic ‘Devil’s Bane’ to the haunting ‘Swim To New York State’. There’s a timeless quality to the delicate piano-and-vocals of ‘Flowers Burn To Gold’, while the aching ‘Speaking With Trees’ sweeps the listener up into its soaring embrace.
‘Spies’ is quite a jaunty gallop, built on the foundations of a bouncing bassline that propels the song forward, while the rhythmic overload and dub-bass of ’29 Years’ is a lyrical sibling to The National’s ‘Slow Show’. The title track is vintage Amos, with verses that drip melancholy, welded to a chorus as hook-laden as a fisherman’s knapsack, and the theatrical drama of ‘Metal Water Wood’ is similarly up there with her finest work. A more than welcome career highlight.