UG Review

(those of you who are not tori fans will probably want to forego reading this)

Unrepentant Geraldines

Unrepentant Geraldines
Tori Amos
Released 13 May 2014

Overall comment — This is a solid Tori album. I think the range and tone of her voice is the best it’s been in years. That said, the unfortunate use of the vocal doubling effect is annoying. It’s overused. It’s unnecessary. In truth, I think the production of the album as a whole is questionable. The fact that the album is successful in spite of this speaks to Tori’s talent as a singer and songwriter. She should, however, consider a new production team.

Rose Dover — Ugh. That’s what I think whenever I hear “If you see Rose Dover” — I don’t care if it’s her secret name, I can’t skip to the next track fast enough. No, thank you. (1/10)

Giant’s Rolling Pin — I listened to this one once and that’s more than enough. What IS this? I don’t understand the need to have throwaway tracks like this on an album. A quirky b-side, maybe? But it doesn’t belong here. Waste of my time and album space. Nothing to see here, folks. (1/10)

Invisible Boy — All I think of when I hear this is: show tune. I don’t know if this came from Tori’s days working on the Light Princess, but that’s all I hear. Nice piano, but otherwise, meh. (3/10)

Promise — I wanted to completely hate this song, but there was something in it I actually liked at first. I have no idea what it was, but I would find the song in my head and think, “what’s this? I kinda like it” and then realize it was Promise. I get the Tash thing, I get the alternating voices, I get the message, but can’t Tori and Tash keep this to themselves? I’ve moved on. Next. (3/10)

Maids of Elfen-Mere — Forgettable. Nothing objectionable but nothing stand out either. I don’t mind it but I would not choose to listen to it either. (5/10)

Wild Way — Nice piano. Everything is stripped down and simple, no overproduction, and that’s nice. But somehow this just falls a little flat for me and I’m not sure why. Thought this one would grow more for me, but it hasn’t. (5/10)

Oysters — I fell victim to the pre-release hype surrounding this song. It’s lovely and I love me a solo piano track, but I was thinking this was the second coming of “Gold Dust” and it just wasn’t even close. Sigh. (6/10)

Selkie — A solid solo piano track. Definitely good stuff, but not great. And Tori can do great. (7/10)

Unrepentant Geraldines — Groovy. It has a 70s feel or something going on, but it’s overproduced. Oh, Tori. This could have been so much better. The solo piano part is amazing! More of that, please. And what’s going on with the “Vicar’s wife” part at the end? It makes no sense. So much potential. (7/10)

Trouble’s Lament — I’ve known this song the longest and it’s grown on me.  It’s a good single, but it’s even stronger to me when I listen to it in the context of the album.    (7/10)

America — I like this as the opener. I like the bridge. This is a solid starter. (8/10)

16 Shades of Blue — This was the standout track for me when I first started listening. It’s slipped a bit in the rankings since, but I still love me some 16 Shades. Let’s state the obvious — it’s overproduced. Sounds of bombs and ticking clocks, really, Tori? We’re smarter than that. You’re smarter than that. But this song is successful in spite of the production. To me, that means it could have been great. (9/10)

Weatherman — Haunting and soft and beautiful. I love all the painting and colour references. This is beautifully done and heartbreaking. (9/10)

Wedding Day — This has the same “old world” feel I get from Snow Cherries. Love. (10/10)

Forest of Glass — Yes! This is the solo piano track to save the album! I have no idea why this is a “bonus” — it easily trumps Selkie and Oysters in my mind. The piano is so beautiful with obvious classical influences and the lyrics just speak to me. It restores my faith in everything Tori to know that she can still pull out something like this. (10/10)

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