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Tori Amos—Night of Hunters

Release info:

2011—Deutsch Grammophon—B0015849-02



Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Tori Amos—Bösendorfer, vocals

Guest artists:

Laura Lucas—flute, alto flute
Nigel Shore—oboe, English horn
Andreas Ottensamer—clarinet
Peter Whelan—bassoon
Luke Whitehead—contra bassoon
Apollon Musagète Quartet—strings:
      Pawel Zalejski—violin
      Bartosz Zachlod—violin
      Piotr Szumiel—viola
      Piotr Skweres—cello
Natashya Hawley—vocals (2, 5, 7, 11)
Kelsey Dobyns—vocals (12)

Produced by:

Tori Amos


I love this album, and I have not loved a Tori album since Scarlet's Walk. The songs are built off of classical works, but for the most part I don't recognize them. And I actually love what she does with Satie's "Gnossienne No. 1" in "Battle of Trees." I listen to the album more for the instrumentals (gorgeous strings and especially woodwinds) than the lyrics. The piano work reminds me a lot of Under the Pink (songs like "Bells for Her") and sometimes of Boys for Pele. A couple of songs make me think of Scarlet's Walk. The appearances of Tori's daughter Natashya Hawley and niece Kelsey Dobyns neither bother me nor blow me away; there aren't that many of them and I actually like the way their voices and approaches to singing play off Tori's delivery. Overall this is a beautifully realized album, one you can just listen to and enjoy or really explore. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Loving this album so far, been off Tori for a while, but wow. Just blown away by this. (

I thought this was surprisingly good. I'll be honest that I feel like there has been some diminishing returns there lately. I don't know if I've really loved an album since Scarlet's Walk. But I thought Night of Hunters was a great album. (

One of the best albums of the year. (

I'm enjoying this too, but since it doesn't offer addictive pop sugar or rock passion, I find it easy to go 'that's pretty' and tune out.
     So glad Deutsche Grammophon suggested this to Tori and made her model the pieces on those of brilliant composers—what a great way to drag her out of the land of cheesy guitar solos, uninspired rock and saccharine ballads. Unfortunately she seems to have modeled her lyrics on self help books and florid mythological works. I don't mind purple prose myth, it suits the mood of the pieces when blood and ancient elms show up, but the pop psych bits are clunkers, e.g. "let's resynch my world / with a harmonic defiance I'll face this", "grid of disempowerment."
     My favorite songs might be epic 'Star Whisperer' (Schubert) and 'Edge of the Moon' (Bach with a Beatlesque bit), and simpler 'Fearlessness' and 'Snowblind' (both Granados). 'Nautical Twilight' is also fun cos I enjoy Mendelssohn. I think ballads 'Your Ghost' and 'Carry' are not much better than recent sappy Tori ballads, and 'Cactus Practice' is as stoopid as it sounds. (

I simply can't listen to this. (

Tori Amos' other recordings:

The main Tori Amos page

Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2021-09-06 19:36:19.
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