Tori Amos | Unrepentant Geraldines (Mercury Classics)

cd tori-amosUnrepentant Geraldines is what most Amos fans have been patiently waiting for. She is back to being the artist we know and love.

 

The Goddess of the Bosendorfer is back. Tori Amos recently unleashed her 14th studio album, entitled Unrepentant Geraldines. This album is a slight return to the Amos of past years. Leaning more toward the Under the Pink era, this is a baroque, yet melodic and approachable, album. This is also the artist’s 8th album to debut in the Top 10 of Billboard magazine’s Top 200, coming in at #7.

Produced by Amos herself, this release features less “piano-only” tunes, and enjoys the embellishment of an actual band behind her. This is a rhythm- driven album. Much more emphasis is put on the percussion and electric parts than was on past releases.

Lyrically inspired by visual art, the songs range from the opening track “America” ( a spotlight track),which speaks of “the other America”—the one that we could have been—to first single “Trouble’s Lament,” a clever tune asking for help for Trouble, who needs assistance: “Trouble needs a home, girls/ Trouble need a home.”

Unrepentant Geraldines is Tori Amos at her best. Lyrically cryptic and personal, she is a superior lyricist. Combine that with her piano virtuosity and angelic voice, and the beauty of her creation comes forth in colorful splendor. The addition of the backing band creates even more color, and the album shines like a beacon in a storm. Spotlight tracks here include “America,” “Trouble’s Lament,” “Wild Way,” a song of innocence lost and of a hate-fueled love, and “Weatherman,” with its chilling vocal harmonies, singing of bringing one’s love back to life.

The album also features Amos’s daughter, Natasha “Tash” Hawley, on the track “Promise.” In a question-and-answer style vocal, this song rages with emotion, and Hawley’s vocals are quite good. She is definitely her mother’s child, at least vocally.

Unrepentant Geraldines is what most Amos fans have been patiently waiting for. Her last two releases—Night of Hunters, which was based in classical music, and Gold Dust, a collection of previously released material—were not fan favorites. Now, with her latest effort, she is back to being the artist we know and love.

The album is available in three versions: the single version, the CD/DVD Digipak, and 180-gram double vinyl. This is a fantastic album. While it may not win over many new fans, Unrepentant Geraldines will take you on a wild ride…a ride you will want to embark on, again and again. B+ | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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