Int. Release 12 May. 2014
1 CD +1 DVD
0289 481 0902 9
Deluxe Hardcover Edition:

Track List

CD 1: Unrepentant Geraldines

Tori Amos (1963 - )










Tori Amos

Total Playing Time 1:04:07

DVD 2: Unrepentant Geraldines

Tori Amos (1963 - )

Tori Amos

Total Playing Time 43:03

Amos was the fantastic phantasm of the Opera House . . . a capacity crowd of devout Tori worshipers experienced many shades of this iconic performer: dramatic, intense, funny, kooky, sexual, spiritual, strong, vulnerable . . . often in the same song. Possessed with a powerful mezzo-soprano voice that went from a roar to a whisper, Amos delivered her songs with gusto. And, damn, she plays the hell out of her keyboards -- she sat between the grand piano and either an electric piano or organ, often playing both at the same time. It was just Amos on stage -- no band was needed -- and the solo set-up added to the fierceness and intimacy of her performance . . . Amos' new album "Unrepentant Geraldines" [is a masterwork] . . . This was a rare opportunity for fans to see Amos at her idiosyncratic best; one of her best Boston shows ever.

Amos's performance . . . was simply spellbinding and quite possibly one of the best concerts in recent memory. One woman, one grand piano, an organ and a solitary synthesizer. Nothing more. Fully invested, emotionally nuanced, and displaying musicianship that still remains relatively peerless in the pop world, she plowed through a set list of obscure gems and classic favorites that felt like a personal gift to her fans. My God, that voice. It sounds infinitely better than it did when she was younger. The timbre is purer, possesses a wider spectrum of timbral colors, and seems healthier than ever before . . . her lines are now more legato, more beautifully sung and yet, she's learned how to distort and twist it into something that is also quite dark and ugly without ever injuring herself. Above all, she sounded vocally and artistically revitalized . . . [Songs from "Unrepentant Geraldines"]: the new material presented this evening was as artistically relevant as anything in her past catalog . . . they left an indelible impression . . . The poignant "Weatherman¿ was a highlight of the night's setlist . . . [Amos] has come full circle and seems truly focussed and inspired on the past few albums. It's very exciting. She doesn't have to prove anything to anyone anymore. Her body of work and her impressive talent speak for themselves. There are few artists who are as committed to the material they are performing, even a decade or so later. There are also few musicians who seem as utterly joyous as Amos appeared to be on that grand stage tonight. Amos, like the Weatherman's wife, has been painted back to life.

. . . [on "Unrepentant Geraldines"] Amos puts herself back at the piano, crafting songs that will speak to the fans she earned in back in the '90s as well as those who were attracted by her later work.

. . . " Geraldines" surprises and looks forward.

When she headed back to the studio to reclaim her pop identity, the idiosyncratic singer-songwriter had a cache of songs, which became her splendid new album "Unrepentant Geraldines" . . . fans have Amos's husband, sound engineer Mark Hawley, and 13-year-old daughter Natashya -- who also contributes lovely vocals to one song on "Geraldines" -- to thank.

She is one of the greatest songwriters and vocalists in history and you only have to scroll through the musicians lengthy list of singles to understand why she is regarded so favorably within the industry.

Overall, it's a very, very good album with lots of variety and the sort of painstaking precision and polish that is frankly terrifying when viewed in its full context. Tori Amos delivers without compromise or apology, and the end result is compelling to say the least.

. . . it's Amos' best record in 20 years . . .

. . . Amos is masterful at writing songs that on the surface appear to have one tone but possess a different undercurrent. The sublime "America" is graceful and elegant (two words that describe the album overall) . . .

Her material is a startling combination of vulnerability and strength.

. . . [the CDs "Night of Hunters" & "Gold Dust"] sounded beautiful, but Amos's newest album, "Unrepentant Geraldines," is a welcome return to the bright, piano-driven songs that are a highlight of her live performances . . . ["Wedding Day" is] one of the most striking songs on "Unrepentant Geraldines" . . . Amos captures a stunning depth of complex emotions, even with such straightforward lyrics.

. . . a compelling return to the back-to-basics sound of her '90s zenith . . . the gorgeous guitar earthiness of "America" could have been an outtake from "Scarlet's Walk" . . . ["Wild Way"]: a starry-eyed beauty, and "Invisible Boy", also piano-led, is tender, endearing and nostalgic . . . ["Promise"]: an inspiring conversation with Amos' daughter that sweetly embodies the lifelong bond between mother and child.

. . . ["Unrepentant Geraldines"] returns to her idiosyncratic pop songwriting . . . [two of the album's most striking songs]: "Wild Way" . . . and "Wedding Day," which recalls a vanished romantic bliss. Ms. Amos, as usual, has a lot on her mind through the album . . . what comes through is longing.

. . . [a] personal, intimate feel. Amos has rarely sounded as vulnerable or exposed as she does on "Invisible Boy" or the lovely confessional "Weatherman". Elsewhere, themes of religion, ageing and sex abound, but are delivered with an ethereal, fantasy feel that recalls the early Kate Bush albums . . . her voice has rarely sounded as powerful or pure.

An irrepressible capacity to over-reach and appease with jaunty piano-led melodies and swooping Kate Bush vocals . . .

. . . this is Amos's return to chamber-pop. There's a mesmerising drag to her vocal on "America" . . . all the songs, steeping a strong female sensibility in gauzy myth, could only be Amos.

. . . beautiful tunes here and a slightly rackety folkiness to tracks such as "Wedding Day" which is utterly mesmerising.

. . . ["16 Shades of Blue"]: it's the one whose lyrics . . . have struck me the most . . . ["Unrepentant Geraldines" is] a welcome return to contemporary songwriting for Amos, and one that perhaps indicates a new, more self-assured phase in an already distinguished body of work . . . the gorgeous "Selkie", with its call-and-response chorus, is so beautifully done that it's almost a fairytale . . . there's plenty to love about Tori . . .

. . . [her] muse has finally led Amos back to making the type of carefully crafted but pleasingly quirky pop music that helped make the singer-songwriter's name in the '90s with albums like "Little Earthquakes" and "From the Choirgirl Hotel." The 14 tracks on "Unrepentant Geraldines" traverse territory both intimate and global, with Amos setting her idiosyncratic lyrical sights and musical sensibilities on everything from disintegrating love affairs to NSA surveillance. The hypnotic "16 Shades of Blue" pulsates with electronic flourishes that hint at the mental dislocation felt when one is presented with an unwanted conscious uncoupling. The gorgeously vulnerable "Promise," featuring equally clarion vocals from her teenage daughter Natasha, touches on insecurities about aging. And the deceptively jaunty "Giant's Rolling Pin" has serious underpinnings about the electronic eye of Big Brother.

. . . ["Giant's Rolling Pin"]: the way Amos melds together a nursery-rhyme style arrangement with politically charged references to the NSA and FBI is bizarre, even by her eccentric standards. Still confusingly entertaining after all these years.

As always, Amos' careful curating of powerful themes and a painterly use of words found a way to strike a deeply personal chord in addition to being sonically dazzling. Elemental and experimental, Amos' new album is surprising from song to song, an intimately-tended mini-epic full of the kind of showmanship and dynamism Amos has become known for over the course of her celebrated career . . . Each progression in Amos' discography takes a page from those that came before, and the romantic and lush "Unrepentant Geraldines" is a consistently surprising record that evokes and even references other key moments in her catalog while somehow possessing a duality of energy that distinguishes it as its own living, breathing experience. There's no rigid adherence to any one specific style of music or instrumentation, no overarching concept to be beholden to, and yes, while there is an influence present from the other albums, "Unrepentant Geraldines" deploys them with style and in an alchemic, natural way. This album has the kind of wildness of spirit that I have always admired in Amos' work, but here that oft-explosive vivacity is contained and refined on songs like the emotionally articulate swagger of "16 Shades of Blue" and on the psychedelic sonic Fata Morgana of the title track. There is a noticeable confidence in the new songs -- in the writing, in the delivery and in the bright verisimilitude of her compositional landscape . . . on "Unrepentant Geraldines", she achieves the same kind of masterful synchronicity Lassnig and Bowie, but two of the specters haunting Amos' newest work, did so effortlessly with their own art . . . [the album] has widely been called Amos' "comeback", though she has not really gone anywhere . . . she remains as steadfast, successful, playful and confident as ever in life and in music, clearly relishing in her distinctly precarious position on the bridge between fine art and performance art, while seizing and delighting in the freedoms gleaned from walking down a galvanizing path explicitly of her own choosing and born of an exhilaratingly rare kind of creative freedom.

Haunting, vulnerable, and ethereally beautiful . . . Rating: Iconic

Kind of a fascinating artist is Ms. Tori Amos, who made her name writing and singing deep, emotionally penetrating stuff, her voice and piano skills drawing people in and -- once they were hooked -- letting them go, but only gradually.

. . . an album packed full of the catchy, fantastical music that made her name . . . the flame-haired singer is back at the piano, delivering heartfelt, intimate music . . . The album never forgets where it came from, and isn't afraid to ask difficult questions about politics, both personal and global . . . Through all the hypocrisy and confusion, Amos learns from mistakes and stays true to herself, telling stories of modern day survival to inspire us all.

. . . weird and beautiful album that rather impossibly makes Amos' seemingly idiosyncratic concerns seem like universal ones. It's also a relatively stripped-back affair boasting the strongest melodies Amos has conjured in more than a decade . . . ["Trouble's Lament"] is at once disconcerting and gorgeous. "Weatherman" finds Amos alone at the piano, as if abandoned on the foggy moors, a distressed damsel intent on unearthing the wistful sadness at the heart of love and longing. Amos has done this kind of thing before, but rarely with such subtle masterym . . . "16 Shades of Blue" blends jazz-informed chord voicings with strange electronic undertones, and is awfully close to sublime . . . Amos has never really wandered too far off course, but "Unrepentant Geraldines" still feels like a return to form.

Tori Amos restarted the conversation about art and aging as a woman, and the results are illuminating . . . [Amos] has always been especially adept at transforming her personal life into majestic, surging dramas, and this album is no different . . . the fantastical elements that inhabit tracks like "Maids of Elfen-Mere" and "Selkie" are woven in thick, rich threads, mimicking the structure of epic poems or Celtic story songs . . . her voice hasn't grown thin or reedy, but it remains powerful, as showcased on the record's most moving song, "Wild Way", which turns the lyric "I hate you, I hate you, I do" into an admission of love purely based on tone . . . Amos feels very much like "herself" on this Album . . . [Amos is] issuing art that refuses to compromise its intensely personal focus, in tone and topic. It pushes the boundaries of what we expect from older female artists by sheer force of will, and succeeds by embracing an expansive scope. Amos manages to weave her own mythology into larger fantastical stories, and fight societal norms in the process, all with a fierceness that will please old fans and likely win over new ones.

. . . ["Promise"]: [Amos' daughter Natashya] gives an astonishingly mature vocal performance as the pair exchange promises . . . it's touching, and typical of Amos's gift for making great art out of her life . . . [Amos] is as good as she was when she was 30; calmer, yes . . . but still a great songwriter and a gorgeous singer . . . It's a rich collection, packed with lyrical flights of fancy that will doubtless be pounced upon by a community of devoted followers . . .

The piano playing and singing on "Unrepentant Geraldines" are strong and straightforward, with Amos' sure touch and confessional approach, while the lyrics can be dense and occasionally confounding even as they deal with the rigors of aging and the challenges women of all ages face in a male-dominated, youth-obsessed society. The songs do not offer simple answers, but there is pleasure and joy in the process, and warmth in her descriptions of the challenging relationships she describes.

Tori Amos continues her life-long quest to melodiously expose the heart's most intricate enigmas with "Unrepentant Geraldines" . . . as a whole [it] is another strong addition to the Amos canon, oozing oestrogen and metaphysical idealism . . . [it] has a kind of blissfully obliviousness and gifted eccentricity that Amos fans just can't get enough of.

. . . mostly the songs are at their best when stripped back to not much more than piano and voice . . . "Wild Way" and the final "Invisible Boy" in particular work melancholy magic with little fuss, just simple and effective.

. . . ["Unrepentant Geraldines"] sees her revert back to the formula of her earlier work, placing her haunting vocals and piano centre-stage to recapture the magic that has enthralled her fans since her mesmeric debut . . . the tender "Invisible Boy" is glorious. Her style enriched by the past few years' musical detours, this ranks among her very best.

Few artists have the inimitable soprano range of Tori Amos, whose high notes have the ability to get under your skin and raise goose bumps . . . [with "Unrepentant Geraldines"] Amos brings the best of all of her sides together, melding folk, classical and orchestral music with her fabulous theatrics. She kicks off the album singing about Trouble having a falling out with Satan and looking for a new home in "Trouble's Lament," a song about women battling aging and their very existence . . . the title track is oddly alluring, growing on you with each subsequent listening, from the whispery opening to the complex piano break . . . Her voice is still high, fine and lovely, and her music still has the ability to touch us. If anything, Amos is just more rooted and self-aware than ever before. There's more of her here, and that spells success for this release, with no reason whatsoever to repent.

Tori goes funkily mystic . . . Punchy, seductive, surreal.

Breathless, somber, playful and aggressive -- sometimes in the very same song -- these 14 songs are loaded with Amos' signature gifts. The spell is woven in the opening one-two punch of "America" and "Trouble's Lament" and lasts long after the final notes of "Invisible Boy" have ended.

. . . "Unrepentant Geraldines" is a strong return to form . . .

Amos has returned to the defiant, expressive piano-rock that built her name . . . The album is emotionally compelling and musically potent . . .

. . . [on "Unrepentant Geraldines"] Amos's penchant for fusing the otherworldly and the mundane is on full display . . .

There's no recording artist like Tori Amos. The veteran vocalist-keyboardist is imaginative, unpredictable and, at times, inscrutable . . . ["Unrepentant Geraldines"]: It's totally Tori. It's also a welcome return to originals . . . Amos is one of the best at engaging crowds. She's usually good for some fun banter, but what obviously makes the night are her songs. Amos has a strong canon, and she's touring behind one of the finest albums she's crafted . . . Amos loves to surprise, and she likes to please. It's difficult to make everyone happy when you render two-hour shows and there are 14 albums to choose from.

. . . [the title track is] deliciously rousing . . . "America" is playful, "Trouble's Lament" is pure bliss and, like "Wedding Day", boasts a blues-infused acoustic groove. The message of the Cézanne-inspired "16 Shades Of Blue" is arrestingly about female aging . . . [a] beautiful duet with her teenage daughter . . . Ballads -- always an Amos strength -- make a big return here . . . ["Invisible Boy"]: gorgeous . . .

. . . Tori in Reinform . . . [sie liefert] nicht nur hinreißende Kompositionen, sondern auch spannende Einblicke ins Fraueninnere.

. . . [Amos] in Bestform. "Unrepentant Geraldines" besticht mit starken Melodien und vielschichtigen Songs.

Tori Amos ist eine Kultfigur der Popmusik, wohl gerade weil sie nie vollständig hineingepasst hat in diese schon recht große Schublade. Rätselhaft, bizarr und voller Leidenschaft hat sie sich einen ganz eigenen Stil erarbeitet . . . [Amos kehrt] mit ihrem neuen Album "Unrepentant Geraldines" zu ihren Ursprüngen zurück und überzeugt erneut als Schöpferin außergewöhnlich schöner Songs.

Ihre Lieder sind ernsthaft, aber im Inneren positiv . . . Extrem persönliche und trotzdem poetische Songs wurden zum Markenzeichen von Tori Amos, ebenso ihre unverkennbare Stimme und zuweilen beklemmende Intensität . . . Das Themenspektrum der neuen Songs reicht weit und wirkt jederzeit reflektiert . . . Manche eher verschatteten Akkorde hellt Amos mit melodischen Gesangslinien auf; insgesamt leuchtet ihre Stimme entspannter und weniger dramatisch als früher. Was zweifellos ihre trotz aller Ernsthaftigkeit grundsätzlich positive Haltung widerspiegelt.

. . . so leidenschaftlich und glockenhell wie damals . . .

Starke Songs . . . Lyrisch meist brillante Betrachtungen des Lebens . . . Ein Folk-Kunstwerk zum Zungeschnalzen, brillant produziert und eingespielt . . . [in der Intimität des ganz kleinen Teams haben Amos und ihr Mann und Toningenieur Mark Hawley] auf "Unrepentant Geraldines" großen Kunstpop gezaubert . . .

"Unrepentant Geraldines" beginnt mit "America", einem der schönsten Songs, die Tori Amos in ihrer gesamten Karriere verfasst hat . . . Gerade die erste Hälfte, aber auch das Ende von "Unrepentant Geraldines" sind dermaßen gut, dass hier höchstens eine Diskussion darüber entstehen dürfte, ob es Toris beste Platte seit "Scarlet's Walk" (2002) oder "From The Choirgirl Hotel" (1998) ist . . . [in der Amos steckt alles]: Mehr akustische Halluzinationen ("Invisible Boy"), späte Beatles ("Giant's Rolling Pin"), rubinrote Hausschuhe. Früher FSK 18 (Limited Edition mit Rasierklinge), heute immer noch gefährlich: Die triumphale Rückkehr der Gebieterin.

. . . ein Album, mit dem Amos in ihr angestammtes Areal zurückkehrt. Zum Pop und Rock mit barocken und kammermusikalischen Zügen, der nicht ohne Überraschungen auskommt . . . [Amos kann] ihrem alten Stil sehr wohl noch mit neuem Schwung begegnen . . .

Große Gefühlskunst: Tori Amos und ihr Piano waren in den Neunzigern eine der aufregendsten Symbiosen der Musikwelt. Auf ["Unrepentant Geraldines"] . . . besinnt sich die 50-Jährige nach einigen Experimenten wieder auf ihre Ursprünge -- mit großer Wirkung . . . Bei einem Geheim-Konzert in Berlin hatte Amos eine Auswahl der neuen Songs schon vor geladener Presserunde performt. Amos zog die Journalisten schon mit den ersten Melodie-Gespenstern aus Klaviertönen und ihrer ganz eigenen Art der feinsinnigen und extrovertierten Künstlerin in ihren Bann. Mit "Unrepentant Geraldines" . . . überrascht Amos sogar ihre eigenen Fans positiv. Weil sie damit völlig ohne Vorwarnung an ihre ganz persönlichen alten Meister anknüpft.

Tori Amos ist wieder da und sie präsentiert sich in Bestform . . . auf ["Unrepentant Geraldines"] findet die US-Songwriterin wieder im gewohnten Sound zu kreativer Hochform zurück. Klassisches Songwriting gibt die Linie vor, natürlich so unkonventionell, unterhaltsam und experimentierfreudig, wie man es von Tori Amos kennt . . . [Amos ist] nun wieder bei dem markanten Klavierpop ihrer Anfangszeit angekommen und klingt trotzdem so frisch wie schon lange nicht mehr. Das Album strotzt nur so vor musikalischen Ideen, Botschaften und Geschichten, die vom heutigen Amerika, vom Altern, von Beziehungskrisen und von Religion und Spiritualität erzählen . . . Man merkt, dass Tori Amos . . . den Spaß am Songwriting und dem poetischen Erzählen wiederentdeckt hat . . .

. . . ein herausragendes Album . . . Musikalisch ist es schlicht gehalten, nur Klavier, manchmal Orgel, Gitarre und ein paar elektronische Klänge begleiten ihren betörend schönen Gesang und ihre tiefgründigen Songs.

So frisch und inspiriert hat sich Amos schon ganz lange nicht mehr angehört. In den 14 stimmigen Songs kehrt sie dorthin zurück, wo sie vor mehr als zwei Jahrzehnten die Massen zu begeistern begann. Das Klavier steht im Mittelpunkt, stärkt ihre Stimme, und die wieder entdeckten Melodien geben den Texten noch mehr Tiefe . . . Fazit: Ein stimmiges, starkes Album . . .

. . . [ein] ruhiges, aber mit feinen Spannungen gespicktes Album . . . [es] fällt auf, wie fokussiert die Songs ihres neuen Albums "Unrepentant Geraldines" geraten sind. Diese erinnern in ihrer prägnanten Einheit von Musik und Text an den melodramatischen Piano-Pop, der sie Anfang der 1990er Jahre schlagartig bekannt gemacht hat . . . [die meisten neuen Songs wirken] unangestrengt und lustvoll kreativ . . . ["America"]: Es ist einer ihrer berührendsten Songs überhaupt geworden . . . [Äusserst nuanciert klingt] die Musik auf der neuen CD, ohne dass es ihr an den Reibungen fehlen würde, die typisch für Tori Amos sind. Hinter der ungewohnt ruhigen und warmen Grundstimmung verstecken sich feine Spannungen und kleine Widerhaken, die die oft markigen Texte subtil widerspiegeln.

. . . ein grandioses Album . . . Da ist sie, diese Präzision und Leichtigkeit, die man noch aus den 90er-Jahren kennt . . . Die 14 Songs greifen wie feine Zahnräder ineinander, sie klingen mal simpel und berührend, mal widerspenstig. Mal flüstert Amos uns Textzeilen zu, mal überschlägt sich ihre Stimme, kratzt und kiekst. Herrlich. Ein Album, das man tatsächlich mit Freude durchhören kann. Mit "America" führt ein subtiler und doch eingängiger Song in Amos' Welt. Das Titelstück wiederum ist ein ebenso lässiges wie bockiges Lied, mit sperrigem Einstieg und unerwartet dunkel-charmantem Refrain. Die Höhepunkte sind jedoch noch einmal andere: das eindringliche "Wild Way" mit dem gehauchten "I hate you" im Chorus. Das schamlos melodische "Weatherman", zart und pianolastig. Und allen voran das bewegende "Promise": Hier singt neben Tori Amos deren 13-jährige Tochter Natashya. Und zwar ausgezeichnet! Die Mutter lässt der Tochter Raum -- genug sogar, um ein bisschen R&B-Flair zuzulassen . . . ["Unrepentant Geraldines" ist] genau das Album, auf das man seit fast zehn Jahren gewartet hat.

Nun ist sie wieder in ihrem Stammterrain unterwegs. Und wie: 14 Songs, die klar zum Besten gehören, was sie je geschrieben hat, die beunruhigen und besänftigen, verstören, anregen, befrieden und faszinieren, dabei klar und prägnant, fein abgestuft klingen. Ihre Stimme ist von immenser Ausdruckskraft, mit allen Facetten zwischen verführerisch säuselndem Sirenengesang, kühler Konfrontation oder farbsatter Melodik . . . Zwischen Flügelballade ("Oysters"), schwelgerischen Harmonien ( "America") und dem leichtfüßigen "Giant's Rolling Pin", bei dem McCartney-Seligkeit durchscheint, gibt es Stücke oder Partikel, die so ziemlich jede Tori-Phase spiegeln. Nur: "Unrepentant Geraldines" trägt viel weiter, viel weiter, schafft den Spagat zwischen ambitionierter Kunsthaftigkeit und großem Popvergnügen so gut wie kaum ein anderes Amos-Album.