Native Invader is the thirteen-track release (+two bonus tracks) from Tori Amos. A fantastic record that brings so much with it in terms of quality sound and a great addition to the indie rock scene. The record is actually quite relaxing and soothing, as Amos sings into your ears like silky milk. Available on Vinyl LP, deluxe CD and CD and released on ‘Decca’.
8/10 Robin Staff review, 18 October 2017
Not on my review pile but hey: who wouldn’t go out of their way to hear the legendary Tori Amos take on political turmoil in an hour-long pop thesis? This thing is massive, serene and serious, if you couldn’t tell by its seven minute opener of string-swells, balladeering chords and withering despair. Exploring themes inspired in by different personal and political strands -- her Cherokee grandfather, the current sitting government plus a bonus piano-driven glare called “Russia” -- it also flows through more aesthetic shifts than Amos has probably ever tried in her career.
It’s great, all this daring: the piano is at the fore but the beats switch in and out of flavour. She mixes a gentle bed of funk with her high intensity drama and beaming organs on the startling “Broken Arrow” and constructs “Up the Creek” from vocal splices, a looping guitar pattern, anthemic strings and a fiery guitar riff that Steve Vai would be proud to call his son. The piece speeds up like a walk breaking into a run, making for one of the most exciting things Amos has ever composed.
It’s not perfect, but no interesting record is. The tonal shifts are often jarring, but for a record this politically jagged, that’s to be expected. Tracks like “Wildwood” show how much Amos is being pushed and pulled by her motivations, taking a country tune and filling it out into a cinematic, rock swaggered anthem. Both in spite of and thanks to its ambitions, ‘Native Invader’ is bold, beautiful and bizarre -- all things that made us love Amos’ music in the first place.
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- Native Invader by Tori Amos
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