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Tori Amos – Gold Dust

Tori Amos has had a long career that has cemented her as one of the truly great female solo artists of our time.  She’s had a lot of great albums over the years (Little Earthquakes, Under the Pink, Scarlet’s Walk), but has also had a lot of over-produced, overly-long duds as well (The Beekeeper, Boys For Pele, Abnormally Attracted to Sin).  Gold Dust marks her 13th studio album, and isn’t really a studio album as much as it is a retrospective into her career work.

It seems Tori has gotten so bored at her attempts to writing new music that she actually has to re-write her own music.  To me that means it’s time to hang up the career and retire.  This isn’t so much a criticism of the music as it is the intent and nature of the music.

No one really wants to hear artists basically covering themselves.  Kate Bush did this a few years ago with her Directors Cut boxed set, but that was more of a defining retrospective with re-worked songs and alternate mixes, more than it was a new release.   Gold Dust attempts to present itself as a new release, and that’s the biggest problem I have with it.  I would rather wait seven years for a new album from her, than hear her turn out product like this.

For the most part the songs are just heavily orchestrated versions of songs already released.  Extra horns, strings, and symphonic measures.  It’s not that these new versions are bad as much as they are unneccesary.  None of these songs are superior versions of their prior companions.   Precious Things is a perfect example.  It lacks the raw vision and sound that has made Tori such a fantastic artist.  That goes for pretty much every other song on the album.

All of the extra bells and whistles do nothing for some of the greatest songs in Tori’s immense catalog.  I’m not sure how she chose the songs either…Programmable Soda? Really?  We need a new version of that song?  Anybody but hardcore fans should steer clear of this one.

Grade: D