Tori Amos — „Ocean to Ocean“ (Oct. 29, 2021)

US flag                                                                                  Tori Amos — „Ocean to Ocean“ (Oct. 29, 2021)
ς  „Může se velké umění vynořit jen z velké bolesti?“, ptá se Tom Williams ve své recenzi. Zůstává jednou z nejvíce rozdělujících otázek v hudebním průmyslu a existuje mnoho umělců, jejichž celoživotní dílo lze použít ve prospěch nebo proti tomuto argumentu. Dílo Tori Amos lze využít pro obě situace; její spalující debut Little Earthquakes ji zachytil v té nejnepochopitelnější a nejizolovanější podobě — bojující s nenávistí k sobě samé, společenskou misogynií a sexuálním traumatem. Pokračování Under The Pink však nabídlo niterný moment katarze; odpoutala se od minulých břemen, vzhlédla a připomněla si, že celkově to byl „docela dobrý rok“. Ve své nejzranitelnější i nejoptimističtější podobě zněla skvěle.
ςς  Je to téměř 30 let, co Tori Amos udělala svůj nezapomenutelný debut albem „Little Earthquakes“ a za tu dobu se pomalu vzdalovala od přístupného pop~folku, který jí nicméně jméno udělal. Nedávná alba TORI byla kontemplativní, celkem tichou záležitostí, které výrazně propůjčily její background jako klasicky trénované hudebnice. Stejně jako většina nedávných výstupů Tori Amos, „Ocean to Ocean“ je možné postavit do zvláštního výklenku. Časy Silent All These Years nebo písní o Cornflake Girls jsou dávno pryč: „Ocean to Ocean“ je dojemný, dráždivý a inspirativní dokument o cestě, kterou většina z nás musela za posledních 18 měsíců podstoupit. „Jednou nohou jsem byla v Anglii, druhou v Americe a píseň to krystalizuje,“ říká Amos o skladbě „Here in My Head.“
ςςς  Ocean to Ocean se nakonec stalo nejlepším albem Tori Amos v nedávné paměti a to pro způsob, jakým dokáže spojit silné stránky její staré hudby a zároveň začlenit nově nalezenou zdrženlivost a perspektivu. 
ςςς  I když zde není nic tak zničujícího jako „Me & A Gun“ (z alba Little Earthquakes, jejího prvního singlu z 21. října 1991) nebo tak pronikavého jako „God“ z druhého alba Under the Pink a singlu z 3. února 1994 (US); anebo „Pretty Good Year“ ze 7. března 1994 (UK), je radostí, že Tori může být najednou tak tajemná a nevyzpytatelná jako vždy (zpěv „anonymního“ hrocha London Underground v páté písni „Spies“ v délce 5:59 a singlu ze 14. října 2021) a zároveň nalezla nově nalezený komfort a porozumění v skladbách jako „Speaking With Trees“. 29 let po Little Earthquakes zůstává Amos bezkonkurenčním talentem, schopným diskutovat a pitvat ty nejlepší a nejhorší prvky lidstva, aniž by se kdy zhroutil pod tíhou takových témat.
ςςςς  Ocean to Ocean je ucelená sbírka písní, artikuluje odborně a nachází smysl v nejhlubších zákoutích zoufalství. Navíc, „Ocean to Ocean“ je technickým triumfem. Amos nahrávala virtuálně ze svého domácího studia v Cornwallu v Anglii s dlouholetými spolupracovníky Mattem Chamberlainem, Jonem Evansem a Johnem Philipem Shenalem. 
Je to také triumf ducha, kdy Tori převedla rok ztrát do kontextu emocionálního znovuzrození. Album prostupuje uvolněná zranitelnost. Amos — samozřejmá perfekcionistka, ovládající každý tón a dech, který vydá — je smířená s otevřeným koncem naší současné nesnáze, nabízí úvahy, pozorování a postřehy, ale nikdy žádné tvrdé odpovědi. Je spokojená se svým nepohodlím a vyzývá nás, abychom byli také.Tori Amos
Birth name: Myra Ellen Amos
Born: August 22, 1963, Newton, North Carolina, U.S.
Location: Sewall’s Point, FL, Kinsale (County Cork) in Ireland, and Bude in Cornwall in England.
Recording Location:
Brickhill Studios, Orleans, MA
Cyclops Sound Studio, Los Angeles, CA
Martian Engineering, Cornwall, UK
Studio Mezzanotte, Los Angeles, CA
Album release: October 29, 2021
Record Label: Decca Records
Duration:     47:36
Tracks:
01. Addition of Light Divided   4:05
02. Speaking with Trees   3:55
03. Devil’s Bane   4:33
04. Swim to New York State   4:21
05. Spies   6:00
06. Ocean to Ocean   3:31
07. Flowers Burn to Gold   3:42
08. Metal Water Wood   4:01
09. 29 Years   4:47
10. How Glass is Made   3:57
11. Birthday Baby   4:44 

Credits:
Tori Amos    Composer, Fender Rhodes, Organ (Hammond), Producer, Vocals, •Wurlitzer
Jon Astley    Mastering
Karen Binns    Concept, Stylist
Matt Chamberlain    Drums, Engineer, Percussion
Jon Evans    Bass (Electric), Bass (Upright), Engineer
Adrian Hall    Mixing
Mark Hawley    Guitar
Kavita Kaul    Make~Up
Desmond Murray(I)    Hair Stylist, Photography
Matt Read    Package Design
Phil Shenale    Marxophone, Optigan, Organ (Hammond), Sampling, Synthesizer
Miles Showell    Mastering
Adam Spry    Assistant Engineer
Tash    Vocals
John Witherspoon    Management
Peter Zimmerman    Assistant

Tori Amos Resistance (Book) BOOK: Resistance — „Paperback edition“ {June 29, 2021}  
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
ς  A timely and passionate call to action for engaging with our current political moment, from the Grammy~nominated and multiplatinum singer~songwriter and New York Times bestselling author Tori Amos.
ς  Since the release of her first, career~defining solo album Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos has been one of the music industry’s most enduring and ingenious artists. From her unnerving depiction of sexual assault in “Me and a Gun” to her post~September 11 album, Scarlet’s Walk, to her latest album, Native Invader, her work has never shied away from intermingling the personal with the political.
ς  Amos began playing piano as a teenager for the politically powerful at hotel bars in Washington, DC, during the formative years of the post~Goldwater and then Koch~led Libertarian and Reaganite movements. The story continues to her time as a hungry artist in Los Angeles to the subsequent three decades of her formidable music career. Amos explains how she managed to create meaningful, politically resonant work against patriarchal power structures — and how her proud declarations of feminism and her fight for the marginalized always proved to be her guiding light. She teaches us to engage with intention in this tumultuous global climate and speaks directly to supporters of #MeToo and #TimesUp, as well as young people fighting for their rights and visibility in the world.
ς  Filled with compassionate guidance and actionable advice — and using some of the most powerful, political songs in Amos’s canon — this book is for anyone determined to steer the world back in the right direction.  
Review of LP:
By John Murphy •ς• 25 Oct 2021 •ς• Score: ★★★★
•ς•  It’s been nearly 30 years since Tori Amos made her memorable debut with Little Earthquakes, and in that time she’s slowly moved away from the accessible pop~folk that made her name. Amos’ recent albums have been contemplative, quiet affairs that have heavily lent on her background as a classically trained musician.
Like most of the records that will appear this year, Ocean to Ocean was inspired, amongst other things, by the pandemic and recorded under lockdown conditions. As well as being under lockdown in her home of Cornwall with her husband, daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend, Amos was also mourning her mother who died in 2019. That sense of loss, exacerbated by the hopelessness of being unable to travel anywhere, drapes the album in a sadness which it becomes hard to pull away from.
•ς•  That’s not to say Ocean To Ocean is impossibly downbeat. Indeed, thanks to the return of the former Amos rhythm section Matt Chamberlain and Jon Evans (appearing on their first Amos album since 2009’s Midwinter Grace), the album contains some of her most accessible songs for years. Spies is a particular standout, bouncing along irresistibly as Amos tells, in her trademark eccentric way of various insects that found their way into her home during lockdown: “Thieving meanies below and above ground” and, even more bizarrely, “the hippopotamus must stay anonymous for now”.
•ς•  Swim To New York State is at the other end of the scale, emotionally. Sombre strings give a yearning quality to a song about yearning for everyday things — “I’d swim to New York state from the Cornish coast of England, for even just a day” opens the song. It’s also impossible not to think of Amos’ late mother, given that this is a song about yearning for company that can’t be fulfilled. It’s one of Amos’ most emotional songs, which is saying something.
•ς•  The opening notes of Devil’s Bane bring to mind the chill~out sound of early Zero 7 before settling down into a more traditional Amos song, while Metal Water Wood brings in some electronica experimentation, which sits surprisingly well with the more expected piano and string arrangements. Speaking With Trees revisits Amos’ relationship with her mother, singing about grief and how she has buried her ashes under a treehouse. “I will not let you go,” sings Amos, and it’s impossible to describe how affecting it is.
•ς•  For all the personal experience described on Ocean To Ocean though, Amos very much remains an abstract songwriter. Like much of her work, this is an album which you have to put the work in to fully appreciate — it’s an album to immerse yourself in, rather than have on for background listening. The album’s final song Birthday Baby makes the concentration worthwhile — “This year, you survived through it all” is a line that most will be able to identify with, and set to a typically pretty Amos melody, it makes for the perfect send~off for the record.
•ς•  Like most of Tori Amos’ recent output, Ocean To Ocean very much sits in a niche of its own. The days of Silent All These Years or songs about Cornflake Girls are long gone — but Ocean To Ocean is a moving, poignant and inspiring document of a journey most of us have had to take over the past 18 months.
•ς•  http://www.musicomh.com/reviews/albums/tori-amos-ocean-to-ocean
By Tom Williams •ς• 29 OCT. 2021, 15:32 BST •ς• Score: 8
•ς•  https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/reviews/albums/tori-amos-ocean-to-ocean-album-review
By Ilana Kaplan•Oct. 26, 2021 at 01:28 PM EDT•https://ew.com/music/tori-amos-stories-behind-the-songs/
Ocean to Ocean Review by Neil Z. Yeung: Score:  ★★★★
•ς•  https://www.allmusic.com/album/ocean-to-ocean-mw0003592829
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