This week in New Music: Tori Amos is back in top, top form on Native Invader; two soundtracks for Twin Peaks will haunt you for decades; and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart do away with any notions of not being a pop band.
Tori Amos – Native Invader
On her 18th studio album Native Invader, Queen Tori Amos is concerned with the environment, her Native American heritage, her mother’s health issues and the shitty state America has found itself in since electing the Idiot in Chief.
She is also, it appears, concerned with getting back to work proper on one of her best albums in many years.
For me, Scarlet’s Walk was the last time Amos really, really got it right. Here, from the opening bars of the sprawling piano ballad “Reindeer King” she is on fire for 61 minutes.
There are some almost-duds to be had. “Cloud Riders” is a low point. However, the clear winners far outweigh the almost-rans: “Broken Arrow” is a classic Amos piano semi-ballad; the previously reviewed “Up the Creek” is an unsettling mix of classic rock, sweeping strings and electronica; “Breakway” and “Bang” are pure genius Amos of old.
Twin Peaks Limited Event Series Soundtracks
Did you love it? Did you? Or did you think it was an ending so up in the air that you felt cheated? Or did you find that up in the air ending to be the perfect fuck-me full stop to an epic 27 year journey? If you’re a massive fan of Twin Peaks (as I am) you are probably still ingesting what the hell just happened. Forget about it though – you’ll never have an answer, it’s all in your mind and the two albums of soundtracks will be there to haunt you for the rest of your days.
The Limited Event Series Soundtrack includes the tracks performed at the Roadhouse. If you’ve already watched every episode a few times, most of these tracks will feel like home. All of these songs fit so perfectly into the Twin Peaks universe because David Lynch is absolutely responsible for each and every detail of each and every Roadhouse performance. Standouts? “Tarifa” by Sharon Van Etten? “She’s Gone Away” which featured in That Episode. The brilliant “No Stars” by Rebekah Del Rio.
Then there’s the second part which includes mostly instrumental soundtracks from the series including a number of new atmospheric pieces by Angelo Badalamenti who scored the original series and Fire Walk With Me. There’s much to love here, and much to make you cower behind the sofa.
“Accidental/Farewell Theme” is Evil Bob/Laura’s birth(?) scene. “The Chair” is the most traditional Twin Peaks instrumental and featured heavily in the series. “Thernody, For the Victims of Hiroshima”….well, what is there to say about That Episode? And then we close on “Dark Space Low,” the closing track of the series which, like the series itself answers no questions and will never leave you alone again. Although we do have Mark Frost’s Final Dossier to look forward to which is bound to explain everything. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Pretty good so.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – The Echo of Pleasure
From the opening seconds of The Pain of Being Pure at Hearts’s debut self-titled album back in 2009, here was a band performing the perfect blend of low-fi indie rock with essentially pure pop. It sounded like it should have been drowned in feedback so when the band emerged as a more or less solo act for 2014’s Days of Abandon, it seemed fitting that and pretensions towards were gone. Actual pop was in and that continues through The Echo of Pleasure.
It would appear that the echo Kip Berman is referring to is his wife’s pregnancy. Berman has said he thinks it’s unlikely there will be another Pains…. Album purely because the money isn’t there to make it. It’s a shame really – throughout the Pains…. career there have been a number of songs that you could imagine the likes of Beyonce and Sia giving a good seeing to.