Tori Amos, never one to shy away from complex and unorthodox musical issues, has
recorded a cover of her own material. The album Gold Dust spans the breadth of her
two-decade career in pop music, re-interpreted with more orchestral arrangements. The
song ‘Flavor’ is stripped of the mechanised beats and electronic adornments that featured on
the original, instead instilled with flowing strings to accompany Amos’s piano work.
This is a record built on melody; indeed there are no drums at all, save some sparse eastern
percussion on ‘Star of Wonder’. The listener glides on Amos’ melodies, feeling almost
weightless, and the strings give the songs a cinematic sweep. These real strings are a
refreshing change from the mass-produced synthesised noises that our ears are so used to
being subjected to.
The lack of percussion also has a downside however, in that without any changing drum-
rhythms the songs do start to sound quite similar to each other. With no percussion to mark
a division songs slip and fade, with such continuity that is hard to differentiate them. Piano,
strings and vocals can only take you so far, though the album is still a thing of beauty some
tracks lose more than they gain from the new format.
In a Nutshell: If you want a break from pulsing house beats, this is a lovely piano-pop album
to spend an hour with.
By Edward Kearns