Gold Dust
by Tori Amos, pop/rock (2012)
Deutsche Grammophon, $14.99, ASIN B008RZHC7Y


Good lord, this is supposed to be a celebration of Tori Amos's 20-year musical career?

Okay, hands up, you people, who have not heard of Tori Amos making music with a piano. If you are one of those people, then yes, Gold Dust will be a pretty and harmless collection of music to listen to while doing housework, nodding off to sleep, or other pleasant things.

For everyone else, apart from die-hard fanatics of Ms Amos who are convinced that she can do nothing wrong, this collection of reworked songs is nothing more than a trip down memory lane. And really, most of the songs here, from the compulsory Silent All These Years to Yes, Anastasia, either sound similar to the original versions or don't seem vastly improved in any way.

More damning is how most of these songs sound muted and passion-free. Silent All These Years is a particularly obvious example, having lost all its teeth and has morphed from a quiet song brimming with pent-up fury into a sweet lullaby for little kids. The Dutch orchestra Metropole Orchestra sure can bring on the pretty sounds here, but the end result is a tepid collection of tunes. The songs here have been performed with or without an orchestra throughout the years, and honestly, do we need another tinkly version of Silent All These Years?

That's the tragedy of Gold Dust. Ms Amos sounds listless and tired, and the songs come off as wedding singer versions of the many, many superior bootleg versions of the live performances of those songs throughout the years. If you, like me, have a big collection of Ms Amos's records as well as bootleg mp3s of her concert performances, Gold Dust isn't only redundant, it's a sad testament of someone who was once amazing but is now phoning in.

Rating: 56


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