Tori Amos - Ocean to Ocean | Page 31 | The Popjustice Forum

Tori Amos - Ocean to Ocean

Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by xOJakeXo, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. That did seem a bit odd to me, but I thought they were just teasing the release of the song.
    Do artists usually put out clips before the official release? I thought maybe they wanted the song to be a total surprise.
  2. Track-by-track review from journalist and long time fan Noah Michelson. This is definitely the write-up that has me more excited than anything else I've read.

    Spoilered for length:
    A few thoughts on Tori's new album, Ocean to Ocean, now that I've had the chance to listen to it a few times:

    First and foremost: I think it's the best thing she's done since Scarlet's Walk.

    The album is tight, it's focused, it's emotional, it covers a lot of ground and it feels like a return to form in some ways while also feeling like she's stretching into new territory.

    Sonically, it makes complete sense as the next move after Native Invader and I also definitely hear bits of Unrepentant Geraldines, Abnormally Attracted To Sin, American Doll Posse and even Scarlet's Walk.

    Even though Tori says, "the third lockdown really took me to a tough place mentally" and that she had to "[write herself] out of hell], and no matter how much despair or confusion or sadness she was grappling with, sonically, you wouldn't necessary know.

    The songs are, if not "upbeat," then robust, full-throated and beautifully produced.

    Yes, Tori is constantly looking for a way to understand what she's been through and still going through, but she's absolutely refusing to rollover and die. Here she's at turns furious, wistful, unsure, heartbroken and hopeful, but she's never boring or bored.

    This is an artist who, three-plus decades after she started putting out albums, is still find ways to make sense of the world around her through music and lyrics and imagery and she's using it all to translate and transmute so many of the things that she feels into things that we can all feel (and, of course, part of Tori's magic has always been that she's able to put into words and sounds what we so often can't and that alchemy is at work time and time again on Ocean to Ocean -- and sorely needed and appreciated right now).

    Below a little bit about each track, but, all in all, I think most fans are going to be thrilled with this album.

    A few words of warning: Any comparisons I make to other Tori tracks are loose at best -- sometimes I mention another song because it has a similar sound, sometimes because it just seems to evoke that other song, but obviously don't expect any of the songs to sound exactly like any of her earlier songs and obviously a lot of you will probably hear the album and say "I don't hear that at all." Oh well.

    1. Addition of Light Divided

    I instantly thought of 16 Shades of Blue when I heard this song but the similarity is slight at best.

    There are strings, guitar, bass, piano and drums and Tash sings background vocals (and sounds great).

    A few lyrics:

    "Love is lost and frozen /
    Pray I don’t stay feeling broken"

    "Break this chain of pain /
    You don’t want to stay broken"

    "Hearing voices /
    We could join forces —
    and we did and we did and we did"

    You can hear the piano pedal at the end
    2. Speaking with trees

    The guitar reminds me of the guitar from "Broken Arrow" and the song vaguely reminds me of "Welcome To England"

    I love when the song moves from verses to prechorus to chorus and it's incredibly catch -- by the second listen it's lodged in your head

    The bridge is great:

    (Sung with urgency)
    "You only know when you know this /
    How do you cope with your losses?"

    (Sung euphorically)
    "Feel their arms around you!"

    You hear the piano pedal at the end again

    3. Devil's Bane

    Reminds me of America (from UG) but I also get some Sweet The Sting and Pancake and Sweet Sangria in here

    There's organ on this one and Tash sings background vocals that include "Shame! Shame!"

    This is one of the angry songs

    "Shot of tequila, wash me clean /
    From his sermons and conspiracies /
    He was good at turning me against me /
    Me doubting Venus /
    all the while he’s preaching"

    "Next train when it comes again /
    If it’s filled with lies and corruption --
    Lord, send it home [or maybe "send it on"?]
    Next train when it comes again /
    If he’s looking for a queen of poison --
    Lord send it home [or maybe "send it on"?]

    "Planting you, wicked seed /
    Bride of Christ, darling, you’ll never be"

    4. Swim to New York State

    Begins with a gorgeous string well -- 20 of the prettiest seconds of the album (and vaguely reminiscent of the bridge of Madonna's "Live To Tell")

    Matt's drumming is especially great -- especially set against the string swells near the end

    It reminds me a lot "Your Cloud" with maybe a bit of "Another Girl's Paradise"? It feels like it could live on the last 1/4 of Scarlet's Walk.

    Your cloud / another girl’s paradise

    Sample lyrics:

    "You gave everything /
    You gave the love /
    While I was looking away /
    You gave and you gave and you gave --
    Selfless without blame"

    5. Spies

    For me, the masterpiece of the album -- Tori sounds like she's having a blast and the lyrics feel like a throwback to Pink or Pele

    The beginning reminds me a bit of "Floating City" from YKTR and then it explodes into a very upbeat, insistent track that also feels like a bit of an homage to The Beatles and I also get some "Barons of Suburbia" vibes too.

    "Knowing this may help you make it through the night on lullabies
    Knowing this may help you to open up your eyes — Spies!"

    Lots of fun references and images like an "aardvark on the underground," "thieving meanies," "With the plaid umbrella — it seems he’s just a well dressed fella," and "Spotting a flying saucer hovering above Big Ben"

    There's a great bit of piano and the bridge is especially fun:

    "Spies don’t think that it’s absurd /
    (No spy that I know does not)
    Scary men dipped in mustard /
    (English mixed with Dijon)
    Mrs crabby apple won’t get custard --
    won’t get crumble..."

    6. Ocean to Ocean

    Reminds me a bit of a slowed down "Trouble's Lament" and "Bats"

    This is another one of the angry songs and Tori sings:

    "There are those that don’t give a goddamn /
    That we're near mass extinction /
    There are those that never give a goddamn /
    For anything that they’re breaking /
    There are those who only give a goddamn /
    For the profits they’re making"

    And later she adds, "there is a way out of this"

    7. Flowers Burn To Gold

    The only track that's just piano -- reminds me a bit of "Weatherman" or "Invisible Boy"

    "Where are you? /
    I scan the skies /
    Voices in the breeze /
    I scan the sea /

    Someone said they saw you there /
    through a cloud in the Midwest /
    Then I thought I could it be you
    by the way you were described:
    'She had the kindest eyes'”

    8. Metal Water Wood

    Another highlight of the album for me

    It could live on American Doll Posse or Scarlet and once again Tori is trying to make sense of what she's going through:

    "You found me burning burning in despair"

    "You tell me be like water"

    At one point she sings “Take my shattered dreams / Wash them away out with the tide” and the delivery sounds very YKTR (and I love it)

    Another beautiful part:

    "Pull that horizon down /
    Light that horizon up /
    Like the captain does /
    with his instruments"

    9. 29 Years

    The organ is featured here and this might sound crazy but every time I hear this song I hear The Police's "Roxanne"

    She sings:

    "My witch isn’t always benevolent"


    "For 29 years I’ve been searching for you /
    29 years /
    You, a most elusive truth /
    These tattered bits of me /
    I’ve been piecing for 29 years"


    "Walk with me in your bare feet /
    In the sugar sand /
    Time to defuse bombs /
    I’ve planted in our bed"

    "We can heal with forgiveness /
    In the sugar sand"

    Before finally, "Yes, we are free at last"

    10. How Glass Is Made

    Another song that I could hear living on ADP or maybe even Scarlet
    The bridge almost reminds me of the bridge from "Starling" (almost)

    "Bottle green — my favorite jug /
    I used to keep my questions in /
    'Why is she crying still?'
    'Do you know how glass is made?'"

    And later, "There is no such thing as subtle cruelty"

    11. Birthday baby

    A sweeping tango that is reminiscent of "That Guy" but also "Bachelorette" and it has what reminds me of the string stabs from "98 Bonnie and Clyde"

    Lyrically, it reminds me of "Don't Make Me Come To Vegas" -- almost like the follow up to that song

    A few lyrics:

    "This year you survived through it all /
    A cosmic apocalypse /
    A stab to the heart /
    You say what is life worth living for?
    Now he’s in perfect step on her new dance floor"

    "Sometimes in life a girl must tango alone /
    Don’t be afraid to tangle alone"

    "It was not enough that he left /
    On his way out he had to slash your confidence /
    You don’t a need a party for a party dress /
    After all, it was you who taught him his dance steps"
    enjoy, P'NutButter, clowezra and 8 others like this.
  3. Okay that review scares me slightly.
  4. I'd take his references to other songs pretty lightly, and I'm more excited by his overall sentiment. Noah is dependable and I don't think he'd overhype it.
    elear, wodny and Espeon like this.
  5. There are references to Trouble’s Lament, ADP and AATS.

    hmm. Nope.
  6. I stopped reading once he mentioned some of what he views as the sonic references as it was dampening my previous enthusiasm for the new project. I’m going to listen with fresh ears when it comes out.
    RidesOnTheBreeze likes this.
  7. "a return to form" - so the exact same thing people said about the last two albums.
    Verandi and bonnieetclyde like this.
  8. The line in Noah Michelson's preview about Spies being a throwback to Pink or Pele made me feel sick with longing. I see the cheese, I even see the mousetrap and yet I fall for it every damn time...
    VivaForever likes this.
  9. Why would you expect someone to make the same album in the fifties they did in their twenties? It’s not possible because people change. I try to enjoy what artists have to offer now.
    Digital Ghost likes this.
  10. Has anybody commented on her vocals in these reviews? That's the part I'm nervous about.
    RidesOnTheBreeze likes this.
  11. Good question! The preview mentioned Pink and Pele, along with lots of other work Tori’s produced throughout her career, so maybe ask him?

    Good look trying to enjoy the new album! Alas, it’s probably too late to put your glowing endorsement on a hype sticker.
  12. Tori had a down period in the middle of her career from the Beekeeper through Abnormally Attracted to Sin, but I really enjoyed the last two albums, so I have no reason to think I won’t enjoy the new one especially because it’s shorter and not bloated like some of her albums.
    The review is interesting but it’s just one person’s opinion. You are still free to make up your own mind after hearing the album. Does he work for Tori or the label? I don’t think so, so I wouldn’t classify him as a hype person. He was just giving his opinion which he is entitled to. Taste in music varies from person to person.
  13. That’s wonderful but what does it have to do with me?

    The only time you acknowledge my posts is to pick holes in them. You’ve shown no interest in anything else I’ve written in this thread (all of which was positive) so I’m genuinely at a loss to know how to respond.

    If you want to have a constructive discussion with someone you can’t just disregard their critical faculties and start with an assumption that they’re stupid or wrong.

    (Well, you can but it’ll only give you frown lines)
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
    Espeon and RidesOnTheBreeze like this.
  14. I honestly don’t remember any of your other posts. I really have no opinion about the new album as I haven’t heard it yet. Aren’t we here because we all love Tori? I’m glad she is still making albums when many older artists don’t bother. I apologize for any misunderstanding because I hate to have hostility with anyone.
    Espeon likes this.
  15. I am loving her interviews this era. She’s being really present, honest, and sounds genuinely inspired. Just a few days until we hear how this translates to music!
  16. I booked a ticket to see her in Amsterdam in March last night. The last tour I saw was the Unrepentant Geraldines tour. Native Invader left me pretty cold, so did not go see her for that tour. But I felt I had to see Tori live at least one more time. Her concerts in the 90s and early 00s were so urgent for me
  17. She hardly played any of the songs from Native Invader though. Tori is not the type of the artist that plays the whole of her new album and ignores the back catalogue. So not liking the current album isn’t a reason to not see her live. I wonder how much of the new album she will play. Maybe she will play more because she has the band with her. Personally I wouldn’t mind if she played more new stuff, but I think she will still draw on her huge back catalogue a lot.
  18. I’m seeing her on a Saturday night (first time since Night of Hunters). Is it too much to hope for an encore medley of Blue Skies / Flavour (Rauhofer remix) / Professional Widow (Van Helden remix)?

    I’m kidding...
  19. Is the forthcoming tour with the band? Is thought it was solo
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