Beats: Tori Amos – Midwinter Graces

Tori Amos – Midwinter Graces can only be described as a return to her roots.  Her infamous and beloved Bosendorfer makes a pleasant return to her albums.  It was descibed as a Christmas album but I think it’s more than that.  It isn’t a religious album, it feels more like a celebration of winter or a Yule album.  I love the gentle calm feeling that the album has.  You are put into her world but in a good way not the quirky way that her past few albums have given us. 

She jumps around with sounds, we hear songs that are traditionally classic (What Child, Nowell),  some have a little Tori twist, sounding a little MidEastern Folk (Star of Wonder),  some have a big band sound (Pink and Glitter), medieval (Candle: Coventry Carol), and music from the Dark Ages (Emmanuel).   It all seems to mesh together in a nice flow that just gives you a wintery feel. 

I think old Tori fans and people not looking for a traditional Christmas album will really love this.  I give it 4 out of 5 Butterflies!

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Beats: In Love with Patrick Wolf

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Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor

Have you ever had a moment where you question where you have been for the past 4-5 years?  I did, the other day when after seeing the name Patrick Wolf pop up on blogs that I follow I finally looked him up.  I gave an immediate “WTF Shana!” to myself.  How dumb was I to not grab up his music so long ago? 

Patrick Wolf is a brilliant musician who’s music is is so hard to place in one specific genre.   He jumps from one genre to the next, one song sounding folk-pop the next sounding industial and the next sounding like a prayer put to a gypsy beat.  He uses Northern European instruments like viola, violin, harpsychord and accordian that give his music this otherworld-like sound.  I can only compare him slightly by saying if you like the vast genres that are covered by say Radiohead or Bjork that you will most likely enjoy his style as well.  His songs cover subjects of self, nature, supernatural and do so on this magical level that grab you by the heart and pull you in beat by beat.  I imagine gypsies whirling dirvish to some of his songs and can see little goth kids do the speaker box dance to others.  I love every second but if you need to take a listen to just one or two songs off this album “Oblivion” with Tilda Swinson narrating just gives me chills and album title “Bachelor” make me feel Patrick’s heart is worn on his sleeve.  Take a listen, tell me what you think! 

Five out of five big Blue Morpho Butterflies for this hidden gem!!!