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Thread: Unrepentant Geraldines: your reviews and impressions

  1. #1

    Unrepentant Geraldines: your reviews and impressions

    MOD EDIT: This thread is for your reviews and impressions about the album. The other topic will be used for official reviews, press articles and other related news on the new album.

    So, today I've heard 'Unrepentant Geraldines' twice at dollsbitches' place, just like I did with 'Night Of Hunters' and 'Gold Dust'. Before I'll post my review/thoughts on the songs, let me tell you that I do not dislike Tori's recent output as much as some of you do. 'The Beekeeper' is a pretty lovely record in my book and I also really loved 'Night Of Hunters'. 'American Doll Posse' and 'Abnormally Attracted To Sin' have never been favorites of mine, 'Gold Dust' was just an unnecessary release. Having said that, onto the new album now.

    America
    Pretty nice song, but I'm a bit surprised it's the album opener since it's pretty slow. The chorus is basically what you hear in the epk. Lots of guitar, piano is present as well but not upfront. There's a pretty fast bridge, and at a certain point the music stops for a split second before it continues. I can't really compare this song to any of her other songs. She uses her voice in a somewhat new way.

    Trouble's Lament
    Of course we all know this song by now. I can understand why it has been chosen as a single, since it's one of the very few 'accessible' songs on the record. The 'americana' sound of this song is not present in any of the other songs on 'Unrepentant Geraldines', so for those who don't like this one: don't worry, there's more.

    Wild Way
    Great song, without a doubt. Some might find it a bit cheesy, but it's got the same quality and/or mood as '1000 Oceans', like dollsbitches already pointed out. It's a pretty short song, but that's what makes it lovely. Pretty piano melody, good vocals and not over-produced. I think a lot of people will enjoy this one.

    Wedding Day
    The first track you hear in the epk. I have to take a closer listen at the production to say if I really love it, but it's definitely a great song. The chorus features some production similar to the band-part of 'Holly, Ivy And Rose' and there's a wonderful part of the song right after the chorus that we (dollsbitches, another fan and myself) all really liked.

    Weatherman
    I personally really loved this one. Classic Tori with just her and the piano. A pretty sad, slow song. The chorus (I believe) has got this beautiful dark, creepy vocals that say "One more look…" and there's lots of reverb there. It's haunting and beautiful.

    16 Shades Of Blue
    Very weird song, I cannot compare it to anything else she's done. There's a lot going on and they went pretty overboard with the production. Weird (fake?) drums, lots of weird little sound effects and her voice is distorted in the second verse (which is pretty cool and reminded me somewhat of her vocals in the verses of 'Riot Poof'). Nice melody to the chorus, but the production is questionable and so are the lyrics. Have to hear this one a few more times before I can honestly say what I think of it, sorry.

    Maids Of Elfen-mere
    When I say it reminded me of 'Ophelia', I mean production wise. It starts off with just Tori and piano, then the (fake?) band kicks in for the choruses. Pretty good vocals and high notes. I wasn't too impressed with this short song. It's not bad, it just feels a bit unnecessary. 'The Chase' on 'Night Of Hunters' has that same effect on me. After I heard it, I'm like: "Umm, okay?" Maybe my opinion will change after more listens.

    Promise
    Indeed a duet with Tash. Tori's vocals a doubled and it's more or less a dialogue. Tash sound pretty good, especially for a 13 year old. Plus she sounds very different from (her vocals on) 'Night Of Hunters' and does a pretty good Mariah Carey impression (I love Mariah, so I don't mind). The song itself actually has a nice melody and isn't as r&b as some of you might fear. Easy to sing along to, but not my favorite. I don't mind Tash, but I'd rather see her releasing her own album rather than hearing her on a Tori Amos record. But the kid can sing, no doubt about that.

    Giant's Rolling Pin
    This is the 'Ireland'/'Not Dying Today'/'Harps Of Gold' of the album. I really don't understand why Tori can't just release these silly songs as b-sides. It starts off with a banjo/ukelele, weird lyrics about pie, Beth, FBI, the tax man, what not. I think the chorus is supposed to be catchy, but I really did not like this at all. Oh, and I believe a cowbell is thrown in the mix as well, plus more (fake) drums. Definitely my least favorite.

    Selkie
    A lovely song with just Tori and her piano. I wasn't too impressed by it, but that might come after a few more listens. The piano intro is pretty beautiful and she starts singing "Selkie unzips her skin…". During the chorus there is an echo singing back the words. I think I heard what some might call her 'baby voice' but don't judge me if it isn't. It's lovely, but not (yet) very impressive.

    Unrepentant Geraldines
    I'm not really sure what I think of this one yet. Definitely need to hear it a few more times. It starts off with birds chirping, then Tori comes in, names dropping half of the Bible. Peter, Matthew, Mark, Paul, Madonna, Hosanna Jesus, etcetera. There's a lot of guitar on this track which you either like or hate, I think. There's a pretty nice part in the song (that keeps returning) that says "I'm gonna heal myself from your religion, I'm gonna free myself from your opinion" which reminded me a bit of the "give me life, give me pain" part of 'Little Earthquakes' (but please don't get your hopes up too high). There's also a really good and fast piano bit in the middle of the song. The second part of the song sounds like a completely different track and it's just vocals and piano. Tori sings about two Mary's running through the rain, in the field, the vicars wife, etcetera. Very weird song, but definitely interesting.

    Oysters
    This one's a beauty, without any doubt. It has (sometimes doubled) vocals and piano only. Beautiful melody, impressive vocals and (from what I can remember) pretty good lyrics. There's a wonderful part that keeps returning that goes "turn, turn, turn" in pretty high vocals and Tori nails it. The chorus (if there really is one) basically is the line "So then I'm gonna turn oysters in the sand". There are also some lyrics about not being a "popular" girl, I believe. I can totally see this one being a favorite by many fans, including myself.

    Rose Dover
    Okay, this one was not my favorite. It's definitely an interesting track, but it's like two or three songs in one. It starts off in a pretty dark mood which reminded me a bit of 'Smokey Joe'. Then the chorus is pretty sweet and delicate with the lyrics "you don't have to throw it all away" and then suddenly there's a bridge totally out of place (like the bridge in 'Starling') that is indeed a bit Queen-esque and reminded me a bit of ABBA. Some of you might really like this track, I don't know. But to me, this was perhaps my least favorite on the record together with 'Giant's Rolling Pin'.

    Invisible Boy
    Hands down my favorite! Vocals and piano only. Beautiful melody and indeed the song has the same kind of mood as 'Toast' or 'Twinkle'. It's very sad, yet it's comforting. The lyrics might seem a bit weird on paper ("A great pub in de Sky", "Steve McQueen", "Pints") but the song itself is truly wonderful, with the chorus containing the lyrics "Won't it all fade away if I'm only made out of clay?". Towards the end, her voice somewhat cracks during "But not you" which is heartbreaking. Also, you can actually hear her breathe quite a few time during this one. Definitely a great closer.

    It's hard to say what I think of the album overall. I definitely need to hear it a few more times. There were some songs I really loved, some songs that need to grow on me and then some I didn't really care for (which might change later). It's too early to compare it to her other albums or to rank 'Unrepentant Geraldines'. I did enjoy her vocals quite a lot on this record, definitely the high notes. And the fact that there are quite a lot of piano/vocals only song on there are a plus. The thing that disappointed me was probably the drums. It's either a drum computer or a really bad drummer. We all couldn't tell. I really have no clue what you all will this of this record. Perhaps some will find the album absolutely brilliant, or others might think it's utter crap. It can go either way. Or somewhere in between.
    Last edited by Rabih; 05-02-2014 at 03:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member underwater-thing's Avatar
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    Thanks Peeping Tommi! I'm actually more excited now to know that it's not a very instant record and may need some time

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    Hock...hockety-pockety? Joey's Avatar
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    Well that's exciting! And it seems we might actually get a fair handful of really good songs!

    I may just have to skip "Promise," "Rose Dover," and "Giant's Rolling Pin" on my first listen, though.


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    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    I'm intrigued. Sounds like there are some leftfield weird ones (Rose Dover, 16 Shades of Blue, Unrepentant Geraldines) and some beautiful solo piano songs. I have absolutely no clue what to expect from Promise.

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    ForumBound EnjoyJoy's Avatar
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    I was kinda hoping I wouldn't have to take this album into the "editing room", but I think there might be an album in there I really, really like, once I remove Giant's Rolling Pin and the two Tash songs. That leaves me with 11 songs, and who knows, maybe one of the bonus songs could make it as well, that would leave me with a 12 song album.

    I know it's "too soon to tell" but I know myself too well to know that these are the changes I'll be making.
    "A universe that needed someone to observe it in order to collapse it into existence would be a pretty sorry universe indeed."

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    Senior Member Andyland's Avatar
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    I know Tash is on Promise but what's the second Tash song?

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    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Well, it doesn't sound terrible. We'll see. If just two are stinkers, that's better than any of the past records.

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    champagne spiritualist mr graeme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnjoyJoy View Post
    I was kinda hoping I wouldn't have to take this album into the "editing room", but I think there might be an album in there I really, really like, once I remove Giant's Rolling Pin and the two Tash songs. That leaves me with 11 songs, and who knows, maybe one of the bonus songs could make it as well, that would leave me with a 12 song album.

    I know it's "too soon to tell" but I know myself too well to know that these are the changes I'll be making.
    Wasn't the Tash being on two songs part of the April Fool thing? Rose Dover doesn't have her does it, Peeping Tommi? And thanks!
    Last edited by mr graeme; 04-06-2014 at 11:02 PM. Reason: Got my posters mixed up, oops :(
    working my way back to me again

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    moved into a trailer park thunderpanda's Avatar
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    Awesome and thorough review, Peeping Tommi! Thank you for being so descriptive and also neither criticising or gushing too much - I feel a lot safer believing in your analysis. And I am crazy excited for this album now! I had no illusions that we'd get 14/14 great songs, but it seems like there is a lot of variation and good stuff on UG. I'm fully prepared to hate one or two, and that's fine, there are tracks even on Pele and Choirgirl that I tend to skip.

    So glad to hear everyone confirming how amazing Oysters is. Also super excited about Wild Way, Weatherman, the title track and Invisible Boy. Honestely I'm so stoked

    EDIT: On a sidenote, disappointed to hear about the poor drum tracks - seems like there actually wasn't a live drummer involved with this album. That would indicate it's all Mark's programming, not real instruments.

  10. #10
    moved into a trailer park thunderpanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr graeme View Post
    Wasn't the Tash being on two songs part of the April Fool thing? Rose Dover doesn't have her does it, Dollsbitches?
    Yes. Tash is only on Promise. The other one she was "supposed" to be on was the fake B-side Landscapes. And that's not a real thing.

  11. #11
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Tori not using real instruments makes me sad.

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    Cause I Like You theswirlgirl's Avatar
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    Peeping Tommi--would you say overall this album is a significant move away from what we were hearing in SW/TBK/ADP/AATS--or does it sound like the "next logical step"--as if the last five years (Light Princess plus NOH and Gold Dust and maybe MWG) had not happened and had little impact upon her? It's not so much a problem with her 00's output of original material.....it just felt like there was a "bloodcousin"-type relationship between all those albums....in some cases even sibling like....

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    Hock...hockety-pockety? Joey's Avatar
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    Well she fooled me with the "drums" on TL, so we'll see.


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  14. #14
    moved into a trailer park thunderpanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    Tori not using real instruments makes me sad.
    Yeah, because it would mean that... a) she has bad taste and thinks the fake instruments are nice, b) she's not willing to pay for real musicians, or c) she's so happy to make music with only the Divine Triangle of Tori/Mark/Marcel, that there's no room for outsiders to make contributions.

  15. #15
    champagne spiritualist mr graeme's Avatar
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    so the song credits on Deutsche Grammophon's site are correct then Lotsa programming ahoy...
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