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Thread: Native Invader: your reviews and impressions

  1. #1

    Native Invader: your reviews and impressions

    Today I got access to the stream of 'Native Invader', including the two bonus tracks 'Upside Down 2' and 'Russia'. As I am writing this, I've heard the entire record twice (and 'Cloud Riders' and 'Up The Creek' a few more times of course). I'll try my best to give you all a song-by-song review. Please do not get too excited or disappointed: my ears are different than yours. My taste can be different than yours. So please do not pin me down on certain things I'll be saying below. I know some fan-reviews from the past are still haunting certain people after years, ha!

    Reindeer King
    Beautiful opener, classic Tori. It starts a bit like 'Boys For Pele' with a certain 'windy' sound getting started. Then heavy piano comes in, before Tori starts singing. The structure of the song is not completely clear after one or two listens (which is the case with a lot of her songs), but I enjoyed every second of this track. Her vocals are mixed somewhat the same as 'Oysters' - in fact, the song reminded me of 'Oysters' quite a bit during the "Get you back to you" parts (it is somewhat similar to the "working my way back" part). Her vocals are sometimes doubled. There are light strings in the background and they add a really dark vibe to the song. And there's another odd sound running through the song - don't ask me what it is. Really dark, moody song. I'm quite sure most of you will really enjoy this one. And perhaps will have a laugh at the way she pronounced 'Scandinavia'. Only Tori, and we love her for it.

    Wings
    This one is a great follow-up to 'Reindeer King'. It starts with a lovely, simple beat. Her vocals on top of that are pretty high, sort of like in 'America'. Once again, the structure of the song is hard to discover after the first few listens (at least to me). I can hear some keyboard in the background, but it's not upfront. There is guitar featured, but mostly it's the beat/rhythm that is present in this song. It has a nice melody and I love the parts "hurt you, hurt me" parts where there a nice reverb on her vocals. I truly cannot compare this song with any of her other songs. It's definitely a new sound for her. It's uplifting, yet a bit sad - and definitely one of those songs that will be a grower.

    Broken Arrow
    The song starts with a typical guitar sound that a I cannot compare to something at this very moment. This guitar riff basically runs through the entire song. Tori's vocals are pretty low during the verses (which I very much enjoy), then during the chorus drums are added and you can hear the hammond organ in the background. The bridge features piano and had quite a lovely melody. After that, some real drums are definitely present and some kind of short jam session goes on with the guitar rif, the hammond, backing vocals and the real sounding drums. Don't get your hopes up too high when I say 'jam session', but it definitely sounds somewhat spontaneous.

    Breakaway
    Just Tori and her Bösendorfer. It's a dark, moody song. It reminds me a bit of 'Darkest Hour' and 'Wild Way' and perhaps 'Indian Summer' (in a sense that it's very 'one and the same mood'). The lyrics are pretty straight forward for Tori ("So, when the story ends / and the stage goes dark / and we all can hear / the writing on the wall"), but they work quite well. At first it didn't leave much of an impression, but now that I'm listening to it for the third time, it's quite beautiful. I think it's be a great song for her to play live.

    Wildwood
    This one is really hard to describe, since once again it doesn't sound like any of her other songs to me. It starts with a lot of guitar and a simple beat. The verses remind me a bit of 'Rose Dover' in terms of how her vocals are mixed. They put a lot of work into the production of this one and I cannot quite wrap my head around what I am hearing. I am liking the vibe of this song - one of those tracks that is great to play while driving. I can hear some keyboard in the background, but it's mostly the vocals, guitars and drums that dominate this song.

    Chocolate Song
    Starts with some digital sounds, then a simple keyboard intro. "I don't have to like the things you say sometimes", Tori sings in what some call her 'baby voice'. The pre-chorus reminds me a bit of the "you don't have to throw it all away" part from 'Rose Dover', but then with a beat present. The chorus is different sounding, with layered vocals that sound quite sensual. The second verse it pretty awesomely mixed if you ask me, then the typical 'band sound' kicks in that was present on some songs of 'Unrepentant Geraldines'. For some odd reason, this song (and more stuff on this album) reminded me of 'Rose Dover' in terms of production. Just to point it out: this is not a 'Giant's Rolling Pin' type of song, but it might not everybody's cup of tea either.

    Bang
    Alright, this one is quite awesome. Eventhough I think some people may have a problem with the production, I guess most will agree that this is a great track on its own - it grabs you immediately. It starts with a beat and heavy piano and low vocals. During the chorus a lot of guitar is added, but the melody of the chorus is great and sounds quite 'dangerous'. Then after the chorus, this beautiful part "So it blinded me / I had to shield my eyes" part comes, which is classic Tori. Towards the end, a lot of guitar is present, but the piano is definitely there and the song builds quite beautifully. To me, definitely a highlight. It doesn't sound as 'Code Red' at all, but it definitely is the 'Code Red' of the record, if you get what I mean.

    Climb
    Another great song in my opinion. It starts with piano and Tori only, and it's one of those melodies that you think you have known for ages already, sort of like 'Job's Coffin'. Not that it sounds anything like that, but that song carries the same 'hey, I get this!' melody-quality if that makes any sense. Light acoustic guitar is added during the beautiful chorus with is somewhat choir-like singing: "all of me / wants to be / believe / that the angels will find me / Saint Veronica". During the second chorus, light drums are added. The melody of the bridge is quite lovely too. Some might find this a bit too snoozy, but I'm truly loving this. Definitely one of my personal early favorites because of the lovely melody.

    Bats
    Alright, this one and 'Wildwood' are pretty hard to describe. There is quite a lot going on, sound wise. I can hear keyboards and/or piano, but also guitars and light drums. It seems like it starts with the chorus (which I can barely hear because of all the sounds and the way the vocals are mixed and doubled), then a verse, then the chorus again, then another verse. I'm sorry but this one is really hard to describe. Perhaps it's it a mixture of 'Rose Dover' and a faster version of 'Jamaica Inn'? Honestly, I have no clue to describe this. Definitely need to hear this one more often.

    Benjamin
    Starts with computer bleeps and piano, then drum kick in (that sound somewhat remind me of the drums in 'Promise' but more heavy) and Tori starts singing "Benjamin…" in quite a catchy melody. It really sound a lot like a band-track, but I'm quite sure the drums are programmed. It's almost a song you can sing-a-long to in a certain way, since the melody is so catchy. I can hear the same Wurlitzer as in 'Bug A Martini' and I believe I also hear the hammond organ. It's quite a unique song, yet it's typically Tori - it's all over the place yet the melody is contagious. I'm loving the Bösendorfer.

    Mary's Eyes
    Quite a beauty, but not really the song I expected perhaps. The song starts with strings and beautiful piano, then layers vocals asking "What's behind Mary's eyes?" before the first verse kicks in. The melody is beautiful, but I think you need to give the song a few listens before you discover the structure. It definitely reminds me of 'Reindeer King', so in a sense the album comes full circle. I think the lyrics speak for themselves and they make the song extra emotional. But to me, it's not a tearjerker like 'Gold Dust', 'Toast' or even 'Invisible Boy'. But don't get me wrong: it's a beauty and typically Tori. I definitely need to hear this one more often, though.

    Upside Down 2
    A typical Tori song. And to be honest: quite lovely to hear after listening to a heavily produced album, since it's just Tori and her piano. "Watch the boats go by…" she sings in the beginning. It's one of those lovely b-sides like 'Seaside' and 'Dixie' in a sense that it's short but lovely. And it's quite a moody, dark song again like 'Darkest Hour'.

    Russia
    Starts with a Russian woman talking, then piano kicks in and honestly for a second it reminded me of 'Not The Red Baron'. The melody is dark, the piano is heavy and the melody of the chorus is amazing: "Is Stalin on your shoulder?" she sings if I'm not mistaken. And in the end, again you can hear the Russian woman talking with the piano over it - which is very 'Not The Red Baron'. To me, it's as good as 'Forest Of Glass' - not similar sounding, but it's one of those b-sides that makes you wonder why it is not on the actual record.
    Last edited by Peeping Tommi; 08-10-2017 at 10:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    "Dark, moody song" bodes well for me!

  3. #3
    Robbing the muse... Beelust's Avatar
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    OMG! Thanks PT! Can't wait for Wings. You are way too good to us! Thank you soooo much!
    Robbing the muse...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ms_Zebra1984's Avatar
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    Oooo! Very excited to hear reindeer king. I love tori when she's dark and moody Love the idea of the wind sound too

  5. #5
    Robbing the muse... Beelust's Avatar
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    WINGS! Thank you! I am so excited for this one!
    Robbing the muse...

  6. #6
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    *refreshes incessantly*

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    Please rate everything on a scale from 1 to 5 McNuggets.

  8. #8
    Warm little diamond Nateb's Avatar
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    I love it that there has to be a disclaimer at the beginning like when an infomercial is coming on. I know what Tommi means since even in this thread a notorious Beekeeper reviewer is still referred to by name lol

  9. #9
    Senior Member northern_lad's Avatar
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    *Starts like Boys for Pele*

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by toriMODE View Post
    *refreshes incessantly*
    Me too. (Hi, Ron) :-)

  11. #11
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nateb View Post
    I love it that there has to be a disclaimer at the beginning like when an infomercial is coming on. I know what Tommi means since even in this thread a notorious Beekeeper reviewer is still referred to by name lol
    MollyCOUGHKnight

  12. #12
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9207 View Post
    Me too. (Hi, Ron) :-)
    Hi 9207. Are you an admirer of mine?

  13. #13
    Robbing the muse... Beelust's Avatar
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    LOL - I take it you are not sure about Broken Arrow yet . Thanks so much!
    Robbing the muse...

  14. #14
    Senior Member grapefruit_is_winning's Avatar
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    It's lame because Molly Knight is actually SO awesome, and I really miss her old blog!

  15. #15
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    Broken Arrow doesn't sound like my cup of tea exactly.

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