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Thread: Native Invader: your reviews and impressions

  1. #1816
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
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    For the record, Tori is still an incredible songwriter and I would enjoy way more of these songs if they didn't sound like soulless corny shit. I even enjoy "Benjamin" if I focus really hard and imagine it being played by human beings.

  2. #1817
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    I had a super weird moment when I was driving recently and some Native Invader tracks came on. They sounded a lot better in the rental car than they did in my headphones or how I listen to them at home, particular "Up The Creek" (for the first time the vocals didn't sound like they lived in different rooms... )

    I dunno what to make of that - but a (not great) car speaker system made it sound a hell of a lot better.

  3. #1818
    worth a million in prizes .chris's Avatar
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    I finally got a new record player to replace my old one. I haven't listened to the Native Invader vinyl in quite some time and I was really impressed with how great it sounded.

  4. #1819
    Robbing the muse... Beelust's Avatar
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    Yes - NI sounds a lot better for me on my car stereo and on my Bose Soundbar than on my headphones for sure. Reindeer King has amazing background vocals and strings and other background effects.

    Sometimes I wonder if Tori is rushed towards the end of making albums and does a quick production job. Like with NI she said the songs came quickly toward the end as her mother was ill/on her road trip - and maybe she is just glad that she had the muses visit - but spends little time on final production? I do like most of the production on NI though personally...

    ... I am thrilled that Tori released Reindeer King, Climb, Bats, Mary's Eyes etc together on a studio album - all are incredible. I am hoping the next album will have every song produced so well as those.
    Last edited by Beelust; 11-08-2018 at 10:39 PM.
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  5. #1820
    Senior Member pancakefrompele's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ime Achoo Dooa View Post
    This is exactly it. Reindeer King sounds okay but hoo boy it's all downhill from there. I would say the production falls into the same pitfalls as have plagued Mark, er, "Produced by: Tori Amos" forever now: vocals too upfront, the instrumentation melting into a murky morass of flat AOR nothingness. The entire album sound likes a shitty 96kbs MP3 and it really blows. Imagine if Cloud Riders had the same warmth as Suede. As it is, not a single component of this track sounds like it was recorded in an actual room. It's a brickwalled blast of sodium and fake processed cheese. Does Tori (as a producer) think "been there, done that" about recording instruments in a room or is cut-and-pasting Hubbie's guitar played through ProTools better/cheaper to her ears?

    I dunno, but in any case, most of Native Invader sounds as shitty and gross as American Doll Posse to my ears.
    I have to disagree. While the production in NI is questionable at times (chocolate song, wings, up the creek), there are some amazing soundscapes, i.e. wildwood, broken arrow, reindeer king. This album is a farcry better than ADP in both production and content. I can hardly stand Tori's vocals on ADP, MWG, and AATS. Her faux twang wanna-be rocker voice is so strained, dry, and just plain weird it's mostly intolerable. I never thought Tori would come back as strong as she has with both UG and NI. Granted the production in cheesy on NI at times, she is producing albums with little or no backing from labels. I dont know. I'm really happy with NI as a whole.

  6. #1821
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    I agree that it’s uneven. Broken Arrow to me is one of the worst produced. It lacks the lushness and warmth that it deserves. I feel like the production should be similar to that of Scarlet’s Walk the song for example. And I just find the drums at the end so cringe worthy, knowing there’s no actual drummer behind them. Programmed drums should be reserved for electronic sounding songs, but the acoustic aesthetic which I feel she is going for a lot on UG and NI should be real players.

  7. #1822
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pancakefrompele View Post
    she is producing albums with little or no backing from labels. I dont know. I'm really happy with NI as a whole.
    But she owns a studio (where she's recorded all her albums since Choirgirl) and can no doubt afford to hire a couple musicians beyond Mark and Tash. She just doesn't want to, and her recorded output suffers greatly for it. This implies she's kinda checked out from ever hoping to have a "relevant" album again (which I think she's more than capable of, but she won't even perform new songs without backing tracks FFS) and is doing it because making forgettable albums and touring them is what aging rock stars do. Native Invader could have been fantastic, but not even a middling feminist legacy score from Pitchfork etc. or interview talking point respite from Cheeto Hitler will change the fact her albums sound like inert slabs of muzak.

    In short (and apologies for the throwback Fori posting), she blew it on Native Invader. There's a great album in there somewhere.

  8. #1823
    By the methane lakes Bloody Grace's Avatar
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    I think she even admitted this was a rushed album, that she put together in one month because the songs wouldn't come (reason why the lyrics of Bang are absent from the booklet: she wrote them after the booklet was sent to print). I think the programmed instruments, the uneven production and the solo tour are all due to a lack of time.
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  9. #1824
    girlfriend, you are so on Octopussy's Avatar
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    I thought NI was the best-sounding album since AATS/MG. It’s hard to judge the band albums by same standard as everything post-2009, but I think it sounds much better than ADP and even TBK too. And this was “rushed”??? And she had years to work on Gold Dust?? Hmmm think we figured out the problem

    So if someone told her right now “new album by January or we’re selling Martian Studios to the faeries”, she’d have the album of her career.

  10. #1825
    strike every chord that you feel Owen's Avatar
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    I would never listen to most of the songs on UG/NI and think "Tori has checked out." It may not have the crazy amazing production of Choirgirl, SLG or Scarlet (her top 3 best produced, imho) or the rawness of Pele, but I clearly hear the work of a woman writing and performing with passion. Would I have loved a full real band on the record, sure? But given what they sounded like on TBK-AATS? mmmfh... I am thankful Tori has shared these songs with us. I turn to songs on these recent albums they way I used to turn to her music when I was a teenager.

  11. #1826
    Wasn't Scarlet quite a quick album too? That is without a doubt, one of her best.

  12. #1827
    girlfriend, you are so on Octopussy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    I would never listen to most of the songs on UG/NI and think "Tori has checked out." It may not have the crazy amazing production of Choirgirl, SLG or Scarlet (her top 3 best produced, imho) or the rawness of Pele, but I clearly hear the work of a woman writing and performing with passion.
    Yes the quality of the writing & performance make it clear to me that she has definitely not checked out, if anything she's more awake than she has been since 2005.

    My top 3 albums in terms of production are: Venus, SLG and Pele, with Choirgirl a close 4th. TBH I would probably rank Little Earthquakes #1, because it's perfect in every way, but that's not Tori's production so I consider it separate.

  13. #1828
    Robbing the muse... Beelust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Octopussy View Post
    And this was “rushed”??? And she had years to work on Gold Dust?? Hmmm think we figured out the problem
    So if someone told her right now “new album by January or we’re selling Martian Studios to the faeries”, she’d have the album of her career.
    I think this is on the money. Perhaps many of us love NI because she was inspired at the last minute and threw it together quickly. Venus was also quick. Some other albums with concepts like TBK or ADP (or whatever AATS is) she likely stewed about for a much longer time and calculated the albums too much.

    I find it incredible how Garlands was a B-side on TBK and Dragon, Smokey Joe, Drive All Night and Miracle (born from Violet's Eyes) were B-sides on ADP. Why oh why were these amazing songs not album-worthy? They were probably written quickly / side project songs that did not fit the calculated concepts she was trying to make. I prefer the theme type albums like UG and NI than her concept phase.
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  14. #1829
    an island of such great complexity justin's Avatar
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    is it wrong for me to be glad that tori changed direction on native invader (or whatever the album was to be called) once the 2016 election happened?

    'cuz i for one don't really wanna hear a whole album of smoky-mountain-bluegrass-guitar-and-banjo tori (and mark, of course). i think parts of scarlet and big wheel are the most country i'm willing to go with her...

  15. #1830
    Molecular Machine John's Face's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin View Post
    is it wrong for me to be glad that tori changed direction on native invader (or whatever the album was to be called) once the 2016 election happened?

    'cuz i for one don't really wanna hear a whole album of smoky-mountain-bluegrass-guitar-and-banjo tori (and mark, of course). i think parts of scarlet and big wheel are the most country i'm willing to go with her...
    Ha, I would absolutely love to hear what Tori could do with that sound actually.
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