Jason: Ah, so here we are. Tori Amos.

Jeff: I know you’ve been waiting for this day for some time.

Jason: Well, Kelly Stitzel, who is a Tori fan, warned us about this album. Or I guess I should say “who was a Tori fan.”

Jeff: Who could have guessed we’d get holiday albums from Dylan AND Tori Amos in the same year?

Jason: Oh, we haven’t even gotten to Dylan yet, my friend. After today’s track, we may not make it another day. This is supposedly the album that has even her diehard fans throwing in the towel.

Jeff: I have never liked a single Tori Amos song, so I’m looking forward to this.

Jason: I have a version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” that is absolutely beautiful until she starts singing. She does all these weird chord changes and they sound really, really good, actually…and then her voice.

Jeff: I find her constant strangeness pretentious.

Jason: And this album cover is doing her absolutely no favors.

Jeff: Also, I blame her for Joanna Newsom.

Jason: Don’t even get me started on Joanna Newsom. Let’s just listen to the track.

Jeff: Okay. Now I’m wondering what a Joanna Newsom Christmas album would sound like, so anything that distracts me from that has to be better.

Jason: Let’s listen to “Holly, Ivy and Rose,” aka “The names of the three fans I have left.”

Tori Amos — Holly, Ivy and Rose (download)


From Midwinter Graces null

Jeff: Already, I’m transfixed by the album cover.

Jason: I think she just said “Lo, how a rose ere blooming,” but I can’t understand everything she said for sure.

Jeff: I was just about to ask you if she was speaking English. Isn’t this the language Jodie Foster used in Nell?

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Okay, that was someone else singing, right? In the “chorus”?

Jeff: I was just going to ask you that!

Jason: It’s a kid or something. That poor child.
Oh, now we’re in India.
…and the kid is back.

Jeff: Nothing about this feels the least bit like the holidays.

Jason: Yeah, the whole album is kind of like that. All the songs sound vaguely reminiscent of Christmas carols, and then she Tori-fies them. Jesus, there’s still a minute left.

Jeff: And I still don’t have any clue what’s going on. This is apparently a traditional song.

Jason: It is?

Jeff: Which makes Tori Amos as much of a dick as Sting.

Jason: They should have released an album together. They could have duetted on all these stupidly inaccessible songs. And then we’d have approximately 50% less tracks.

Jeff: Hey, guess what? “Midwinter Graces began as a suggestion by Doug Morris, chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Music Group.”

Jason: You’re kidding me.

Jeff: Nope. “I’ve been writing it since I was a little girl,” exclaimed Amos during an interview with The Advocate in promotion for the album. “[A] little girl, in church.”

Jason: “Hey Tori, why don’t you release something that nobody will buy so I can drop you from the label?”

Jeff: That other singer is someone named Natashya Hawley. Whose parents were also clearly dicks.

Jason: Yeah, guess what? That’s her daughter.

Jeff: I was right!

Jason: Ha ha ha! You may not believe this, but there are other bad tracks on this album. I did listen to the whole thing, and I couldn’t find a song I liked.

Jeff: I listened to it too, but I thought Sting’s was far worse.

Jason: That’s true.

Jeff: I was expecting Tori to do her dolphin voice.

Jason: Their duet album could have been called The Dolphin and the Whale. Or Pretentious and Pretentiouser.

Jeff: & Oates.

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

About the Author

Jeff Giles and Jason Hare

Two people, separate rooms Trying to hurt the other Bound together by destiny Is there nothing they won’t do? Will we never see them through?

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