Like Kate Bush's Directors Cut last year; singer-songwriter and pianist Tori Amos has revisited and reimagined a selection of tracks of her 20 year career.
Working alongside longtime arranger John Philip Shedale, these songs are presented alongside the Metropole Orchestra, with whom she performed in Amsterdam in 2010, and who sparked this collaborative effort. Handpicked by Amos for their personalities and ability to be transformed, the tracks comprising Gold Dust play like less a selection of greatest hits, and more as a personal narrative spanning a successful back catalogue. Of the songs making the final cut she states: "They are a collection of new studio recordings of where they are now and who they have become".
It's the two lives of these songs which Tori is much fixated on: their initial moment of conception and their aliveness surrounding their current circumstances, and while personal selection has been key the re-recordings too are somewhat influenced by other people's experience of the songs, alongside how they've evolved in their creator.
Over the course of the tracks there is a richer instrumentation; from opener 'Flavor's introduction of harps and stirring string arrangements, on to the trumpeteering bombast of 'Yes, Anastasia', in whose former self, all musical climaxes were built from piano alone (in the first half at least). Some versions such as 'Precious Things' vary little in the dressing up they are given, merely a fuller sound than a different direction altogether, though not every artist is likely to confound even themselves by so vastly altering a song in the way say, Dylan might.
These are majestic and at times triumphant re-recordings; most beautifully in the orchestral arrangements which allow each voice of instrumentation to speak out on each of the tracks, and too Amos' powerful soaring vocal, rising above the music, still indelibly connected to her songs beginnings.