I Will Be There
August 1, 2014 9:09 AM   Subscribe

unsure if vevo is region locked, so here is a dailymotion link.
posted by nadawi at 9:09 AM on August 1, 2014

Uh oh, Hawley has Aguilera-Spears Melisma Disorder. Although her mother escaped it, the condition has become quite a scourge among the younger generation of musicians and it's clear that Amos' circulating antibodies against it did not cross the placental barrier in sufficient quantity protect the youngling.

Cute to see the two working together, though. I've seen Amos in concert 11 times over 22 years--the only person I've seen live more than once or twice--and if a tour with her daughter is the entry fee for another opportunity, sign me up. I'll melisma right along.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 9:24 AM on August 1, 2014 [11 favorites]

Exactly. Tired of knuckleball singers. Throw me a fastball.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:26 AM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yep, that damned American-Idol-style R&B melisma. The thing that makes teen-agers think they are showing off their voices! It is only showing off the fact that they have not developed any taste yet.

Promising pipes, otherwise! And adorable to see this team-up.

Weird to hear Tori's trademark chorusing fx stacked against daughter's relative production clarity. Ends up feeling a bit like the gauze on the lens for Liz Taylor's closeups.
posted by damehex at 9:30 AM on August 1, 2014 [9 favorites]

Warbling singers don't do it for me. Also, the schmaltz.
posted by monospace at 9:30 AM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Disappointing to hear Amos' lovely voice so over-processed. Forget the schmaltz - just the smoothing is so unpalatable I only made it through 60 second's worth the other day.
posted by phearlez at 9:48 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Love Tori. Hawley's voice is lovely, and I'll be interested to see what she does next if this launches her, but she's no Tori Amos. I am guessing the overprocessing and weird harmony loops are actually on purpose to keep her from overshadowing her daughter too obviously.
posted by Mchelly at 10:00 AM on August 1, 2014

Tori Amos is no Tori Amos. I've seen her live three times and each time in a progressively smaller venue. In about 10 years she'll be playing house parties. I did a meet and greet once and she was a very nice person. Her daughter came in while it was out "turn," and they spoke for a few minutes. She looked like she was probably 7 at the time. Man, time flies.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:08 AM on August 1, 2014

Yeah, neat to see her kid, but otherwise total schmaltz peppered with AmIdol-type showoff-singing. Bah.

Ima go get my copy of Little Earthquakes now.
posted by uberchet at 10:16 AM on August 1, 2014

I can almost hear what they sound like behind the over production. The tour should be excellent!
posted by h00py at 10:18 AM on August 1, 2014

according to this interview there are no plans to play it live.
Have you performed "Promise" live yet?

No, I'm not going to perform it because it is our song. You know it's our song. And she's [Natashya's] writing her own songs out here on the road. She's got a guitar and she's doing her thing, she's developing, she's 13. And I think to go from singing in the hotel rooms and the studio to global exposure on Youtube is there's a couple important steps missing there.

This is coming from somebody who grew up taking the steps in the right way, in the gay bars or the small clubs, working up in the club circuit years later, playing small clubs before Little Earthquakes broke, then playing small venues. Then doing TV. Do you see what I'm saying? There were steps.


Milestones. And they're important because I don't think that you can discount how essential these steps are in making you and developing you as a live performer.
posted by nadawi at 10:21 AM on August 1, 2014

Oversold oversouling.
posted by Vibrissae at 10:35 AM on August 1, 2014

Thanks for this. I have liked Tori since I was a teenager, I now have friends-my-age who I liked Tori Amos with who have teenagers (or at least rapidly approaching teenagers), yet the idea of Tori Amos having a teenage kid is odd to me.

Tori is one of those artists who was VERY important to me in high school and college and who I have also seen many times, but for whatever reason, she falls out of favor with my brain every once and a while, and then I rediscover her latest work and realize that my brain often really lets me down.

(I am seeing her this Tuesday and have been listening more to her new stuff in preparation, so this particular comment is timely.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:35 AM on August 1, 2014 [7 favorites]

Neither Google nor Wikipedia have heard of "Aguilera-Spears Melisma Disorder". What is it?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:38 AM on August 1, 2014

Neither Google nor Wikipedia have heard of "Aguilera-Spears Melisma Disorder". What is it?

It's a joke. Melisma is a reference to the when you sing a whole crapton of notes in a single syllable; it's a kind of vocal party trick that sounds impressive on its own, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it's a sign of real talent - it's like, all sizzle but no real meat.

The "Aguilera-Spears" part is a reference to how younger singers of the 1990's, like Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, did this a lot and got a bunch of younger fans thinking it sounded flashy and impressive, and so now a lot of other singers try to concentrate on all sorts of vocal pyrotechnics rather than concentrating on genuine emotive performance. The typical "American Idol" singer does that a lot too. (I'd also say Mariah Carey came first, as well as Whitney Houston to an extent.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:47 AM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

NPR gives a pretty good overview of melisma with examples here.
posted by Pliskie at 10:48 AM on August 1, 2014

Back in the day, I was a huge Tori fan, and even saw her three times in one year. I'll admit that I haven't listened to any newer stiff of hers, and was kind of shocked she had a teenage daughter. As for the song in question...It's ok. I was amazed how much her daughter sounds like her. Or was that the overproduction? In either case, it all sounded a bit more like "Tori", rather than Tori.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:53 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ya know, Gainsbourg made a music video with his daughter too.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:04 AM on August 1, 2014

It's a sweet video, especially considering how, in the late 90s, several of Tori's songs were about her miscarriages, and how these were devastating to her. She clearly wanted a child, and it looks like she's been a happy mother.

This song isn't really representative of the album, which, despite its laugh-out-loud-on-first-encounter name ("Unrepentant Geraldines," no really), is probably her best release since, what, Scarlet's Walk? A lot of solo piano tracks, a lot of crystalline vocals. Very Under the Pink in a certain way, except the songwriting is (of course) quite different, 20 years on. If you like classic Tori, try a track like Weatherman instead - much more indicative of the album.
posted by erlking at 11:10 AM on August 1, 2014 [6 favorites]

melisma - she's doing it, but she's doing it tastefully, in the tradition of many 60s pop singers, with very good phrasing

not excessive by any means - squarely in the pop tradition - not oversouled and there's real feeling behind it - certainly not anything like aquilera-spears syndrome and not pyrotechnical

i like her voice better than tori's, who's a little too precise and distant for my taste

kind of a so-so song, though
posted by pyramid termite at 11:11 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

The song is so-so, the album is pretty good. "Trouble's Lament", "Weatherman", "Selkie", and the title track are all very listenable.

But I really liked Night of Hunters (which Natashya is also on), so, y'know, I'm not the most discriminating Tori fan.
posted by offalark at 11:15 AM on August 1, 2014

I was a huge Tori fan from 1998 to about 2005. The Beekeeper was just too much to take - toothless, overlong, lazy and uninspired-sounding, The Da Vinci Code meeting the worst of the mid-decade "Hot AC (adult contemporary)" styling. I liked-but-had-significant-problems-with her 2007 album American Doll Posse, and everything since then has been, to me, an absolute mess. I didn't even buy copies of her last few releases - unthinkable to 1999-me. So it just feels really thrilling and unexpected that she's put out an album that I think is Actually Pretty Good, with a few Really Brilliant tracks. She recently turned 50, and has talked in interviews (where she's been so down to earth and likeable!) about how this was a really necessary reality check for her . . .

It's just weird. Most people's teen idols will descend into schlock-land, if they're lucky enough to have a long enough career. It's just so unusual and happy-making to see that same teen idol rise out of schlock-land. Most sink forever into that slough of despond.
posted by erlking at 11:22 AM on August 1, 2014 [8 favorites]

>It is only showing off the fact that they have not developed any taste yet.

I just want to thank everybody for saying this; sometimes I become afraid that I'm the only person who feels this way.

This is Tori Amos singing a Hallmark card. She's good enough, or I'm enamored enough of her earlier work, that it's not immediately off-putting. But by any standard established by her, it's kind of trite and not very interesting. In my opinion, of course (which I will not bother to characterize as 'humble').
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:38 AM on August 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

Has she admitted to ripping off Kate Bush yet? Heh.


Alright, who threw that?!
posted by petebest at 12:03 PM on August 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

Y Kant Tori's Kid Sing?
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:10 PM on August 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

In the past, the tedious Kate Bush thing struck me as hollow and superficial, based more on their gender and their chosen instrument. Their songwriting and their technique and style at the piano couldn't be more different; if anything, Tori has more in common with Joni Mitchell, if Joni had Nina Simone's piano chops - but even that discounts her mostly-successful genre experiments like "Raspberry Swirl," a song which certainly doesn't sound like any of those three women I've mentioned.

I began by saying "in the past" because I actually think this most recent album does veer a little Bushian a times. It's maybe the first time that the comparison stands on fair ground. Tori must have heard and taken some inspiration from 50 Words for Snow - and fair enough, it's an inspiring album.
posted by erlking at 12:12 PM on August 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

I don't know, it's a sweet enough song given it's a duet with her kid she's proud of and the kid is thirteen years old. Yeah, the kid's performance is a little American Idol but, you know, she's thirteen.

Plus, she does not appear to have inherited her mother's weird-ass made-up singing accent. Like, damn Tori I do not know how you manage to have the word bliss come out as blee-heess but you need to cut that shit out
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:13 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

What's creepy is watching a person open her mouth and hearing an enormous studio come out of it.
posted by univac at 12:15 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also, this thread makes me want to write a song that consists of a single word, melisma-ed through a few verses, choruses & bridges. Huh. The word could be "melisma."
posted by univac at 12:18 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh now I'm sad. I REALLY love Tori Amos in ways that are irrational even though I've met her and she was a perfectly nice and normal person she is still somehow more goddess like to me. This video is fine, but it's overproduced garbage and her older stuff was always so much better. I want to have the last day of my life back so I can still remember the girl who wasn't a cornflake girl or who was Silent All These Years or the wonderful woman I met at the theater in Ames Iowa who was much nicer than I could have hoped she'd be to a young fanboy.

It doesn't hurt that my wife looks very much like Tori. I'm not sad. I'm living the dream.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 12:31 PM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

I really like the sentiment, but ugh. I can't handle the pitch correction on Tash's vocals. That autotune/melodyne warble on her first three lines ("say," "so," and "judge") really pops out. If you can't hit the melisma well on that part, please just sing it straight. She's got a decent voice, and could have been coached/directed to sing to her strengths for a better, more authentic performance. But computerized pitch correction has become so prevalent in modern music that I guess there's no issue if the line between "corrected pitch" and "accidental T. Pain" is blurred. Are most listeners so bombarded with synthesized pitch correction that their ears just gloss over obvious artifacts like those warbles? Because it's jarring to me.
posted by onehalfjunco at 1:49 PM on August 1, 2014

To begin with, I'll add to the chorus of "when I met her in person, she was so much nicer than she had any need to be." Her music helped me through some of the darkest days of my life, and I'll always love her.

But her musical growth and the evolution of my taste have sort of pulled apart. Nothing wrong with that, I'd rather that than for either of us to be insects in amber, but by the time of The Beekeeper, I was thinking we'd essentially parted ways. I'm delighted to hear a new album that I really just like, with no convincing myself required.

I like this song, too. And while you can find Natashya wanting when you stack her up against stars or her Mom, she's barely more than a child. I'm impressed with her for as young as she is.

(Re: Kate Bush, no they don't actually sound that much alike, especially not the earlier, more raw Tori from the days when that comparison started, but then why is that each is always an automatic suggestion for fans of the other? That suggestion is certainly how I started listening to Tori, and was very apt in my case.)
posted by tyllwin at 2:16 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Because Kate invented a lot of things like the headset mic LOOKITUP but mainly that right-on-top-of-the-mic breathy tiny voice rolling into a full swell is her property ok she owns it ferrealz and for Ms. Amos to so completely take that for the basis of a career's vocal style without so much as a simple "oh yeah Kate Bush is great" or anything, just some vague b-s-ey "who's Kate Bush" for every interview ever is total foul *tweeeee* out of bounds arrite. And what it is, too.


Uh, although she's quite talented of course. And the daughter did a great job. She's free to go.
posted by petebest at 3:50 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

(but has she ever denied knowing or liking Kate Bush? she's covered Kate Bush dozens of times in concert, and I remember even in the 90s she'd praise up Hounds of Love when asked in interview . . .)
posted by erlking at 3:58 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

She's been covering Running up that Hill on her latest tour.
posted by PenDevil at 4:06 PM on August 1, 2014

Oh. Uh . . well. Good!

Yes. Fine. In light of further circumstantial evidence, uh, objection withdrawn.

Carry on, Tori-adorers! Hahahaha! You see because - yes it, the, . . the is ahh, ehh well . . *cough* mm. Right. Good day.
posted by petebest at 4:54 PM on August 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

Tash was my favorite part of Tori's Night of Hunters concept album a few years back. She must've been 9 or 10 at the time, and I was just enchanted by the tone and cadence of her voice (the pop-y melisma seems like a more recent development). My favorite track on the whole album is Job's Coffin, which is 90% Tash with a smidge of Tori in the middle. She also appears on the tracks SnowBlind, Cactus Practice, and The Chase.
posted by brookedel at 5:23 PM on August 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

This song is deeply embarrassing but after watching the eviscerating grief of the RAINN Live in New York recorded performance, reading the heart-rending and physically painful discussion of Tori's miscarriages in Piece by Piece, her book with Ann Powers, and, of course, and always, the songs that were part of my lifeline, helping me "work my way back" to my own mom, I find the tenderness of it almost unbearably moving.

I refuse to watch the video however. Let's all just listen to this Choirgirl-era demo, which later got Faux-Tori'd up into "Miracle," instead, and then think about how fucking great a song "Oysters" is (though she seems to have lost the ability to combine 3 or 4 melodic ideas into one song, which is something I'll admit to missing).
posted by kickingthecrap at 11:25 AM on August 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

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