Tori Amos is a talented woman who never fails to surprise me. She is the last person I ever thought would put out a Christmas album with all her musical debates about God. But the minister's daughter has gone back to her roots on this album. That is not to say that "Midwinter Graces" is not in its own way controversial. That is something that Tori Amos never ceases to do.
Whenever a musician releases a Christmas album there is always the accompanying belief that it will be an inferior product filled with false sentiment. Such is not the case with Amos's as it is one of her best recordings in years. Surprising coming from a woman who has spent the better part of her career poking fun at Christianity.
"Midwinter Graces" is filled with less obvious yuletide selections. Amos goes way back to find her carols. They are lushly arranged and filled with beautiful string sections. On one track we are even treated to hearing her niece Natashya's voice. To round out the album she has written five originals.