Re-sculpting many of her best loved songs, the complexity of her musicality emerges from the intensity of the originals—as dynamics are truly sculpted and the songs take on new and often more ominous colors.
While anyone who lost touch with Amos over the years will certainly enjoy Gold Dust—and the sonic upgrades to some of her best songs are sublime—in the end, it’s not essential.
Gold Dust as a whole is also split right down the middle, with half of it being interesting and a pleasure to listen to with nice reworkings of old classics or new favourites, while the other half is in many ways an offensive and superfluous mess with lazy production techniques and baffling song choices.
I had very high hopes for this collection, having been hugely impressed by the inspired and imaginative re-arrangements of her back catalogue that she performed with the Apollon Musagette Quartet on her Night of Hunters tour last year. Here, however, she plays it a little too safe, choosing tracks that, for the most part, already featured some kind of orchestration in their original recordings. That said, these new versions are still pretty decent, as are Amos' now seasoned vocals.