This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Both albums will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 20:
When Taylor Swift headlines EnergySolutions Arena on Sept. 28, make a point to get there early to see opener Needtobreathe. The band, based in Possum Kingdom, S.C., won Group of the Year at the 2011 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, but Needtobreathe is no Stryper and cannot be pigeonholed as one of those "Christian bands," because the rollicking four have created the best rock album of 2011. "The Reckoning" is the group's fourth album, and brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart sound much like Kings of Leon, without the self-importance but the same swagger and dynamics that make this album full of passionate anthems poised to fill arenas. This is dynamite stuff. Grade: A
"Night of Hunters" is the album 48-year-old Tori Amos was born to make. This is the Peabody Conservatory of Music-trained pianist's first release on a classical music label, and is her first album recorded acoustically, relying solely on her vocals and piano skills (along with an orchestra). The album is a song cycle based on compositions from Chopin, Schubert and Bach that tells the story of a couple torn apart and a woman's search to find herself. She enlists her 11-year-old daughter to sing on four tracks, and somehow, it works, just as the entire album works, as Amos skips the gimmicks that have marred her later works and returns to the raw emotion and power of earlier songs such as "Yes, Anastasia" and "Winter." Grade: B+