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In Memory Of Violet's Husband, Kim Flint
1969 - 2010

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Calendar
View full listings.
    Tour Status

    Tori will be touring in 2014 to support the release of Unrepentant Geraldines. The European legs runs from May through June and the North American legs spans July and August. We do not know if additional dates elsewhere will be added.

    Other News Sources
    Current Release

    Unrepentant Geraldines (album, 2014)
    Release Dates:
    May 9 - Germany/Netherlands
    May 12 - UK/France
    May 13 - North America
    May 16 - Australia
    Recent Releases

    Gold Dust (album, 2012)

    Night of Hunters (album, 2011)

    Midwinter Graces (album, 2009)
    Abnormally Attracted To Sin (album, 2009)

    Live at Montreux 1991/1992 (DVD, 2008)

    American Doll Posse (album, 2007)

    A Piano (boxed set, 2006)

    Pretty Good Years
    (bio, 2006)

    Fade To Red
    (DVD, 2006)
    Cherries On Top
    comic book tattoo Comic Book Tattoo (book, 2008)

    News: Resonatormag's ADP Review

    Posted by Violet on Friday, April 27, 2007 | Reviews

    Over at Resonatormag.com, Shaun Bateman reviews American Doll Posse, giving it a rating of “Eh, pretty much not that great. Also, disappointing.”


    Tori Amos
    American Doll Posse
    Epic Records, 2007

    Rating: Eh, pretty much not that great. Also, disappointing.

    There’s a fantastic debate that rages in the Resonator offices (ok, basically just between Trixie and I) anytime there’s mention of a new Tori Amos project. It basically goes something like this:

    Trixie: “She jumped the shark at ‘Choirgirl’ ”

    Me: “How can you say that? There was this amazing mixed-down skippy almost two-step breakbeat on “Goodbye Pisces” from the last record and…”

    Trixie: “And I would have listened if she hadn’t gotten boring after ‘Choirgirl’.”

    And that, essentially, encapsulates our Tori dialogue (although the above version features fewer things being thrown across kitchens). With both of us having our hearts still firmly in love with the Tori Amos who was a raved-up diva (and yes, I do mean RAVE: I can tick off House and Trance staples that found their origins with her enough to make your head spin, kids), straddling a line between new and old by thrashing the fuck out of her Bosendorfer grand piano and snaking synth lines from her Casio to craft a sound that was, and words fail here, fucking intense, the Tori Amos of recent years has been, well, a bit of a let-down.

    Choirgirl Hotel, Tori’s late-90s venture into electronic song sculptures as a way to achieve catharsis from a failed relationship, a miscarriage and a flowering love that would result in marriage, was the pinnacle of her musical creativity. She’d pulled her songwriting back from the self-indulgent wine-drunk edge that made her previous album, Boys For Pele, the sort of record only a fan could love (and thus I adore it, more so than any of her other work), and had begun experimenting with making loops and samples the forefront, the body and meat, of her songs. It’s from this stuff that the shoulda-been-a-Prog-House-hit “Liquid Diamonds” and the anthem-that-wasn’t “Raspberry Swirl” both were birthed. While she’d continue to layer deep, pulsing tones underneath a lot of To Venus and Back, and removed a lot of the layers from her chosen covers on Strange Little Girls and redid the songs with a hazy buzz, there was never the sense of all-out experimenting with electronic and synthetic ideas that seemed to be her direction for a moment.

    We can blame motherhood (but why demonize something so awesome and deserved), we can blame age (but why fault something so eventual), or we can blame the current political climate in America (that’s it! Let’s fault Bush! FUCK BUSH!), but Tori has utterly mellowed on-record in recent years. While Scarlet’s Walk and The Beekeper both have near-moments of almost-oldschool Tori fury (of which I try to sell Trixie on just to get her to listen), compared to her older stuff both records feel neutered and, even worse for an artist who has always been the musically creative equivalent of a crackwhore, boring. She’s still utterly batshit crazy live, calling out during 80 minute versions of classics like “Professional Widow” for boys, daddy and rain (yes, said) and interspersing her on-stage exorcisms with between-song banter about ravioli, party dresses, chickpea cheesecake and Professor Koala.

    So, the announcement of this new Tori album, Strange Little Dol, erm, American Doll Posse, and its accompanying concept (TORI! In WIGS! Saying WEIRD SHIT!), was met with eye-rolling from both Trixie and myself. While others across the netverse have jumped on every little Tori interview quirk, there are those of us who look, shrug, and just say “yeah, she was crazier in, like, ’97, and I was there”.

    I’m not really necessarily sure why she found the need to re-hash an idea done better in the Strange Little Girls booklet, what the multi-personality Toris have to do with American Doll Posse conceptually, or how they help string the record together (though it’s fucking hilarious that the disheveled one with the Beyonce-esque crazy eyes and clutching a chicken, like a rejected extra from the Pele photo shoot, is “Tori”), but I’ve always been insistent that a concept album should be listenable even if one’s removed entirely from the concept. I remember recording my CD copy of Choirgirl to a cassette to hear the “alternate track list”, i.e. to re-order the songs to follow the way the lyrics were printed. Apparently re-arranging the songs allowed for some “hidden meaning”. Honestly, yeah, it did flow better, but Choirgirl was still listenable as-was, from front to back.

    American Doll Posse, while offering up a lot of blog fodder with the single “Big Wheel” (“OMFG YOU GUYS SHE CALLS HERSELF A MILF!”), really offers nothing new, or nothing that would really lure back those of us who continue, time after time and album after album, to slip away, go to the shows, see the force of Tori live, sigh out the door and say ‘god, I wish she’d make another GREAT album”. There are a few splendid moments, such as Tori funneling her long-lost b-side “The Pool” through Kevin Shields’ sound system on “Fat Slut”, that come as highly unexpected. The highlight of these is when, on what should totally be the album’s second single “Bouncing Off Clouds”, Matt Chamberlain’s precise drumming falls away to reveal drum programming and Tori house-diva vamping “easy/make it easy/it’s not as heavy as it seems”. It’s a euphoric, tear-stained half-light of a moment, the type of moment that’s liable only to translate to those who’ve ever been dancing as the sun came up. The fact that this comes so early on American Doll Posse, though, shows what Tori could and can still do, and makes the fact that she chooses instead to litter the album with what that past half-decade of Tori has consisted of, namely M.O.T. (mainstream-oriented Tori) stuff like “You Can Bring Your Dog” and “Secret Spell”. The problem is that there’s nothing really wrong with any of these songs, but there’s nothing that exciting, either. Tori Amos albums used to be head-fuck amalgams of the cutting-edge and the childlike, the obscene and the divine. Now, those moments of utter transcendence, the type of songs that always proved that while the world may not have been listening to her she was listening to every sound from everywhere, are far too few and come too infrequently.

    Maybe the American Doll live show will cause a re-evaluation of this record for me, in a fashion that the end of The Beekeeper solo show I caught, with Tori performing the title song in a droning haze before turning up the feedback and storming off stage, leaving a painful, powerful reverb thumping in my chest that literally made it impossible to breathe. I hope for something like that this time around-because every time Tori works her magic in a live setting, it leaves a little more hope that maybe NEXT album she’ll be the amazing, bewitching, psycho-genius Tori that the world either loves or hates. As for now, though, it’s too easy to simply just “like” her, because there isn’t that much on American Doll Posse to love.