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Matt tipped us off to his review of American Doll Posse, which ran in Sunday’s Home News Review “Teen Scene” section:
Tori Amos shows more of a rock sound on “Posse”
Published in the Home News Tribune Teen Scene 05/13/07
By MATT RICHARDS
After Tori Amos released “The Beekeeper,” many fans were skeptical of whether she still had it in her.
The fiery redhead, known for her intensely personal piano ballads, had seemingly left them behind for light-hearted, adult-contemporary pop songs about “driving in her Saab.” Fans wondered where the woman who sang openly — although cryptically — about rape, miscarriages, a friend’s suicide and Catholicism had gone.
With “American Doll Posse,” Amos has created one of her best albums, which has more of a rock sound.
However, the album’s concept is weak. It revolves around five women: Pip, Santa, Clyde, Isabel and Tori. Apparently, they are all supposed to be based on Greek mythological characters and they all have certain characteristics/traits that make up a woman. For the project, Amos has gone as far as to make online blogs for each of the women. Over the duration of the album, the concept seems lost and unimportant.
“Big Wheel” is the first single and it is already stirring up controversy thanks to a certain acronym. Regardless, it’s an inventive, country-rock song, a new sound never heard from Amos before.
“Teenage Hustling” is evidence of Amos’ stylistic change. While the song starts with a light piano, it soon bursts into an all-out glam-rock anthem. It is so different from anything Amos has ever recorded, and it re-establishes her place as one of the most original artists out there.
“Digital Ghost” is one of the best tracks on the album. With lyrics such as “It started as a joke, just one of my larks to see, if somehow I could reach you, only to find you all alone, curled up with machines, now it seems you’re slipping, out of the land of the living,” it is evident that Amos’ writing is as good as its ever been.
“Body and Soul” is a great rock song that will likely anger Catholics. In the song, Amos sings, “Sweet communion? I’ll save you from that Sunday sermon, boy I think we need a conversion.”
One of the things I have always admired about Amos is her daringness and outspokenness, and it shines through more in these few words than it did at any moment on “The Beekeeper.”
Not since the “Mona Lisa Smile” soundtrack has Amos’ voice sounded so pure and classical as it does on “Dragon.” I love the lyrics: “Stay a while, cause your wild card boy needs playing, don’t believe the lie your dragon needs slaying, won’t you stay with me and I will bring kisses for the beast, lay here with me.”
Other tracks featured on the album include the anti-war anthem “Dark Side Of The Sun,” the gorgeous “Girl Disappearing,” which features a nice string arrangement and the best lyrical moment on the album (“Left whips and chains, I’m boycotting trends again, it’s my new look this season”), and the beautiful, piano-driven “Almost Rosey.”
It is great to see that 16 years into her career, Amos is at the top of her game.