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Dana tipped us off to this review of American Doll Posse in the May 6th edition of The News & Observer, a Raleigh-Durham area newspaper.
Feminism meets femininity
Josh Love, Correspondent
Tori Amos, “American Doll Posse” – 3 1/2 Stars
The Pussycat Dolls is a group made up of five women who are indistinguishable except for their appearance. The implication is clear: One woman is differentiated from another solely by the color of her hair or skin.
Tori Amos scoffs at this culture of interchangeability, and while the similarity in titles may be a coincidence, her newest album, “American Doll Posse” (Epic), can be heard as an attack on PCDs’ one-dimensional cartoonishness.
There are five female characters here as well, but in a brilliant inversion of convention, these aren’t five separate women who act the same but five unique personalities residing in the same woman. The idea is that women don’t merely have distinct identities, but that every woman has many sides.
The idea of Amos performing in the guise of Isabel, Clyde, Santa, Tori or Pip may sound a tad kooky, but the approach has liberated a once-fierce artist who had started to slide into pablum.
In the past, Amos made her most exhilarating music with techno beats, but here she has discovered the power of rock, lashing out with snarling guitars on “Body and Soul” and “Teenage Hustling.” These whip-cracking moments throw Amos’ gentler fare into greater relief, and thus the aching melodies of “Roosterspur Bridge” and “Almost Rosey” strike deeper than they would have on her two previous, too same-y records.
Lyrically, Amos isn’t quite the bloodletting poet of “Boys for Pele,” but “You Can Bring Your Dog” and “Girl Disappearing” prove she is still masterful at navigating the space shared by feminism and femininity. As long as unempowered Dolls ruin commercial segues during the NBA playoffs, we need someone to remind us that there are other roads for girls to take.
Published: May 06, 2007 12:30 AM