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Malaysian newspaper The Star has published this review of American Doll Posse written by Martin Vengadasen. Thanks to quentcomp for sending us the link!
Review By MARTIN VENGADESAN
Small strap: Rock
American Doll Posse
SOME goddesses seem just too quirky for their own good, don’t they?
I really can’t help wondering what it must be like to actually be a scintillating lady like Bjork or Kate Bush or Tori Amos … does one hammer away at a piano in a mansion all life long, striving to capture one’s beautiful tortured soul, stopping only sporadically to release your music to a cult of adoring fans?
Regardless of the mental make-up of Amos, I’ve got to give her plaudits for her work rate. While Bush has released just two albums since the early 1990s, the little nugget that is American Doll Posse is actually Amos’ ninth studio effort over the same period of time.
Now I must confess that I’ve never quite invested as much listening time in her latter albums as I did in that glorious opening double salvo of Little Earthquakes (1992) and Under the Pink (1994), but every time I did give Amos the time of day (anything from Boys to Pele and the covers album Strange Little Girl to the Adrien Brody video for Scarlet Walk), I was pleased.
I did, however, think that there was an element of ennui creeping into her work … that once she’d built up a body of over 100 original songs, she’d said all she has to say.
Well, this 23-song suite sets out to prove me wrong. There is actually a complex rock opera at play with Amos adopting five different, albeit familiar personas. Where the album sees her venture into new waters is the music which is rockier than any Amos album I’ve heard before. Songs like Big Wheel, the stomping Teenage Hustling and the mercurial Body and Soul are all exciting additions to her canon.
Of course it’s not all new … the yelps that kick off You Can Bring Your Dog are all vintage Amos, while the brooding Girl Disappearing, Dragon and Dark Side of the Sun are typical violently emotional piano ballads.
Lyrically, her politics moves a little from the usual realm of the gender dynamic to something more overt … with an opening track called Yo George directed at her country’s president, it’s hard to run from her views. But I, for one, am interested in what Amos has to say.
One day, I really have to sit down and sift through this woman’s fantastic body of work again ’cos as far as I recall, she hasn’t put off a weak album yet. In fact, with American Doll Posse, she’s chalked up yet another mini-classic.