Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Tori: The Beekeeper

Tori Amos: The Beekeeper (Epic)
From 1992 to 1999 Tori Amos crossed the societal lines of sensuality and confrontation as well as the musical boundaries–she was too edgy for the pop or adult contemporary labels and her sound did not quite merit the rock or experimental categories because of instrumentation and song structure–with powerful and stylistic gems (Little Earthquakes through To Venus and Back). Since then Amos has put forth three mediocre records, including her latest release, The Beekeeper, which, instead of ripping open the hearts and minds of her faithful fans, has hived a spot on Musak’s playlist.

It is almost sad the way Amos attempts to execute her usual conventions like vocal bends and obscure vocals (which fall short as an obvious attempt at depth) because the album is so heavily produced to conform to candy-coated, pleasant ensemble pop. What happened to the eerie and cryptic messages translated into original and intimate sentiments filtered through fervid piano parts and unforgiving vocal musings? Beekeeper sounds to much like her last release, Scarlet’s Walk (Epic), which was also a disappointing display of middle-aged content. Though The Beekeeper is beautifully packaged, with plenty of suggestive and artistic shots of Amos, fans should consider demanding that she fire her husband, Mark Hawley, from the mixing and recording of her next album, reflect on the US ideal of separation of powers, and apply that to the division of marriage and music. Tori, we’ve lost the faith.


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