Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bouncing Off The Clouds

Song: Bouncing Off The Clouds
Artist: Tori Amos
Album: American Doll Posse

I suppose it’s easy to dislike Tori Amos, or simply write her off as a freak. She is an artist that follows her muse and artistic vision, which can be maddening, confusing, and totally thrilling. Her latest, “American Doll Posse” continues in the tradition of Tori being, well… Tori. It’s a “concept” record of sorts in which she sings the songs from the point of view of five different woman whom she names and even dons different wigs on the album artwork to demonstrate the look and attitude of these woman. SO Tori!

I will be honest and admit a few things; A) I’m a pretty unabashed Tori fan, and have been since High School, B) despite A, I’m not a Tori obsessive (and it seems most of her fans are) and actually really disliked her last record, her absolute worst, and C) I only half follow Tori’s concepts and obtuse poetry.

So that said… “American Doll Posse” seems to be an overlong, maddeningly random, Tori-force, a more rock record unlike anything she’s done since her first album, and yes… I mean the never re-released 80’s pop rock debut “Y Kant Tori Read.” At this point, I am not following the five-lady concept and am just trying to get THROUGH this epic. But there is a lot of great stuff here. First single “Big Wheel” is a groovy rocker that finds Tori at her most 70’s, “Bouncing Off Clouds” is the return of dance-remixable Tori, and “Digital Ghost” has a rock power ballad that could have been a mess if it were not for Tori’s commanding voice. Who knows what she’s talking about, but something good is going on here. I’ve not nearly gotten through all the albums treasures, but I’m happy to say that I want to keep listening, which was not the case on the disastrous “The Beekeeper.”

Tori had been falling out of my favor starting with the crazy-bitch manifesto that was “Boys For Pele” (which many fans will argue is her shinning moment) but I faithfully purchased every new release (sans the Greatest Hits package and the rarities box set “A Piano” that I might have been interested in if it hadn’t followed “Beekeeper.” Every album still had at least a few tunes that made them worth having, and then came “Scarlet’s Walk” which in my opinion might be the best of her albums to date. Again, a concept is in there, but it’s interesting, about a woman traveling through the U.S. post 9/11 and breathing it all in, good and bad. It’s Tori as storyteller and it just happens to have some of Tori’s most beautiful music. If you don’t have it, and like her even a little, go get it now.

So far I am recommending “American Doll Posse” as it shows us another side of Tori, the rock chick we knew was there but hadn’t been fully realized. The haters won’t have their minds changed, the devoted will rejoice, and fans like me will just say, “right on Tori, you still got it.”


The video for "Big Wheel"

No comments: