Thursday, August 09, 2007

Digital Ghost

Song: Digital Ghost
Artist: Tori Amos
Album: American Doll Posse

Often in my album listening certain songs will stick out as immediately enjoyable and others take awhile to fully appreciate. The album as a whole works this way too, sometimes the singles get repeated early and often, but then certain tracks take hold, or the entire project as a whole comes into better light. I wanted to highlight some records that I had already written about when they first were available only to find that they seriously grew on me, and have been my most listened to albums over the last several months.

I am a Tori Amos fan, but don’t consider myself a fanatic. I like most of her work, have gotten all of her proper albums, but can agree to flaws, will not begin to think everything she does is genius, (you know you’re out there Tori-heads) and sometimes just find her Tori-eccentricities a bit maddening. But I will say given the obtuseness of some of her work and the complexities that she interweaves within each album, I appreciate her because even though I may know a song or album by heart, there are still depths still to reach. It could be argued that her poetry is nonsense and undeserving of deep study, but I see it as her way of letting the music apply to the listeners life. Songs with specific meaning or stories behind them often can no longer hold relevance outside that given meaning.

So, Tori’s “American Doll Posse” turned out to actually be pretty great. As mentioned, I was immediately taken with the rocky U.S. first single “Big Wheel” and the U.K. first single “Bouncing Off Clouds” but also found some other really killer tracks such as “Teenage Hustling,” (reported second single) “Secret Spell,” “Body and Soul,” Beauty of Speed,” and the haunting “Digital Ghost.”

Actually, “Digital Ghost,” a semi rock-ballad, is my hands-down favorite, and the song that I simply can’t stop listening to. If it wasn’t for Tori’s ‘Tori-isms’ I would venture to say that this song could have been a hit… but Tori is not going to ever play it straight, she just doesn’t have it in her. And while the song seems to be about losing someone to something, unable to get them back, the vagueness of the lyrics both help and hinder the song. It is mysterious yet maddening… really a perfect example of everything Tori. But a simple line like “’Cause the you I knew is fading away” is heartbreakingly direct.

I’ll agree with the critics that the album is overlong which at this point I have come to expect from her. But the collection as a whole is so strong, returning to the creative high that was “Scarlet’s Walk” after the boring as anything “The Beekeeper.” I still am not sure what to make of the whole concept of the record (which I won’t bother to write about, you can read here) but this is Tori as uncompromising artist, and I appreciate it.


And here is proof of everything you think of Tori Amos, and also what you don’t understand:

Here she is performing “Big Wheel” on Letterman:

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