19 Songs, 1 Hour 19 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Like much of Tori Amos’ work, there’s an alleged concept here somewhere, but even listeners glued to the lyric sheet will be hard-pressed to discern it in Amos’ “Beekeeper.” What is known regarding Tori Amos’ 2005 studio album is that it’s a marathon release – 19 tracks, 80 minutes – that’s as artistically ambitious as any of her releases and sports plenty of peaks. Amos smartly opted for keeping the arrangements minimal, placing emphasis on her piano, honeyed voice and harmony back-ups, creating an album that harkens back to the singer-songwriter era of the early 1970s without slavishly replicating it. Amos is quirkier than Carole King, with lyrics jammed with private symbolism and codes. “Jamaica Inn” could be a Stevie Nicks outtake from Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk. “General Joy,” “Ribbons Undone,” and “Cars and Guitars” all feature Amos’ strong, stunning melodicism. “The Power of Orange Knickers” is a respectful duet with Irish singer Damien Rice. She’s a bit rougher with funk; “Witness” is uptight gospel, “Hoochie Woman” casts her as a blues shouter. Amos loves to dress up and assume new identities, keeping it free and fun even when she’s serious and intense.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Like much of Tori Amos’ work, there’s an alleged concept here somewhere, but even listeners glued to the lyric sheet will be hard-pressed to discern it in Amos’ “Beekeeper.” What is known regarding Tori Amos’ 2005 studio album is that it’s a marathon release – 19 tracks, 80 minutes – that’s as artistically ambitious as any of her releases and sports plenty of peaks. Amos smartly opted for keeping the arrangements minimal, placing emphasis on her piano, honeyed voice and harmony back-ups, creating an album that harkens back to the singer-songwriter era of the early 1970s without slavishly replicating it. Amos is quirkier than Carole King, with lyrics jammed with private symbolism and codes. “Jamaica Inn” could be a Stevie Nicks outtake from Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk. “General Joy,” “Ribbons Undone,” and “Cars and Guitars” all feature Amos’ strong, stunning melodicism. “The Power of Orange Knickers” is a respectful duet with Irish singer Damien Rice. She’s a bit rougher with funk; “Witness” is uptight gospel, “Hoochie Woman” casts her as a blues shouter. Amos loves to dress up and assume new identities, keeping it free and fun even when she’s serious and intense.

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