Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Is She Channeling Sade?

Tori Amos' new album, The Bee Keeper came out today. I'm really glad I resisted the impulse to special order the fancy bonus version, the one where she includes actual flower seeds, since this album's theme is loosely garden-oriented. To my ears it's loosely drive-off-the-road-mellow, not-enough-pot-in-the-world-to-make-this-interesting oriented. I swear to god I thought I had accidentally slipped a Sade cassette into my dashboard stereo. But a cover of "Smooth Operator" would have made this at least provocative, aggressively retro, or something like that.

Maybe it will grow on me. I didn't really like From the Choirgirl Hotel that much at first, but at least it took me places, and certainly, I would have never openly articulated a Tori criticism, because do think she's a goddess of sorts.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love choirgirl. really a lot.

not sure about the more recent stuff. it's become very flat.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Margo, darling said...

Me too. It's one of my fav. Tori albums, in fact, but it took some time to grow on me. And this one is starting to grow on me now, actually (a whole three hours later). The song that's the hook getting me in is Martha's Foolish Ginger. I think Hoochie Woman is going to be a good one as well. Now I'm thinking the album starts out monotonous, but maybe hits its stride about 3/4 of the way through. Gotta spend some more time with it.

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, you're right. sometimes you have to spend some time with an album. I can think of lots of tori songs i didn't like at first that grew on me.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous New Kid on the Hallway said...

I definitely agree with all of this. Actually, the most recent of my Tori faves is definitely Strange Little Girls - loved it right away. I like Scarlett's Walk, but it had to grow on me too.

(I think Little Earthquakes is probably still my favorite, but that has as much to do with me and when I first heard it as her, probably.)

Anyway, I'll still have to invest in the new one!

10:06 PM  
Blogger Margo, darling said...

I always think of Tori albums as places to live--you listen to them so much that they stop being a sequence of songs and become a place you go, or maybe the way the inside of your head looks at a given moment of your life. (I think this is also true of Joni Mitchell albums, though right now I'm really struggling with learning to inhabit Don Juan's Reckless Daughter) I think this is especially true of Choirgirl, To Venus and Back, and Scarlet's Walk.

I just don't know if that will happen with this one, though. I can't get over the pretentiousness of "Orange Knickers," especially when she adds insult to injury by singing about petticoats. I can't go there, it's too insincere and affected. I don't care if you live in the UK, Tori, you're American and you know damn well you call them panties. What are you, Madonna now? Blech.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The minute I read reviews calling this one "mellow" and "mature," I went running the other direction. I like my Tori w/ some drama. Still haven't been able to get into Scarlet's Walk at all.


11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"(I think this is also true of Joni Mitchell albums, though right now I'm really struggling with learning to inhabit Don Juan's Reckless Daughter)"

Don't have Don Juan's yet, but love love love Mingus. Also think that her 80's and early 90's work is terribly underrated. I tend to pride myself on becoming attached to the inaccesible or knotty albums. For instance, I think Rickie Lee Jones's "The Magazine" is awesome.


11:56 PM  
Blogger Margo, darling said...

My girlfriend is always trying to get me into Rickie Lee Jones, but I haven't been very patient or open to her so far.

I gotta admit, this album IS growing on me. Even the stupid knickers song. But I press the skip button way more than I have for any other her other albums. Scarlett's Walk ended up being one of my very favs. I'd choose it over Choirgirl now, because no "Jackie's Choice" yuckiness.

I think you're right about Joni's later stuff. I found "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" the other day on i-tunes (is that an album or a song? can't remember) and thought it was really cool. Only Joni could get away with turning "The Second Coming" into a song.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tori... I actually think the "Venus Orbiting" half of Venus and Back (the new stuff, not the live stuff) has some great material, and no one ever seems to pay much attention to it. The one album (in addition to Scarlet's Walk) that I've never gotten completely into is "Boys for Pele." It's actually Beth Osborn's favorite.

Joni...Slouching Towards Bethlehem is on "Night Ride Home," an absolutely awesome album from 1992. (I think it's actually based on a poem... Yeats, maybe?)

Rickie...Rickie Lee Jones and I are likethis. Don't know where your girlfriend's trying to start you off, but I definitely think "Pirates" is the best jumping off point for most people. Her 2003 album "Evening of my Best Day" is also one of my absolute favorite albums from the past few years.

I'm also a hardcore Laura Nyro fan... (possibly Laura is to me as Dusty is to you?? Tho unfortunately minus the camp fabulousness.) and see it as part of my mission in life to convey her amazingness to my ignorant generation. The closest I've ever come to breaking up w/ my boyfriend was when he complained that her music was "too vaginal." Apparently she "sings from her vagina." I said, "If by vagina you mean soul, then yes, you're absolutely right."

What's really great is how I'm working on a certain paper right now and not stalling by posting long comments about female singer-songwriters on your blog.

Maybe I better get on that...


9:24 PM  

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