Review Summary: Ah. The beautiful Tori is back with the strongest record from her since, well.. (dare I say it) Boys for Pele in 1996. Unlike her previous efforts, American Doll Posse gives the listener a more wholesome feel-- what with the 23 songs offered here.
To be honest, I have only started to really listen to Tori Amos a few years back, and hell, I was really impressed with Little Earthquakes, her not-so-debut album. What with all the famous controversy with her rows with Nine Inch Nail's Trent Reznor. But nevermind all that. Let's come back to the little masterpiece called American Doll Posse.
This record sees Tori giving her individualistic views on a few things. To make things a little more uh hurm, "interesting" for the listeners, there are five different female characters that revolve around the album's 20 tracks. [If she wishes to so weirdly get five alter egos (of some sort) to explain these tracks, well then let's honour her creations. After all, when is Tori ever normal? & i meant that in a good way. Her songs are never normal.
*Isabel (hisTORIcal) being the most outwardly political one. This persona is pictured most apparently in the songs "Yo George" that obviously directs to the president, "Mr. Bad Man", "Devils & Gods", the sweet-catchy "Almost Rosey" and "Dark Side Of The Sun" which provides the brilliant phrase: 'So how many young men have to lay downTheir life and their love of their womanFor some sick promise of a heaven'
Then, there's Clyde (CliTORIdes) who just appeals to me as a painfully confused person through Tori's long-winded explanation of this idealistic person who "wears emotional wounds up her sleeves". uh-huh. Anyhow, her voice is strongest in the album, with stand-out tracks like the awesome "Bouncing Off Clouds" and "Girl Disappearing". The latter of which is a very strong piano-pop (as some would call it) song, with minimum flaws in her vocals. In fact, "Girl Disappearing" could be standing right up there with her earlier works "Crucify" and "Silent All These Years" just because of its beautiful arrangement lining Tori's heartfelt emotions poured through the words ' Riding on backs of palominosDitching the blond shellWorking her hellOn that red carpet.'
Pip (ExpiraTORIal) is a confrontational "warrior woman", her persona inspiring songs like
"Teenage Hustling", "Fat Slut" and "Smokey Joe". Most apparent of a strong person (even resembling Xena) are in these heavier tracks. "Body & Soul" (with Santa), and"Velvet Revolution" are the more berable tracks, since "Smokey Joe" and "Teenage Hustling" sounds more of a theme song of a lousy television show after some further listening.
Santa (SanaTORIum) can do better. Her most assecible track, "Programmable Soda" should provide some hooks. Too bad it only lasts a little over a minute. Since Santa is sensual and passionate, these tracks feature a softer side of Tori's vocals. after the horrifying repeat button that spoiled Pip's songs. "You Can Bring Your Dog" is playful, although not one of the better tracks.
Tori (TerraTORIes) covers the songs "Digital Ghost", "Father's Son", "Code Red" and "Posse Bonus" and the single "Big Wheel". I suppose this is the chaaracter we see of her. "Digital Ghost" is a simple track with pretty neat lines and we are brought to familiar grounds with the sounds of "Code Red". It sounds like what Tori would normally write, a very very close resemblance to "Spark" off the 1998 album, "From the Choirgirl Hotel"
Unlike its predecessors, American Doll Posse actually equalizes all of Tori that we love. Her earlier compilation album, "Tales of a Librarian" had featured darker songs that are similar to some of the songs on Posse, but the theme is not laid throughout. Despite the many songs that shows Tori's versatility (as if we didn't know), Posse has just further cemented her position way right up there with the great female composers of her time.
While this album gives us more sides to Tori than we'll ever want to know, this is, I must admit, pretty darn good.