Album: Tori Amos

The Beekeeper, SONY BMG
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

I confess that I failed to make it all the way through this latest offering from Tori Amos, but after suffering through three-quarters of an hour, and realising that there was still more than half an hour to go, I decided that life really was too short, and growing painfully shorter with each ghastly syllable. To begin with, there was merely a sizeable "so what?" factor, but by the third track, "The Power of Orange Knickers" - yes, yes, I know - I found myself echoing Amos's request, "Can somebody tell me a way out of this?". Then, following the mild irritation of the piratical metaphor of "Jamaica Inn" (and her pronunciation of it as "Jam-ikea", as if it were some Swedish conserve), my patience finally snapped somewhere between "Barons of Suburbia" and "Mother Revolution", a passage of unlistenably amorphous "songs" in which each line is so indefinitely phrased, and the melodies so inconsequential, that none of the individual pieces assumed a shape of its own. Someone needs to tell Amos (and it might

I confess that I failed to make it all the way through this latest offering from Tori Amos, but after suffering through three-quarters of an hour, and realising that there was still more than half an hour to go, I decided that life really was too short, and growing painfully shorter with each ghastly syllable. To begin with, there was merely a sizeable "so what?" factor, but by the third track, "The Power of Orange Knickers" - yes, yes, I know - I found myself echoing Amos's request, "Can somebody tell me a way out of this?". Then, following the mild irritation of the piratical metaphor of "Jamaica Inn" (and her pronunciation of it as "Jam-ikea", as if it were some Swedish conserve), my patience finally snapped somewhere between "Barons of Suburbia" and "Mother Revolution", a passage of unlistenably amorphous "songs" in which each line is so indefinitely phrased, and the melodies so inconsequential, that none of the individual pieces assumed a shape of its own. Someone needs to tell Amos (and it might as well be me) that music plus words doesn't necessarily equal songwriting. I defy anyone to map the tortuous course of a typical Amos song, in which every facet - from self-help verbiage to tinkling pianistics to randomly undulating delivery - seems designed to obfuscate. So, what exactly is the point? Quite the worst record I've heard this year, by a country mile.

Comments