Many thanks to Lucy
for this review!
If the thought of
another batch of songs inspired by Sept. 11, especially by angst
queen Tori Amos, is enough to ruin your day, you'd think the good
news would be at least she's focused on a national rather than
personal tragedy, right?
Well, not exactly.
Amos has used the events of Sept. 11 as a jumping-off point to muse
about our country's history, past and present ("chronicle of her
love affair with America"). But in her hands,
"history" has a loose and varied interpretation.
"Amber Waves," a tune that has more to do with an
unscrupulous promoter who exploits a woman than the U.S. of A. The
first single, "A Sorta Fairytale" is a return to form of
sorts. In this relationship tale, she says the word "I" no less
than 32 times. Throughout, the recipe stays pretty much the same with
Amos inserting obtuse references to the country, flag, ideals, etc.
Of course, there's always the distinct possibility I'm too shallow to
decipher the true meaning of lines like: "Messiahs need people
dying in their name/you say, 'I ordered you a pancake?'" (from
"Pancake"). Musically, the tunes are more cohesive this
time around, with more of a "band" feel then simply people
accompanying Amos and her Bosendorfer. "Crazy," one of the
catchier tracks seems to be about sex, while the Sinfonia of London
adds a Moody Blues luster to "Gold Dust." At least is
appears that last year's terrorist attacks tempered Amos'
self-centered ramblings and encouraged her to think about someone
besides herself. Now, let's all join hands and pray she doesn't
co-write with Ani DiFranco.
By MICHAEL LIPTON