Juliet alerted me to a review of The Beekeeper that appeared in the February 22, 2005 edition of The Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper. They gave the album an A-.
Those who love their Tori Amos with maximum eccentricity have likely been disappointed in recent years. "The Beekeeper" is here to make things freaky again. Since 1999's "TVAB", Amos's albums have sounded a tad too normal. They've never been bad--she doesn't make bad albums--but her quirks, strangeness, and charm were subdued.
She's always had a way with pretty and catchy, and "Parasol" is perhaps her most perfect pop song since "Spark" from 1998's "FTCGH"
On "The Beekeeper," both musically and lyrically, the enchantress of odd is reimmersed in her own off-kilter world with tales of "the power of Orange Knickers" a duet with Irish
singer-songwriter Damien Rice, and the pagan hymn "Original Sinsuality". THe results are riveting when sex, sin and sensuality are on her mind, so those tracks and the slithering "Hoochie Woman" with it's bottom heavy piano figure, are high points.
It's the title track that really stands out. It's a shivery, nearly seven minute beauty that utilizes both the gentle swirl and the low drone of a Hammond organ, an instrument Amos shows an obvious fondness for on this album.
A new book, "Tori Amos: Piece by Piece," which Amos wrote with former NY Times music critic Ann Powers, is a fascinating companion to "the Beekeeper," since Amos reveals the process behind most of the album's songs.
Amos has always been a strange one, but she's hidden her wonderfully weird light under a bushel too often. It's burning a little brighter on "The Beekeeper"