Read a review of The Beekeeper posted to LiveDaily.com on February 23, 2005.
Thanks to menju56 for alerting me to this review. You can read it online at livedaily.com or below:
CD Review: Tori Amos, "The Beekeeper"
by Jim Harrington
Tori Amos has been trying to deliver a wholly satisfying conceptual album for years. "The Beekeeper" buzzes close to that mark, but ultimately can't deliver the type of cohesive storyline needed to hold together this ambitious song cycle.
Beyond that failure, "The Beekeeper" is a pretty fine record, on par with 2002's "Scarlet's Walk" and vastly superior to her misguided thematic covers album, 2001's "Strange Little Girls." There are plenty of musical highlights, including the jazzy "Sweet the Sting" and the quirky "The Power of Orange Knickers," where Amos' voice is complemented wonderfully by Damien Rice.
Songs like those are almost enough to make one overlook the storyline.
Having addressed the Native American portion of her bloodline with "Scarlet's Walk," Amos this time draws from her experience as a Methodist minister's daughter in what is a loosely semi-autographical tale that involves multiple metaphorical gardens, a beekeeper heroine and countless--though always convoluted--religious themes.
Amos says she went back to the earliest days of Christianity by studying the Gnostic gospels of the Nag Hammadi Library in preparation for this project. The listener's preparation should be to disregard the storyline and simply enjoy the songs as they come.