Read a 3-star review of The Beekeeper from the March 10, 2005 edition of the Evansville Courier & Press newspaper.
The album is given a rating of 3 out of 5 and you can read the review online at courierpress.com or below:
Tori Amos grants limited access to the ordinary
By CHUCK CAMPBELL, Scripps Howard News Service
Tori Amos (Epic)
If Tori Amos is going to be accessible to the mainstream, she's going to do it on her own terms. Which is to say, Tori Amos isn't going to be very accessible to the mainstream.
The elusive singer-songwriter's new "The Beekeeper" certainly flirts with the rank and file: Strains of hook-oriented adult pop flutter out on the wings of her stately piano and feminine coos. What's more, half a dozen of "The Beekeeper's" cuts could have been the cornerstone of Amos' most popular release in her 14-year career. On these select tracks, she largely sets aside her tendency to engage in flights-of-fancy instrumentation and stream-of-consciousness lyrics.
"Sweet the Sting" is an invitation to laid-back sensuality overlaid with a funky bit of R&B, and even if her references to knickers and petticoats aren't contemporary, "The Power of Orange Knickers" is enriched by its building intensity and the smoky backing vocals of Damien Rice. Meanwhile, the delicate lullaby "Ribbons Undone," airy "Sleeps With Butterflies," gingerly flowing "Jamaica Inn" and absorbing "Ireland" (complete with impish "sha-na-nas") are escapist fun even the unwashed masses might enjoy.
Trouble is, the above six tracks don't account for even a third of the pudgy "Beekeeper," which stretches to 19 cuts and clocks in at just under 80 minutes.
Amos is modestly engaging for a few other songs -- stirring it up with feisty percussion on "Hoochie Woman," for example, while hitching into the hypnotic drone of the title track and closing with the elegant ballad "The Toast." Yet she fails terribly with her dumbed-down lyrics and harsher vocals of "Cars and Guitars" as well as with the epic "Witness," whose blues-rock is suppressed to the point of impotence.
There are also several new songs so redundant to the Amos catalog, you might wonder if she's even paying attention to herself as she goes.
Plus there's an impenetrable concept to "The Beekeeper" in which the tracks are subdivided (but not packaged together) into six different gardens -- such as "Elixirs and Herbs" and "Rock Garden." At least that's the kind of thing longstanding fans love about Amos, even if it doesn't suit the Top 40.
Rating (five possible): 3