A review of The Beekeeper appeared in the March 3, 2005 edition of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. The album is given a 5 out of 10.
Thanks to menju56 for sending this to the Dent. You can read the review online at wildcat.arizona.edu or below:
Trademark Tori weirdness can't redeem 'Beekeeper' (5/10)
The biggest problem with Tori Amos' new album, The Beekeeper, is that it sounds like every other Tori Amos album - if every other album were mixed together, muted a bit and the piano was replaced with a Bsendorfer organ. That's not to say that The Beekeeper isn't a good album; it just doesn't add anything to Amos' catalog of already similar sounding songs. It's just a little (dare I say it?) boring.
Amos' fans will be disappointed to find that her newest musical endeavor is virtually bereft of her infamously melodic, siren-like shrieking. In fact, the album is so toned down compared to albums like Boys For Pele and From the Choirgirl Hotel, that it sounds more like an adult contemporary compilation than it does an album of feminist anthems.
The Beekeeper is a conceptual album, on which Amos attempts to explore religion, female roles and sexuality, all under the guise of walking through six separate gardens. The problem, however, with anything conceptual, is that it's hardly ever practical, and The Beekeeper is no exception. The songs are arranged in an arbitrary order, which has nothing to do with the "gardens" to which they are assigned. The only way in which one would know how they were supposed to be grouped together would be to read the CD insert, which, thankfully, I did. I'd hate to think I missed the artist's conception.
In typical Tori fashion, The Beekeeper features songs about sex ("Hoochie Woman," "Sleeps With Butterflies" and the lackluster duet "The Power of Orange Knickers" featuring Damien Rice), as well as songs that make you want to have sex. Amos' sultry vocals are at their finest on "Sweet the Sting," which is arguably the album's sexiest track, featuring a pseudo-samba rhythm.
There's a Catch-22 involved with being a critically acclaimed musician. On the one hand, you're expected to retain your trademark sound, lest fans call you a sellout. On the other hand, you're supposed to grow and evolve as an artist to prevent those same fans from becoming bored. Someone should let Ms. Amos know that she is in no danger of becoming a sellout. Until that happens, Tori may find herself popular with the soccer-mom set. They're much too busy to notice that they're bored.
By Laura Wilson