An article on Tori appeared in the April 22, 2005 edition of the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
You can read this article online at seattlepi.nwsource.com or below:
Hammond organ adds new depth to Tori Amos' latest album
By TRAVIS HAY
SPECIAL TO THE POST-INTELLIGENCER
Tori Amos packed lightly for her "Original Sinsuality Tour." The songstress is supporting her latest record, the religiously themed "The Beekeeper," with an intimate solo acoustic tour.
When she plays a sold-out concert at Benaroya Hall Friday night, in place of her usual band and its instruments filling the stage, the only accompaniment Amos will have will be her piano and a Hammond organ.
However, a solo tour is nothing new for Amos. She has gone it alone on the road before, but touring with a Hammond is a new experience for her. Before she began production on "The Beekeeper," Amos, a prodigal pianist as a child who started to tickle the ivories when she was 2 1/2 years old, never recorded a song on which she played the Hammond, let alone toured with one.
"The Hammond is an instrument I have respected but I have shied away from. ... Partly because I'm a piano player and I am somewhat intimidated by it," she said during a phone interview from New York.
Amos added that playing the Hammond while creating her new album brought more depth to her songwriting process. The results help make "The Beekeeper" one her most accessible albums. "The Beekeeper" sold more than 83,000 copies in its first week and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 -- her fifth record to debut in the Top 10 -- and to date Amos has sold more than 12 million records worldwide.
She also recently released a book, the autobiographical "Piece by Piece," which was co-written by Seattle music journalist and EMP curator Ann Powers.
Throughout her career, the 41-year old Amos has been a strong feminist voice in the male-dominated pop music world. She has written songs dealing with her experiences with rape and having a miscarriage. Her powerful voice and personal approach toward songwriting gives her music a sensual vulnerability.
Amos, the daughter of a Methodist minister, has in "The Beekeeper" created a melodic pop album with religious undertones that could help expand her already massive fan base.
"I wanted to create a work where the content was ferocious and the sound was seductive and would draw you in," Amos said.
The album's 19 songs are divided into six "gardens," which follow the emotional journeys of the album's fictional protagonist named Tori. Amos said the decision to divide the songs into six chapters was a conscious one, noting the parallel between the hexagonal shape of beehive cells as well as the six days it took God to create the earth in The Bible.
Another biblical parallel is the album's title track, which is a retelling of the Bible's opening from a different perspective. "As we know the Bible starts its story set in a garden. I wanted a parallel story that was told not from the patriarchy's viewpoint but from God's mother Sophia," said Amos. "This is not the Garden of Original Sin, but the Garden of Original Sinsuality."
In the song, Tori is encouraged by Sophia to ignore God's order to not eat the garden's forbidden fruit. When Tori eats the fruit she is sent on an emotional journey that forces her to examine various relationships.
"Each song is a different relationship that she's (Tori) having to look at. Some are filled with betrayal, some are about deep and intense passion she didn't know she could feel ... and some are about, you know, a giggle. That's what this garden exists of."
Travis Hay is a music journalist in Seattle. He can be reached at email@example.com.
WHEN: Tonight at 8
WHERE: Benaroya Hall
TICKETS: Sold out