Atlanta Journal Constitution
September 20, 2001

Added Sept 25, 2001

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Tori's Strange Little Girls album was reviewed in the September 20, 2001 edition of the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper in the U.S.. The album was given a B-. Thanks to Alisha Parker and Kimberly for telling me.

"Tori Amos Offers An Inside-Out Concept Album"

Tori Amos has recorded other musician's songs before, usually very well. Her versions of Led Zeppelin's "Thank You" and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" were revelatory.

Here, she does a whole album's worth of covers--along with a concept. These songs are all written by men , and most are about women. The album is even accompanies by photographs of the chameleonic Amos that correspond to each track. She turns the songs inside out and it works about half the time.

Her version of Eminem's murderous fantasy, "'97 Bonnie and Clyde" is more harrowing than the original, as she hoarsely whispers the horrifying tale over a quiety insistent string arrangement. The Stranglers' "Strange Litttle Girl" seems made to order for Amos in her upbeat mode. "Time," among the most beautiful songs Tom Waits ever wrote, is still a beauty, though it gets the least radical reworking.

Even the less successful attempts aren't without merit, but some of these tracks just don't work. Her version of the Boomtown Rats' "I Don't Like Mondays" dispenses with the things that made the original so memorable. The booming timpani and jaunty atmosphere made the fact-based story of the Monday-hating girlin a tower picking people off with a gun even more jarring. Slowing it down to a dirge just makes it ordinary.

More admirable than enjoyable, "Strange Little Girls" will keep Amos fans happy until the real thing comes along--that is, new Amos originals.

- Shane Harrison

Rating: B-

(Tori Amos will perform Oct. 2 at the Fox Theatre)

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