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Review of The Beekeeper from The Plain Dealer newspaper
February 20, 2005

Updated Sun, Feb 20, 2005 - 3:33pm ET

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The February 20, 2005 edition of The Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland, OH includes a review of The Beekeeper where it receives a grade of B. You can now read this on The Dent.

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Caught up in music, hung up on lyrics

Reviews by John Soeder Plain Dealer Pop Music Critic

Tori Amos
"The Beekeeper"

Getting your ears around the latest opus by ivory- tickling singer-song writer Tori Amos is easy. Getting your mind around it is the tricky part.

"The Beekeeper" is an allegory about sexual politics, mortality and the rise of the religious right. The plot apparently involves a certain spicy bean dish, too.

At least Amos is still cooking up inviting music, serving her latest batch of pop-rock with a dash of New Orleans-style R&B. Her rippling piano chords are exquisitely bolstered by rock-a-bye guitars, a whirring Hammond B3 organ and even a gospel choir on some tunes.

"Ribbons Undone" is straightforward enough, a tender valentine to a free-spirited young daughter.

The single "Sleeps With Butterflies," a bittersweet ballad about love with no strings attached, isn't difficult to decipher, either.

As for the rest of the album - sorry, you're on your own. There are enough inscrutable lyrics to keep legions of Amos fans busy for months as they post interpretations on their Internet message boards.

They should start with "The Power of Orange Knickers," which finds Amos and hapless guest vocalist Damien Rice carrying on about, er, the power of orange knickers. Go figure.

Other tunes up the "OK, whatever" quotient, none more so than the flabbergasting title track. Amos sings - and we quote - "Call Engine 49 / I have come with my mustard seed."

We only can infer she's making an oblique reference to chili, since Engine 49 suggests a fire department, mustard seed is a common ingredient in chili recipes, and firemen are famous for making excellent chili. We're still trying to work out what bees have to do with it.

The idiosyncratic Amos already has a well-deserved reputation as a "Cornflake Girl." But her new album is sure to throw you for a Froot Loop. In stores Tuesday. B

Posted by: Mikewhy

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