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The Beekeeper is reviewed by The Trades
February 25, 2005

Updated Sun, Feb 27, 2005 - 4:30pm ET

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Read a review of The Beekeeper from the website The Trades, which posted this review on February 25, 2005.

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Thanks to menju56 who made me aware of this review. You can read it online at or below:

Tori Amos, "The Beekeeper" Music Review
by Howard Price

Everything old is old again. But we like the old stuff--although afficionados of the magickal mystical mistress of the piano might prefer "classic."

Each song on this album is undeniably the product of the Tori Amos, from the first introductory chords to the last drawn out note, and all the in-between lyrics that seem to mean something yet disintegrate upon hard examination, like conversations in dreams that seem to make sense until you remember them upon waking.

In fact, "dreamlike" is probably the most apt and most overly used descriptive of Miss Amos's discography. The fact remains, though, that--as enchanting as the songs are--there's nothing here to distinguish the tone of this album from "Scarlet's Walk" or "To Venus and Back." What began with palpable power in "Little Earthquakes" has turned into what seems to be a purposeful attempt to remain incomprehensible.

But certain themes still force their way to the top. Amos's strong sense of pagan-feminism comes through loud and clear in "Barons of Suburbia," or "Original Sinsuality," in which Amos adds more than a little sympathy for the devil in her defense of Eve:

Original Sin? No I don't think so.
Original Sinsuality.
Yaldaboath Saklas I'm calling you.
You are not alone.
I say You are not alone.
In your Darkness.
You are not alone.
You are not alone.

Which was made all the more disturbing when I looked up just who Yaldaboath Saklas was.

It's not all thematic dadaism, however. "Hoochie Mama" is a fairly straightforward story of betrayal gone wrong when a man's infidelity leads him to financial ruin, because the female narrator was the one who brought home the bacon. And there is seems to be some anti-war sentiment, as "General Joy" wonders whether "...the Hawks are protecting us from the Men who have now assumed their names," while "Mother Revolution" invokes the spirit of Bob Dylan:

Lucky me.
I guessed th kind of man that you would turn out to be.
Now I wish that I'd ben wrong and then I could remember to breathe.
And all along the Watchtower the night horses and the black mares
ready themselves for the outcome
for the strange times upon us.
But what you didn't count on was another Mother of a Mother Revolution.

An interesting spin on the concept album is Amos's arrangement of songs into six "gardens" - concepts within concepts, if you will. You can, and often will, listen to the tracks in sequential order. Or, if you'd like, you can rearrange and select specified tracks and come away with a more focused feel. Cue up "Hoochie Woman," "Cars and Guitars," and "Witness," and you find yourself in the Rock Garden. Or you can mix up some Elixirs and Herbs with a selection of "Toast," "Martha's Foolish Ginger," and "Sweet the Sting."

If you're a Tori Amos completist, it's most likely you already own this album. And it's a good Tori album.

It's just not different from the others by that much; in fact,it's main similarity to past albums is that, like them, it tries overly much to be different from anything.

Posted by: Mikewhy

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