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Review of The Beekeeper from the Rainbow Network

Updated Mon, Feb 28, 2005 - 8:37pm ET

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You can read a 3-star review of The Beekeeper from

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Thanks to blankette100 or telling me about the review. You can read it online at or below:

CD: The Beekeeper

3 stars out of 5
Tori Amos has got to be one of the lesbians' favourite non-lesbians. She's independent, a non-conformist feminist, talented, gorgeous - and completely off her rocker. Following her 2002 album Scarlet's Walk, which concerned Amos' tour of all 50 United States, her new release, The Beekeeper stays closer to home.

The first thing that leaps out at you with this, her eighth studio album, is that you certainly get your money's worth. the Beekeeper has 19 - count 'em - whole tracks, which all add up to a whole lotta Tori. Some critics have said that Amos suffers from the same affliction as Prince regarding her prolific output, and that this album would have benefited by some righteous editing. For fans, however, it offers a chance to lose yourself completely in the world of Tori.

As with much of her work, The Beekeeper is introspective and atmospheric. It's a concept album that's a bit vague on the subject of what it's really about. Ostensibly autobiographical, the 19 songs are grouped according metaphorical "gardens" that are tended to by the beekeeper of the title. Lost? You will be! Funnily enough, The Beekeeper has been released simultaneously with a book: Tori Amos: Piece by Piece is a memoir co-written with music journalist Ann Powers. The idea is that each refers to the other, but whether that works or not is doubtful.

What's undeniable is that the Amos sound has certainly become smoother and more mellow over the years. One critic remarked that the woman behind The Beekeeper is not the "orange-haired Medusa" of the olden days! No, this is easy-listening Tori, the sound is relaxed even when the subject matter is far from it, such as the sex of 'Sweet the Sting' or the jilted lover in 'Hoochie Woman.'

Those who are fretful that Amos is changing tack shouldn't worry. The woman and her music are as quirky and whimsical as ever. The Beekeeper is an intelligent album peppered with high and low emotional points. It's epic too with the kind of lush orchestration, and accomplished musicianship you'd expect from Amos. It's not a perfect piece of work but it does feature a funky vintage organ, gospel choirs and even a duet with the Irish folksinger Damien Rice. How can you resist?

The Beekeeper, by Tori Amos
Label: Epic
Catalogue Number: 5194252

By: Charlotte Cooper

Posted by: Mikewhy

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