Release Date: May 1, 2007
Record label: Sony
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Singer-Songwriter
It's ninth-album time and Amos is about as fashionable as carbohydrates these days, but she remains one of the most ambitious conceptual songwriters on a major label. There are five Toris on the cover - warrior Tori, hippy Tori, voodoo Tori clutching rooster - each of whom symbolises a facet of womanhood. The aim of the 23 songs is to reassemble the segments into a cohesive whole, in the hope of "rousing 18-year-olds to wake up and make [political] choices".
In sum, these dress-up characters are, no matter Amos' ambitions, simply reflections of her often contradictory nature as both a conceptual artist and songwriter. She is playing dress-up and not copping to it. It's not so much that she doesn't pull it off, but these characters and their strange views of the world, femininity, and the ruinous masculine come down to two things: observation and perception, and neither are always what they seem.
American Doll Posse, Tori Amos’ ninth album, is sung from the POV of five characters, each represented in the booklet by various costumes and wigs, à la 2001’s Strange Little Girls. Good luck figuring out who’s who, since ”Isabel,” ”Clyde,” ”Pip,” ”Santa,” and ”Tori” mostly seem to share their creator’s sassy, antipatriarchal, divine-feminist sensibility…but they’ll all be getting their own blogs, so we can sort that out later. Too bad Posse is a conceptual wreck, because it benefits from some of the beefiest, most borderline-glam-rock moments Amos has put on record.
In their careers, these two women often have achieved an eerie psychic twin synchronicity via left brain (Tori Amos) and right brain (Björk). More than a decade after releasing their acclaimed debuts – with so-so albums since the new millennium – they've both arrived at curious political and feminist junctures as wives and mothers. Volta, Björk's sixth full-length, is an ensemble cast with a global pulse.