Tori Amos Riding the Wave of Her Successes

DANA ZIOLKOWSKI
The Leader
University of Wisconsi

Tori Amos won't amaze many with her latest release, “The Beekeeper.” Some say that Amos reached the peak of her career years ago in the ’90s and is now riding the wave of her previous successes. Some also say that she is truly writing from her heart, and this album is where her heart has led her. Unfortunately, the earlier may have to win in this case.

The album's 19 tracks are scattered, both inside and out. Not having any apparent order in how they are place for the album or having much order within them. The album places the songs in six various "gardens' including "Desert Garden" and "The Greenhouse" but a reason for doing so isn't apparent.

Her reputation certainly precedes her latest album. Her abilities to take her listeners and fans on an emotional rollercoaster through her songs and the experiences of her own life, tragic and happy, allow her to connect with her audience. This album is so scattered and lacks (or is hiding) much of that previous emotional conviction as in previous releases including Scarlet's Walk, From the Choirgirl Hotel, and Little Earthquakes. Some of the tracks have more of a funk-oriented beat including "Witness" and "Hoochie Woman," which could possibly alienate her current fan base. She does include a few songs that really jump out and could be some of her best work, including the emotional "Ribbons Undone." The catchy "General Joy" includes some great hooks, unlike some of the other tracks on the record. Furthermore, Amos' inclusion of male singer/songwriter Damien Rice on "The Power of Orange Knickers" is a nice effort to include a great vocalist and also lure a younger audience toward her music. If that was a goal, it certainly couldn't hurt.

All in all, “The Beekeeper” is a pile of ballads, pop, folk, and funk with no real organization to speak of. Amos is obviously a very talented musician who has led an amazingly successful career, and “The Beekeeper” certainly had the potential to become one of the best albums of her legacy. However, the clutter seriously hindered the finished product.

(4 out of 8)