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Strange Little Girls

392 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 18, 2001
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Product Description

STRANGE LITTLE GIRLS, the new studio album from Tori Amos, is an assemblage of songs written by men, but performed by Tori from the perspectives of a diverse cast of female characters. Songs composed by such artists as Neil Young, the Stranglers, Eminem, Depeche Mode, Slayer, Lou Reed, Lennon/McCartney, and others are taken apart and put back together darkly, gently, and in an uncompromising fashion. In crafting the new album, Amos wanted to talk about men - how men see women, how men see themselves, and how the view changes depending on where you're standing. So Tori turned to the words of men themselves to do it. "I've always found it fascinating how men say things and women hear them," the songwriter says.

Tori Amos's idea for Strange Little Girls was to present covers of men's songs from a female perspective. The concept is fairly unique--although Liz Phair had a similar idea with 1993's Exile in Guyville. But while Phair fashioned original lyrics in response to the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street, Amos sticks with the script when reciting lyrics from acts as diverse as the Velvet Underground, Depeche Mode, Neil Young, Tom Waits, and Slayer. She transforms the material, though, by singing in a pained tone, weighing the lyrics with heavy emotion and stripping most of the songs down to their simplest elements--often just a string section, a drum machine or a piano, leaving the original music almost unrecognizable. The most poignant of these tracks is definitely her cover of Eminem's "97' Bonnie and Clyde." The first-person story of a man dumping his lover's dead body takes on an ugly sickness and brutality with Amos's almost-whispered narration. As with most of these songs, Amos removes the pop façade and leaves the listener with a stark picture of the message behind the lyrics--whether that message concerns violence or male identity--in a statement both subtly political and stunningly beautiful. --Jennifer Maerz

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. New Age 4:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. 97' Bonnie & Clyde 5:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Strange Little Girl 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Enjoy The Silence 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. I'm Not In Love 5:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Rattlesnakes 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Time 5:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Heart Of Gold 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. I Don't Like Mondays 4:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Happiness is a Warm Gun 9:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Raining Blood 6:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Real Men 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 18, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B00005NKYQ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (392 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,038 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Lord Chimp on October 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I'm not sure I'll ever completely grasp Tori Amos' vision for this album. Strange Little Girls is an record of cover songs, and as I understand it, Amos wanted to give a female perspective to how men see women in music. Either the gender politics are beyond me, or she didn't do it quite right (I'll wager it's the former). She definitely hits the bull's-eye a few times though. The song that best accomplishes her goal is her harrowing rendition of "'97 Bonnie & Clyde," Eminem's vicious song about a man who kills his wife and throws her in the sea to get rid of the body. Amos's naked delivery of the song, hushed, spoken vocals over a spooky strings sample, is downright frightening. I think that fact that it makes me uncomfortable to listen to it is a testament to her success.
"Raining Blood" is one of the most shocking songs here. The original, by "extreme" metal band Slayer, was full of fierce vocals and crushing guitars. Here, Amos strips it to nothing but a piano and a weird bass synthesizer, and ironically injects the song with more menace and evil than the original ever had. It's a creepy cover that plays out more like the soundtrack to a nightmare than a song.
Amos' alteration of tone with these songs often changes them radically. What was an innocent little song before becomes threatening, wrenching, or indignant. Think back to the Crucify EP, where Tori completely warped Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in a way that completely changed the impact of the song (at least for me). That's the effect she's going for, I figure. Her experimentation doesn't always work though. "Heart of Gold" is so cacophonous and the vocals so awkward that I can't really appreciate it. "Real Men" is pretty, but quite similar to the original.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd J. on October 9, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I wasn't planning on reviewing this CD. However, after reading all the negative reviews and various harpings on Ms. Amos's creative abilities I felt I had an obligation to share what I think of this CD to the world.
Simply stated, I think it's brilliant.
It's not particularly creative in concept (Liz Phair had particular success with her answer to the Rolling Stone's Exhile on Main Street with the album Exhile in Guyville). It's not even like this is Tori's first time with reworking covers. The Crucify ep back in the early nineties featured a great cover of 'Angie' and 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'.
However, "Strange Little Girls"'s strength lies in the delicate way that Amos has reimagined the songs themselves. She's added a new slant to every tune, giving new light and shade over the tune and lyrics with simple inflections of her voice. With a different tone she can make a love song into a threat, and this ability keeps each song interesting in its own way. Here is my song by song review of "Strange Little Girls".
New Age: This is a great opener. At times thoughtful, at others hysterical. Very catchy and very assertive: Right up front Tori lets you know that "It's the beginning of a new age" in her music. (A)
'97 Bonnie and Clyde: This is a very disturbing song, told in relentless whispers. It's difficult to listen to and has a tendency to be a bit overly dramatic upon multiple sessions, but it makes its point and makes it well. (B)
Strange Little Girl: This song has a sound similar to Bliss off of To Venus and Back. It's radio friendly, but is subtle enough so that it doesn't grate on the nerves. (A-)
Enjoy the Silence: This is one of my favorites. It's quiet and bare, completly the opposite of the original.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Subfusc on September 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Before I begin about the album itself, I'll explain why it was even made in the first place.

Tori had a seven album contract with Atlantic records from 1988-2001. Within that duration of time, although she had great success starting with 1992's "Little Earthquakes" & foward, she was in constant quarrell with Atlantic records who wanted her to capitalize on her previous successes when Tori wanted to experiment & grow artistically. This turmoil climaxed after 1999's "To Venus & Back" when Tori decided she needed a change. But she still had one more album to make in order to fulfill her contract with Atlantic. After refusing to give Atlantic anymore self-written material, the idea for "Strange Little Girls" began to come about.

"Strange Little Girls" is not your avarage cover album. If you are looking for her to merely reiterate the original version of each song, you are in the wrong place. In true Tori fashion, she challenges the listener. She takes each of these songs & makes it almost unrecognizable from the original. Neil Young's "Heart Of Gold" once a wholesome ballad of love & regret, now flipped into a spawling mosaic of electric guitar riffs that seemingly melt out of your speakers. Or Slayers "Raining Blood", once overtly angry & thrashing, now simply taken to the bosendorfer & slowly unraveled into a haunting exile like a secret serpent from a dark layer.

One admirable thing about Tori is that every project is put forth with great enthusiasm & detail. She could have easily just slapped some songs by other people together & called it a day. But each song is accompanied by a character depicted in 13 photos in which tori takes on each alias.
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