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American Doll Posse

4.3 out of 5 stars 198 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 1, 2007
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$6.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Description

Critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter Tori Amos returns with her 9th studio album, American Doll Posse, which was written and produced by Tori at Martian Engineering in Cornwall, England and is another impressive addition to an already amazing catalog of masterpieces.

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In an era of digital downloads and singles, Tori Amos embraces the concept album in a sprawling 23-song oratorio. Firing across the American psychological, social, and political landscape, she takes on the state of the world, war, and feminism. To help her, she adopts five personas--her American Doll Posse--who take their characteristics from Greek gods, but not their names: Clyde, Pip, Isabel, Santa, and Tori. You need a scorecard to keep track, but don't worry. It's still Tori Amos, bending syllables in improbable pretzels with rippling piano themes and choruses that threaten to go Broadway at any moment. Amos vents her political spleen through "Isabel," leaving no doubt as to her targets on tracks like "Yo George," and comments on our impersonal age and computer addiction with "Digital Ghost." That's sung by the character "Tori," who is reputedly based on Demeter and Dionysus, representing the split between Amos's earth-mother side and her wilder, more libertine tendencies. Anti-war and pro-feminist themes are plastered across American Doll Posse like sloganeering posters. "Dark Side of the Sun" laments both sides of the war, including the Islamists who lay down their lives "for some sick promise of heaven." Amos adopts a big '80s rock sound on many tracks, with guitarist Mac Aladdin pealing off Brian May-style guitar licks over an arena-rock beat. It's where Amos details a more personal sound that American Doll Posse leaves a lasting impression. "Girl Disappearing," sung by "Clyde," holds echoes of the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby," not only because of the string quartet and nostalgic tone, but the updated tale of a woman losing herself. "Smokey Joe" brims with dark atmospheres, Robert Fripp-like guitar sustains, and Amos's most elaborate vocal arrangements, interweaving two sets of lyrics for "Pip." More than a concept album, American Doll Posse is a convergence experience, mixing online blogs from each character, videos, MySpace sites, and more. --John Diliberto
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 1, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: May 1, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • ASIN: B000NVLJR4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,814 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rodney Bogardus on May 1, 2007
Format: Audio CD
For years I've read about how Tori has been inspired by great rock bands of the 1960s and '70s (The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, etc.) and upon listening to AMERICAN DOLL POSSE in its entirety, I feel that she has finally let loose and really jammed with her talented bassist Jon Evans, drummer Matt Chamberlin, and guitarist Mac Aladdin on this long-overdue sonically heavy album. After all, it was her adoration of this music at such an early age that got her kicked out of the Peabody Conservatory, so it's good to hear her music being so directly influenced by it. She began hinting at her rock-tinged roots with some of 1998's FROM THE CHOIRGIRL HOTEL, even more so with 1999's TO VENUS AND BACK, and to some extent with 2001's covers album STRANGE LITTLE GIRLS, but she clearly had no inhibitions making this glam rock/rock opera-esque album which, as music reviewer Matt Mazur stated, plays out similarly to ZIGGY STARDUST and HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH. Consequently, I couldn't agree with him more.

POSSE is clearly Tori's most politically-themed album to date and I think she handles it with the right amount of subtlety without being too preachy. For as political as "Dark Side of the Sun" is, it's an amazingly beautiful song that nearly brings me to tears each time I hear it. I think that if an artist is going to release political music, it needs to be supported in some respect. Tori doesn't just wail "impeach Bush" she makes sharp observations such as "you have the whole nation on all fours," "you say you're not bothered to lie beneath pigs, then go on Laura, here's a flower for your grave" and offers some solutions, "I'll save you from that Sunday sermon, Boy I think you need a conversion." Her pain and sadness over an unjustified war is unmistakably evident.
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Format: Audio CD
A simple glance at the tracklisting for American Doll Posse is likely to have most people instinctively wishing that Tori Amos would edit herself a little. For the third time in succession she's pushing the capacity of the CD close to its limits.

Maybe that's partly because, in an age where the commercial single has all but died in most parts of the world, Amos no longer has b-sides as an outlet for the overflow of songs that seems to result most times she goes to the studio. But it would be a mistake to simply assume that ADP is a shorter album buried amongst b-sides. All successful musicians have to shape their impulses to fit what the market requires of them - Bach didn't write hundreds of cantatas just because he liked writing cantatas, but because he was paid to write church music. When he had an employer who loved instrumental music, that's what he wrote.

So, the market no longer wants b-sides and the personal mp3 playlist is king. Amos' response has been to create bigger albums. Do they work? Well, obviously it's partly a matter of opinion. But there tends to be an agreement among fans that the long, continuous thread of Scarlet's Walk worked somewhat better than the scattershot sweetness of The Beekeeper.

What about American Doll Posse? Is it a sprawling mess of an album? Arguably yes, although any sense of excess is helped by regarding it as a 20-track album, with 3 bonus tracks that just happen to be riding on the same physical disc. But it's a GLORIOUS, exhilarating mess.

The album starts deceptively with Yo George which, while lyrically pointed, is musically very reserved and almost polite.
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Format: Audio CD
On the heels of 2005's very disappointing (both critically and commercially) overlong concept album "The Beekeeper" came the buzz that Tori was working on... yet another sprawling concept album. I have to admit that I was fearing the worst. Thankfully, things turned out a lot better than I expected.

On "American Doll Posse" (23 tracks; 79 min.), Tori brings a (vinyl) double-album's worth of music, presented by 5 characters (Pip, Isabelle, CLyde, Santa and Tori). Things start off poorly, with "Yo George", a lame and predictable rant (yes, we get it), but then immediately kick into overdrive with "Big Wheel" and "Bouncing Off Clouds", two hard-charging songs (and singles) that are miles better than anything on "The Beekeeper". "Digital Ghosts" and "Your Can Bring Your Own Dog" round out an overall very good Side 1. From there on, though, it becomes a pick-and-choose affair. There's the excellent excellent "Girls Disappearing", followed by a mediocre "Secret Spell" on Side 2, and up and down and up again it goes. The epic "Code Red" is the highlight on Side 3. By the time Side 4 rolls around, I am fighting fatigue due to the lenght of this album, although "Dark Side of the Moon" is another stand-out.

"American Doll Posse" is certainly not a bad album, but once again Tori is victim of her own over-ambitiousness, and there was nobody to rein her in, as Tori serves as her own producer. This could've been an absolute knock-out album, had about 1/3 of the songs been set aside for some other purpose (singles B-sides, fan-friendly downloads, and the like). As on previous Tori albums, Matt Chamerlain (drums) and Jon Evans (bass) provide outstanding musical backup.

As to the bonus DVD, please save your money! The DVD runs a mere 8 min.
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