- Audio CD (May 1, 2007)
- Special Edition edition
- Original Release Date: May 1, 2007
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Special Edition
- Label: Sony Legacy
- Run Time: 82 minutes
- ASIN: B000OCZ9XM
- Average Customer Review: 193 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,594 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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American Doll Posse
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Limited Deluxe Package comes in a softpak with a 36 page full-color booklet, a bonus DVD containing never-before-seen footage plus bonus track, and a collectible set of 5 postcards (3 different sets available).
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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Interspersed along the way are short interludes of which several like Programmable Soda and Fat Sl_t resonates brilliantly. Elsewhere on the album, the tracks feel indistinguishable after several listens, relegating them to an almost-background music-like status. This is somewhat unfortunate since these tracks may stand well on their own but on an ambitious concept album like Posse, the results are often mixed.
The problem with Tori Amos these days is a lack of a distinct direction. Her last two efforts Scarlet's Walk and The Beekeeper already suffered from thin and repetitive melodies. It's disappointing that Tori has not been able to return to form with an album that measures up to her 90's body of work. (B)
Coming off of the disappointment that was The Beekeeper, Amos decided to try a bold new approach and tell about the female experience in modern America by telling stories that could come from the life of any woman through five drastically different personalities.
The songs credited to Isabel, the overt political personality, are "Yo George", "Mr. Bad Man", "Devils and Gods", "Almost Rosey", and "Dark Side Of The Sun." The last is an anti-war song that has a few good lines but falls flat. "Yo George" is a short and humorous jab at the president. "Devils and Gods" is a look at who is really to blame for the good and evil in mankind. "Almost Rosey" is one of the major successes of the Isabel batch, and even includes a reference to "Violet's Eyes" for long-time fans. The group of songs in the Isabel section aren't as strong as some of the rest, but there are some good ones.
The Clyde songs are all emotionally bare. They're from a conflicted and delicate woman. "Bouncing Off Clouds" is a love song that asks for a simpler approach to love and commitment. "Girl Disappearing" is a look at a woman lost in a culture of bizarre standards, double standards, and insensitivity. "Roosterspur Bridge" is a compassionate song about a lost love that contains what may be one of her best lines on the album, "Sometimes I think, I think I understand the fear in the boy, the fire in the man." "Beauty Of Speed" is a forgettable song, but it's fun to listen to. It's one of the poppier songs.
Pip is the confrontational one. The warrior woman. As such, she is guaranteed some of the biggest rockers of the album. "Teenage Hustling" is the most straightforward rock song Tori has ever done. It's a little repetitive but it works. "Fat Slut" is meant to be uncomfortable. It's less than a minute of pure, naked rage. "Body and Soul" (with Santa) is as sexy as it is intense. "Velvet Revolution" and "Smokey Joe" are more subdued but keep with the ballsy theme.
Santa is the sexy one. The sensual goddess. This is where Tori's softer, more soulful side comes out. "You Can Bring Your Dog" and "Dragon" are possibly the best Tori love/lust/like songs ever. "Secret Spell" is a hopeful song to a female friend as she grows. "Programmable Soda" is an odd little ditty, but is easy to listen to.
The Tori songs are an odd mix. In "Big Wheel," she finally asserts herself as a MILF, and reminds us that she's still a force to be reckoned with. "Digital Ghost" is a soft, sweet plea to a friend lost to the real world. "Father's Son" is a scathing review of the Bush regime. "Code Red" is a song about moving on from bad relationships and reclaiming your life. "Posse Bonus" is a throwaway track, but it's amusing to listen to every now and then.
This gem of an album makes up for the Beekeeper and Strange Little Girls, and more.