The Beekeeper

The Beekeeper

Artist: Tori Amos

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Format: CD
Label: Epic (USA)
Catalog: 92800
Genre: Rock/Pop
Rel. Date: 02/22/2005
UPC: 827969280027

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''The Beekeeper'' is the eighth studio album by singer-songwriter Tori Amos. It deals with the topics of death, adultery and romantic conflict, and makes brief reference to ancient Gnostic mysticism from the Apocryphon of John. Sonically, it incorporates Celtic choirs, African drums, and Amos's whirring B-3 Hammond organ, giving it a more groove-based sound, thus making it perhaps her most melodic album to date.

''The Beekeeper'' can be seen as a milestone for Amos, as it debuted within the top 10 on the ''Billboard 200'', her fifth album to do so. This placed Amos in an elite group of women, including Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Madonna, LeAnn Rimes, Britney Spears and Barbra Streisand, to have secured five or more U.S. Top 10 album debuts. - Wikipedia

Tori Amos is building a private little world for herself. A few friends still cross over from time to time to check in and borrow a cup of sugar, but Amos spends most of her waking hours these days communicating with spirits and apparitions. No pets, no furniture, no fun-the monastic life carries with it a terrible price. She took such great pains to demystify the songwriting process on early works like Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink, yet her subsequent albums have offered awkward rebuttals to the highly confessional, open style she engineered in the early 1990s. Now, even when Amos tries to recapture that voice (2002's Scarlet's Walk, for example), the results are mired in equal measures of disappointment and resentment.

The biggest knock on 2001's all-covers record Strange Little Girls carries over on The Beekeeper: Amos is dealing entirely with her own material here, but an implicit understanding relies on information that isn't readily accessible on the record itself. You need to know that the copious allusions to Sylvia Plath and the New Testament are intended as an examination of personal faith-and that the record is a suggested companion piece for her recent autobiography Tori Amos: Piece by Piece. There's a certain kind of logic in play here: the record's 19 tracks are divided into six different (and seemingly unrelated) "gardens." But symmetry is no substitute for theme, and the record's too long by a half: only the blips and bleeps on the title track and a gorgeous duet with Irish singer/songwriter Damien Rice on "The Power of Orange Knickers" disrupt the static. Amos seems content to subject herself to regression therapy. We've given up hope on the return to form; we just want a primal scream.