Bland Beekeeper Not Toriâ€™s Best
Tori Amosâ€šÃ„Ã´s ninth album, The Beekeeper, is, in short, disappointing. In all fairness, Amos has a lot to live up to. She has created an impressive reputation for herself by consistently pushing musical and philosophical boundaries. During her nearly fifteen-year career, she has managed to stay quirky, provocative, sexy, and otherworldly. An undeniably original individual. That being said, The Beekeeper is something most people may have never expected from Tori Amos. It is nineteen tracksâ€šÃ„Ã®nearly a full 80 minutesâ€šÃ„Ã®of lite adult contemporary. What happened to the woman who sang â€šÃ„Ãºstarfucker just like my daddyâ€šÃ„Ã¹? Has middle-age and motherhood made herâ€šÃ„Ã®gasp!â€šÃ„Ã®boring? Anythingâ€šÃ„Ã´s possible.
â€šÃ„ÃºParasol,â€šÃ„Ã¹ seemingly an ode to a figure in Seuratâ€šÃ„Ã´s A Sunday Afternoonâ€šÃ„Â¶, is a strong ethereal opening that leads into â€šÃ„ÃºSweet the Sting,â€šÃ„Ã¹ an evocative track showcasing Toriâ€šÃ„Ã´s more sensual songwriting. The majority of the flaccid remaining tracks are difficult to discern from one another.
A few songs, however, are the hope for all dedicated Tori fans. They are peppered throughout and liven up the drudgery. â€šÃ„ÃºBarons of Suburbiaâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºWitnessâ€šÃ„Ã¹ are two songs where Tori breaks out of her lazy vocals, and, with a firmer tempo, she is inspiring.
The albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s title track is the finest song of the album. Reminiscent of her work on From the Choirgirl Hotel, it is haunting and mysterious, utilizing synth equipment over traditional piano. As on many of her better songs, Tori not only sings, but shares a lyrical narrative. The song is long, but worth it.
Perhaps if the tracklist had been gently edited, these superior songs, mixed with the lighter fare, would have created a much stronger album.