The Beekeeper

Tori Amos

The Beekeeper

Like much of Tori Amos’ work, there’s an alleged concept here somewhere, but even listeners glued to the lyric sheet will be hard-pressed to discern it in Amos’ “Beekeeper.” What is known regarding Tori Amos’ 2005 studio album is that it’s a marathon release – 19 tracks, 80 minutes – that’s as artistically ambitious as any of her releases and sports plenty of peaks. Amos smartly opted for keeping the arrangements minimal, placing emphasis on her piano, honeyed voice and harmony back-ups, creating an album that harkens back to the singer-songwriter era of the early 1970s without slavishly replicating it. Amos is quirkier than Carole King, with lyrics jammed with private symbolism and codes. “Jamaica Inn” could be a Stevie Nicks outtake from Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk. “General Joy,” “Ribbons Undone,” and “Cars and Guitars” all feature Amos’ strong, stunning melodicism. “The Power of Orange Knickers” is a respectful duet with Irish singer Damien Rice. She’s a bit rougher with funk; “Witness” is uptight gospel, “Hoochie Woman” casts her as a blues shouter. Amos loves to dress up and assume new identities, keeping it free and fun even when she’s serious and intense.

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