Top critical review
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Dissapointing in the long run
on 26 June 2002
I really like Tori Amos, so I was excited that she was releasing a new album. It sounded like an interesting idea too, even though I'm not big on cover versions.
Anyway, there's some good tracks on here, and mostly it is a pretty good album to listen to. Some tracks however, such as '97 Bonnie and Clyde, are very effective the first couple of times but don't really warrant repeat listenings. Still, it's better than actually listening to Eminem. Other tracks don't really stand out, and the 9-minute cover of Hapiness Is A Warm Gun, with news excerpts about John Lennon's shooting, is overlong and way too obvious. I will admit that I haven't heard the original versions of a lot of these songs, but surely the album should still stand up in its own right? I found that, rather than being able to admire Tori's songwriting, all there was to admire was what style she had chosen to perform each song in. I was also especially intruiged to see what she would do with Raining Blood (a Slayer cover), but she's turned it into a tuneless mess of slow piano chords and mumbled singing.
As for the meaning behind the songs, the idea was that she would get people to suggest songs for her to cover that were written by men about women. In the booklet we get pictures of Tori dressed up like the characters in each song, with a sentence about them like "Whenever it rains you think of her" and "She wonders what her daughter will do". It's difficult to know what some of these are supposed to mean, and indeed if it's worth making the effort to interpret them when the most important messages seem to be in the lyrics of the songs anyway (Real Men for example). That's pretty mch how the album goes, some of the ideas may be clever, but so what if the album isn't that great to listen to in itself?
I do feel kind of bad giving this album 2 stars, because I do like Tori Amos lots, but this CD isn't exactly fantastic. For someone not already into Tori Amos, I would reccomend Little Earthquakes and Under The Pink as first choices.