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Tori Amos - The Beekeeper CD (album) cover


Tori Amos


Crossover Prog

2.98 | 35 ratings

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3 stars Domestic tranquility, part 2

Tori's follow-up to the adult-contemporary "Scarlet's Walk" was a similar project, miles away from the Tori of the 1990s, filled with safe and pleasant tunes. "The Beekeeper" is another massive 80-minute behemoth filled with some mediocrity, some really good songs, and a few aural bacon strips.

The album is very similar in feel to "Scarlet's Walk" with safe and simple Tori to the forefront. There is nothing offensive, nothing weird, nothing bombastic. The songs are pleasant and melodic, they are laid back with minimal eccentricity. Most songs feature Tori over her piano with low key but tasteful drumming and bass courtesy of her old friends Evans and Chamberlain. As with Scarlet she has put extra effort into the beauty and fluidity of her own vocal, making it often very delicate and then expressing it by carefully laying her own harmonies over it. Quite beautiful vocally. Whereas Scarlet was her road album, here Tori returns to her garden and the songs feel more personal and more engaging. They work better for me than Scarlet and there are many good tracks, but let's be honest, there is little on The Beekeeper with the power and memorable dynamics of her strongest work.

While Tori is a musical original her artwork is often contrived and that is the case again here, with the photographs giving us the video shoot dress-up version of Tori as opposed to some true intimacy. The garden concept here is really a great one, but how refreshing and cool it would have been to have shown some authentic snapshots of the real Amos in weekend clothes working her garden. Admittedly, that's a minor issue.

My main problem with Beekeeper is the excessive length as well as being somewhat unnerved by this defanged, tranquil Tori. You cut 30 minutes from this 80 minute monster and you'd have a better album. And while some may enjoy or prefer the tranquil Tori, I miss the turbulent, stormy personality of her earlier work. But we take what we get. There are songs here like the title track that makes Beekeeper pretty attractive to her fans, but the album is another one mostly for her fans. Adventurous music fans or those seeking her most dynamic work would not want to start their Tori exploration in this period. This one is the perfect title for taking tea in the garden on a Sunday morning. 2 stars but rounding up since this is better than Scarlet.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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