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Strange Little Girls

Tori Amos
Strange Little Girls: Tori Amos More Info | Buy Audio CD

Lord Chimp's opinion

"I'm not sure I'll ever completely grasp Tori Amos' vision for this album. Strange Little Girls is an record of cover songs, and as I understand it, Amos wanted to give a female perspective to how men see women in music. Either the gender politics are beyond me, or she didn't do it quite right (I'll wager it's the former). She definitely hits the bull's-eye a few times though. The song that best accomplishes her goal is her harrowing rendition of "'97 Bonnie & Clyde," Eminem's vicious song about a man who kills his wife and throws her in the sea to get rid of the body. Amos's naked delivery of the song, hushed, spoken vocals over a spooky strings sample, is downright frightening. I think that fact that it makes me uncomfortable to listen to it is a testament to her success.

"Raining Blood" is one of the most shocking songs here. The original, by "extreme" metal band Slayer, was full of fierce vocals and crushing guitars. Here, Amos strips it to nothing but a piano and a weird bass synthesizer, and ironically injects the song with more menace and evil than the original ever had. It's a creepy cover that plays out more like the soundtrack to a nightmare than a song.

Amos' alteration of tone with these songs often changes them radically. What was an innocent little song before becomes threatening, wrenching, or indignant. Think back to the Crucify EP, where Tori completely warped Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in a way that completely changed the impact of the song (at least for me). That's the effect she's going for, I figure. Her experimentation doesn't always work though. "Heart of Gold" is so cacophonous and the vocals so awkward that I can't really appreciate it. "Real Men" is pretty, but quite similar to the original. Even when I don't understand the message, I appreciate the lovely singing and minimalistic music. "Enjoy the Silence," "Rattlesnakes," and "Time" are all beautiful songs, even if Amos' implications of sex are beyond my meager brain.

I wouldn't say I'm disappointed, mainly because I wasn't even sure what to expect. I like this album, even if I must concede to not entirely understanding it. Artistically, she probably knows what she's doing. Even so, I'm eager for another release of original material."



Album: Strange Little Girls: Tori Amos


1. New Age
2. 97' Bonnie & Clyde
3. Strange Little Girl
4. Enjoy The Silence
5. Rattlesnakes
6. I'm Not In Love
7. Time
8. Heart Of Gold
9. I Don't Like Mondays
10. Raining Blood
11. Happiness Is A Warm Gun
12. Real Men


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