American Doll Posse [Deluxe Edition]

( 9 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Nine albums in and Tori Amos is working harder than ever. American Doll Posse, with its great title, 23 tracks, and five archetypal personalities all of whom resonate feminine gods in the Greek and Roman pantheons is an exercise in both excess and obsession. For starters, each of these personalities has her own blog. All of them have a distinct look. There's Pip with her streetwise standoff-ishness who sings about how her "Teenage Hustling" serves her in her adult life; she is also a very clever and intense "observer" another important word for this record of the political and surveillance situation in the U.S.; there's Clyde, a bit of a hippie who observes people and art ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Nine albums in and Tori Amos is working harder than ever. American Doll Posse, with its great title, 23 tracks, and five archetypal personalities all of whom resonate feminine gods in the Greek and Roman pantheons is an exercise in both excess and obsession. For starters, each of these personalities has her own blog. All of them have a distinct look. There's Pip with her streetwise standoff-ishness who sings about how her "Teenage Hustling" serves her in her adult life; she is also a very clever and intense "observer" another important word for this record of the political and surveillance situation in the U.S.; there's Clyde, a bit of a hippie who observes people and art from a perspective that is suspect of all male interpretations of the world smart woman and not the moment of encounter, but who that person is under the mask of it. Isabel is the glamorous photographer. If she exists anywhere but inside Amos, she is the fulfilled fantasy construct of both post-Freudian psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and the father of Deconstruction theory Jacques Derrida. She watches the watcher watching. The surface reveals whatever is beneath it, and the layer underneath that. And then there's Santa -- not Claus necessarily -- but she looks closest for some perceived beauty hers or her observational object's is the question that is invisible to that person. She strips the moment away and gets right down to the task of discovering it: "Wait. Let's look closer.." Then of course, the voodoo priestess Amos herself appears in the center; she is politically pissed off and motivated "Yo George," the first track on the set is a personal send-out to the leader of the free world in 2007 -- "I'm allergic to your policies" and a proud, aware, socially conscious mother and protector who cannot be fooled. "Big Wheel," the album's most rock & roll track, is an anthem that reveals her to be free of all bondage and a self-proclaimed ."..M-I-L-F don't you forget..." This outrageously long song cycle reveals these characters as individual "voices." Amos credits each of the five in her liners and plays piano and Rhodes behind them. Musically, American Doll Posse is no less ambitious, and all the better for it. Though 23 cuts can become a Tower of Babel in song, Amos has written some of the tightest, most cohesive and diverse songs of her career here. There's Amos singing "Big Wheel"; there are the squalling heavy metal guitars in "Teenage Hustling"; the pumping 4/4 bassline throb of Clyde's "Bouncing off Clouds," with its intricate melody and shimmering piano work and layered backing vocals; the seductive blues-rock swagger in Santa's "You Can Bring Your Dog" that transfers itself into a quirky faux-ragtime melody before it breaks itself wide open and splits these two soundworlds in half. It's a number that's so sick with desire it reduces its object to meat. The brief "Devils and Gods," sung by Isabel is a ballad that peels back the veil to reveal an essential truth with harmonically shimmering acoustic guitars and lithe piano. Pip and Santa reply in "Body and Soul" with its enormous sonic attack where all the instruments are turned up to ten and pack a wallop with a fuzzed-up Jon Evans' dirty bassline and staccato piano that promises salvation through ecstasy, not sermons or violence. Some of the best songs here are near the end, in Clyde's gorgeous ballad "Roosterspur Bridge," where Amos' piano guides the singer and Mac Aladdin's guitars whisper behind until Matt Chamberlain's spare kit work gives the words an urgency despite the languid pace. "Almost Rosey" Isabel is one of the very best mid-tempo autobiographical rock songs Amos has ever written. Its sense of dynamic, slippery rhythms and change-ups keep a constant groove and the listener holding on for every word with the swirling piano and syncopated drum work: "I once tried to comply/with an authority that would/Subsidize my wild side/but at this altar was sacrificed..." Pip's "Velvet Revolution" is a Spanish flavored poetic piano and guitar ballad in a narrative fashion that reflects Cesar Vallejo and the manifestos of Isabel Allende and a young Vaclav Havel. "Dark Side of the Sun," sung by Isabel, is a an anti-war song with its wailing lead guitars and the singer letting the grainy side of her voice underscore the lyrics with conviction. Pip's apocalyptic "Smokey Joe" is an entire cinematic drama with atmospheric walls of electronic noise and washes of guitar that compete with the contrapuntal voices in call and response execution. The final track, "Dragon," sung by Santa, is knotty, complex and lilting in some places and aggressive in others; it feels like it belongs somewhere else, but that's where the beauty lies. It's the place where healing happens in the heart of the eternal feminine. And it rings solidly true. In sum, these dress-up characters are, no matter Amos' ambitions, simply reflections of her often contradictory nature as both a conceptual artist and songwriter. She is playing dress-up and not copping to it. It's not so much that she doesn't pull it off, but these characters and their strange views of the world, femininity, and the ruinous masculine come down to two things: observation and perception, and neither are always what they seem. These have always been part of Amos' expressed aesthetic. Perhaps speaking these through the kaleidoscope of different personas made it easier to assemble such a vast collection of songs for one album, to exorcise the obsession or simply to give life to it through excess. Whatever the reason, American Doll Posse is exhaustive and exhausting, and contains some of the finest material Amos has offered on record. As a songwriter her reach is higher, and when she grasps the gown's tail of her Muse, her grasp is tighter, and sure. Her musical vision and production skills are almost astonishing in places. American Doll Posse is a work that has its problems due to its sprawling nature. And yet, it's perhaps because of that sprawl that it makes a real case for the overblown and indulgent in rock & roll again. [The limited-edition comes in lush hardbound book-like packaging with postcards and a DVD that contains a bonus cut, scenes from the photo shoot, and other geegaws.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/1/2007
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886970872522
  • Catalog Number: 708725
  • Sales rank: 74,230

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Yo George (1:25)
  2. 2 Big Wheel (3:18)
  3. 3 Bouncing off Clouds (4:08)
  4. 4 Teenage Hustling (4:00)
  5. 5 Digital Ghost (3:50)
  6. 6 You Can Bring Your Dog (4:04)
  7. 7 Mr. Bad Man (3:18)
  8. 8 Fat Slut (0:41)
  9. 9 Girl Disappearing (4:00)
  10. 10 Secret Spell (4:04)
  11. 11 Devils and Gods (0:53)
  12. 12 Body and Soul (3:56)
  13. 13 Father's Son (3:59)
  14. 14 Programmable Soda (1:25)
  15. 15 Code Red (5:27)
  16. 16 Roosterspur Bridge (3:58)
  17. 17 Beauty of Speed (4:08)
  18. 18 Almost Rosey (5:23)
  19. 19 Velvet Revolution (1:19)
  20. 20 Dark Side of the Sun (4:19)
  21. 21 Posse Bonus (1:45)
  22. 22 Smokey Joe (4:19)
  23. 23 Dragon (5:03)
Disc 2
  1. 1 My Posse Can Do
  2. 2 Bonus Material
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tori Amos Primary Artist, Clavichord, Keyboards, Electric Piano, Vocals, Background Vocals, Mellotron, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer, Piano (Upright)
Matt Chamberlain Percussion, Drums
Jon Evans Bass, Upright Bass
Nick Hitchens Tuba, Euphonium
Tim Wild Composite
Mac Aladdin Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Electric Guitar, Ukulele, E-bow, Guitar (12 String Electric), Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Matthew Elston Strings
Edward Bale Strings
Rosmary Banks Strings
Holly Butler Strings
Technical Credits
Jon Astley Mastering
Tori Amos Composer, Producer
Matt Chamberlain Contributor
John Philip Shenale String Arrangements, Brass Arrangment, String Conductor, Brass Conductor
Mark Hawley Engineer
Norman Moore Art Direction
Ria Lewerke Art Direction
Marcel VanLimbeek Engineer
Karen Binns Contributor
John Gardiner Contributor
Cim Mahony Contributor
Lesley Chilkes Contributor
Debbie Thomas Contributor
Glam Squad Contributor
Dan Stockland Contributor
Hayley West Contributor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Disappointed

    I'm a huge Tori fan, have been for years, and was looking forward to the release of this album. I've listened to the entire CD 3 times, and unfortunately the only song I really like on it is Bouncing off the Clouds. I really wish she would put out another album like Scarlet's Walk. It just doesn't get any better than that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    This C.D. was great... Its a great comeback from the dissapointing Beekeeper. Her new songs are outstanding such as Digital Ghost, Body and Soul, Girl Disapearing to name a few of them. Thers a lot of rage in some songs which is just the type of Tori songs I been missing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    the best Tori's album in this century

    This is my second favorite album in all Tori's discography. At some point she came back to her 90's albums but she took only great things from them and she mixed them with totally different sounds. She totally re-invented herself. For the first time we can hear such big amount of guitars in Tori's album. For the first time we could hear her team, we could sense them working as one family. The quality of sound is amazing. It's like hearing Tori performing in the studio in the middle of the band. All songs on this album are very different. Styles are raging from country, classical rock, rock, pop to alternative, jazz and indie. She performed with a string quartet in one song. One song even reminds Russian folk music. I can say for sure that album is the best album in her career, the most political and the most rocking as well. ps. I just can't understand a person who judge about the album from those 30 sec samples that can't even give the full panorama of this amazing work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This album was worth the 8 year wait!

    After From the Choirgirl Hotel, it seemed that Tori's music had gone into a "slump." Every time an album was slated to come out, I would say, "Okay. this one will be a good one!" and while I thoroughly enjoy every tori album I own, it just seemed her newer material was lacking something. Well with American Doll Posse, this has changed. This is definately her best release since From the Choirgirl Hotel. The samples don't do this album justice. It is simply amazing and was worth waiting all those years for this album to arrive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Tori Kant Rite...

    I've followed her over a decade, own everything Tori... But this new cd is almost a throwback to the late 80's pop stuff that made her fail with a band. WHAT HAPPENED TORI???

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It really grows on you

    Big Wheel has a really catchy beat, and you will find yourself singing "MILF don't you forget" without even realizing it! I wasn't sure about this album at first, but I listened to it more than once and now I am humming other songs from the album already. If you are a Tori Fan, you can see elements of her previous releases, and a few songs that kick it up a notch as well and speak to current events. Try it, you will like it (even if it isn't what you are expecting.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderful Fun Album

    This album is an absolute joy to listen to. As usual Tori's music is densely packed with words to listen to. Fun to drive while listening.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    samples sound boring

    Wow ... was really looking forward to buying this CD but the samples sound so boring I am going to pass. I don't know what's up with Tori lately, her music has really changed. Very dissapointing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Tori is getting better with age

    This album is fantastic if you love Tori Amos the artist. If you want or expect all her music to stay the same then you may not appreciate it. In fact, her music has changed over the years so I don't know how you can be a Tori fan and not appreciate the evolution of her music. Enjoy!

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews