Sunday, May 13, 2007

American Doll Posse

One of the greatest joys in my life is discovering Tori’s new music: listening for days upon days, doing nothing else but letting it grow on me. It’s like a love affair. I let the creative forces penetrate my mind, both intellectually and emotionally.

I decided to review ADP for a couple reasons. One, I think it’s a brilliant album – one of her best, both lyrically and conceptually. Because she lives in Cornwall, England, many people have criticized her for writing an album that takes a closer look at America, and what it has become. But I say those critics are missing something important: that it’s easier to see things going awry when we are on the outside looking in. Her music has significance and value. If we listen up, we might find some answers to our own questions.

The other reason I want to review it is simply because I just want to.

Yo George: An anti-hosanna to King George W. Bush. The lyrics are alright. The piano accommodates it well. The best line is the last one: “You have the nation on all fours.”

Big Wheel: This song is contagious. I found myself telling people that I’m an M-I-L-F and got some raised eyebrows. Who the hell has the idiosyncratic ability to countdown from eight and then proclaim that she’s a MILF? Only Ms. Amos, that’s who. Anyway, the song is fun and poppy. And what she’s saying is intense. My own interpretation is that she’s theorizing about the state of The Church – that it’s a business and The Big Wheels (the leaders) will continue their deception and fake promises. She taps into womanhood and how it fits into the religious sects. Or rather, that women don’t fit in at all, and they don’t want us there. Her MILFhood saves her. The church doesn’t.

Bouncing Off Clouds: A bittersweet song. Very radio-friendly and poppy, which she should have made her first single. It’s about love, relationships, and the loss of both. This song reminds me that we can be free even if we’ve lost something that we wish to find again. We can make it easy.

Teenage Hustling: An ass-kicker. I asked Gabe what he thinks the song is about and he said “Britney and them”. That makes sense. I also think she’s looking at the music industry as a whole, and what they do to pop stars. The power they have over their money-makers is incredible. Once the stars get to a certain age, say 30, they’ll be dumped on their ass and the music industry will find another teenager to exploit and profit from their body and “talentless trash”.

Digital Ghost: After the first four songs, this one is a little bit of a snooze. Her ballads tend to make me press the “forward” button. I just don’t like slow songs unless they are really intense and sad. Digital Ghost, however, has an interesting message: that the technological advances of the world can really isolate us and be very detrimental to our emotional well-being.

You Can Bring Your Dog: Hot dog! This song is sexy as hell. It makes me want to strip and jump in bed with some hot lad/lady. “Please me! Bring your love.” Haha, enough said.

Mr. Bad Man: This song is disastrous. I haven’t even given it the time of day. It’s the one part of the whole that I can’t stand. You know, like a human. There are so many characteristics you can love about someone, but there is that one thing that annoys you to death. Mr. Bad Man annoys me.

Fat Slut: Um, very glam-rock?

Girl Disappearing: Another snoozer, but the strings are beautiful. Lyrically, it’s incredible and what she’s exploring is very deep and complex. It’s reminiscent of her Under the Pink concept.

Secret Spell: So many people have criticized this song. It’s actually one of my favorites. The chorus is what gets me- the arrangement of lyrics with the piano, drums, and guitar is pretty unbelievable. The lyrics make me nostalgic and sad. But it’s a good sad; the sad that we all feel when we think about life and everything we’ve seen and heard.

Devils and Gods: I love the ukulele.

Body and Soul: Yum-me!! This song is hot. The electric guitar and percussion make this song so damn fierce. And the chorus. Oooooooo wee. “Come and kneel with me Body and Soul.” I know Jesus Christ is dancing to this one.

Father’s Son: Eh, another ballad. Next.

Programmable Soda: Fun. Zebra-esque. The lyrics are a little enigmatic, but that’s Tori for ya.

Code Red: I loved this song right away. It’s quintessential Tori….if there is such a thing. The piano is dark, the lyric arrangement is perfect and she layers them at the right time. This song definitely strikes the emotions. I’m sure all the long-time “ears with feet” appreciate this track more than any other on the album. My fave line “What you stole I would have given freely.”

Roosterspur Bridge: I think this is the bridge that connects Jamaica Inn to Ireland. Next.

Beauty of Speed: This grew on me. It was the first song I illegally downloaded and I wasn’t impressed, but know it’s on my top 5 list; probably because it’s a very timely song for myself. I want to meet the Beauty of Speed. Read the lyrics. If you’ve lost something, I think you’ll want to meet her too.

Almost Rosey: Another one that I had to give some time and patience to. I thought the beginning was cheesy as hell: uh uh uh, hey hey hey….I personally don’t like it when Tori does things like that. But after getting through hooha, the song is brilliant. It probably has the best lyrics on the album; the layering of them makes the song what it is. It’s a hopeful one. I bet this one is great live.

Velvet Revolution: The mandolin is perfect. This song should have been way longer than it is. It’s not even a song, it’s one of those so-called “interludes.”

Dark Side of The Sun: I don’t think of this as an Anti-war anthem, but more of a Pro-peace piece. She’s not saying anything new, but when one creates music about the atrocities of war, it gets under your skin a little more than usual. “Brush back my tears and he said “girl, we have to soldier on even when we don’t feel strong.” We are trapped in this war, into darkness, and she is pointing that out. I like how she says sun. So oy oy oy n . Her voice gets raspy too. Love it.

Posse Bonus: Kind of cute, yet kind of dumb.

Smokey Joe: Interesting because Pip I and Pip II sing different lines in the song, and then they sing together. I have to read the lyrics closer to really grasp the meaning of this piece. If this song were a color, it would be black with some gray splatters.

Dragon: Intelligent story telling here. It’s a love song; not love as between two people, but the love that might save all of us from destruction. The floodgates opened when I saw that children’s choir (PS22?) sing this song with Tori present. How precious.

I’m done. I’m not going to include bonus tracks Miracle, Drive All Night, or My Posse Can Do because I haven’t listened to them much.

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