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Tori Amos—The Beekeeper


Release info:

2005—Epic Records—EK 93698

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Tori Amos—Bösendorfer, B3 Hammond organ, Hammond Chord organ, hand claps, vocals

Guest artists:

Matt Chamberlain—drums, handclaps
Jon Evans—bass, upright bass, Hammond bass pedals, hand claps
Mac Aladdin—acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, 12 string guitar
London Community Gospel Choir—background vocals (2, 8, 11, 16)
Damien Rice—additional vocals (3)
Kelsey Dobyns—additional background vocals (9)
Alison Evans, Chelsea Laird—hand claps

Produced by:

Tori Amos

Comments:

I'll just say that it's a very good album. Time will tell where it ranks overall, but if you liked Scarlet's Walk you should like this one quite a lot too. So far my favorite song is "Witness", which is Tori's version of what would happen if Yes were a funk band.
     Be prepared: it's *long*! (meth@smoe.org)

Most of this album is the kind of sweet, predictable pop of "1000 Oceans" from to venus and back. I find this kind of music doesn't interest me much. There are four or five tracks here that I find a bit more interesting than that, but in an album of this length I would say this is quite a disappointment. I don't mind sweetness so much as I mind that the sound is so predictable—for an artist capable so much power and creativity this is painfully bland to me. For the most part I have trouble telling the tracks apart. That's never been a problem with her melodies and sound before.
     Eventualy I actually found this album difficult to listen to—it just got on my nerves—so I finally traded it away. (Neile)

For what it's worth, let me start by saying that I absolutely love The Beekeeper. Yes, it's a more quiet, mature album...but it's so lovely, and has some really poetic moments. I'm not out to tell anyone they're wrong for disliking the album, but I'm very surprised at how negatively so many people feel towards it. (lasherboy@gmail.com)

Nice enough, but pales next to Scarlet's Walk. I doubt I have played this even 5 times. (tpierceint@yahoo.com)

i continue to listen to tori's the beekeeper quite a bit, but...i don't know...i still don't quite know what to say about it, all these months later! i will say one thing, though: her first concert in brisbane in ten years [back in may] was *wonderful*. (maier@joynet.com.au)

Someday when I'm standing in a lift and I think to myself, hey, this Norah Jones music is actually quite interesting, I'll go back and listen to Tori's new album. I've probably only made it to the end once. There are a few catchy bits. It's nice that some people are enjoying it.
But,
there are no songs here that I want to live inside
that demand repeat repeat repeat listenings, with choruses alight with melody
that send me to the lyric sheet
that say something about my life
that say something about someone else's life, and make me feel as
though it is mine.
     Fair enough; our paths diverge. (k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)

I've been following Tori ever since 1991, when her "Silent All These Years" video hit MTV. I own every CD she's released, with the exception of Strange Little Girls. However, I won't be buying this one either. It's nice, pleasant, but basically, it's boring. Even to venus and back was more musically interesting, and I'm not talking about the live disc. In short, Beekeeper is my least favorite CD, period.
     I'm not surprised, though...I mean, really: how can she follow up Scarlet's Walk, which in many ways was her best release, and in any case is a masterwork?
     I can rest assured, though, that her next release will be a stunner, at least because of the motivation that Beekeeper's (I'm predicting) poor sales will inspire. (dbailey4117@gmail.com)

I personally wouldn't need to have a brother (or anyone close) die in a car crash to appreciate the poignancy of "Toast," but I would have to listen to the song closely enough or read the lyrics in order to know that was what the song's about in order to appreciate the poignancy. And that's my real problem with Beekeeper—the songs don't inspire me to delve into them. A few of them I find pretty much unbearable ("Witness", "Hoochie Woman"), but mostly I find the album likable in a mild sort of way, nice enough background music occasionally, but not something that brings active pleasure as I'm used to with Tori. (JoAnn Whetsell)

It took me many listens to fall in love with The Beekeeper, and it was worth it to me. (drumz@best.com)

It's certainly true that with me, some of the best music has taken several listens to get into. When I first got into Kate—I'd actually started with The Sensual World, but I'm talking about my next purchase, eitherThe Dreaming or Hounds of Love—I immediately dismissed her work as not for me. It was too weird. But it called back to me and I gave it repeated chances until finally it clicked. The same happened with the nextKate CD I purchased. The same happened with Happy's music.
     The Beekeeper is a bit different, though. I'd agree with those who'd say that the music itself isn't as interesting as on previous albums. It's as if those rough edges we loved in Tori have been filed down to smoothness. In my first couple listens of the album, none of the songs really stood out, spoke to me. It wasn't until I started listening to the album over and over, reading the lyrics at the same time, in preparation to write about the album for a fanzine, that it clicked for me. And it clicked with me in a different way than previous Tori albums. (I used to think of the difference between Tori and Kate as being that Tori's music always seemed very personal, as if she was talking about her own experiences, even when she wasn't. Kate, on the other hand, seemed more of a storyteller. Internal vs. external. But Tori's been heading more in Kate's direction lately, I think, with more distance felt in her songs than before.) I do like the album, really like parts of it, but don't love it as much as some of Tori's more personal work. (I don't know where it will rank with me in the long run. Certainly not at the top, but also not at the bottom, where the frequently appalling Strange Little Girls will hopefully never be undercut.
     I've got mixed feelings about "Ribbons Undone". I mean, I like it...but in an embarassed sort of way. It's a very nice, sweet song (though it seems short to me, whenever I listen to it I expect the chorus that starts with "she runs like the fire does" to repeat at some point). But it's almost too saccharine for my taste. Listening to it makes me feel like I've been caught reading a fun children's book in a college library.
     I get the same feeling from "Goodbye Pisces". The bright piano line on that one seems so cutesy...but I find it infectious nonetheless. (jchigdon@mindspring.com)

I want to let this album grow on me but just don't get the urge to listen to it, in the words of that immmortal Wendy's commercial "Where's the beef?" Scarlet's Walk and from the choirgirl hotel remain two of my favorite albums of all time by anyone and I'm a big fan of Tori but this seems like her weakest album to date in my opinion. Of course the optimist in me is hoping she's just trying to draw in the soft rock radio masses to hit them with her next masterpiece. We wait and hope...
     She did really lose me with The Beekeeper though, that one just seems to be missing some ineffable but important quality that all her others had. (onyx@vianet.ca)

Most of the album versions just kinda run together, whereas I very much like the live versions. (nadyne@little-blue-world.org)

The Beekeeper is uneven, but my favorites on it ("Original Sinsuality", especially) are still 100 percent more interesting than anything on Scarlet's Walk, which to me crawls along at the exact. Same. Pace. For an hour, without a single standout moment. I didn't think Beekeeper was boring, just overprocessed and underedited. It has a lot of gems. (timjy@sbcglobal.net)

The Beekeeper is a great cd ..i love it..there is a mix of sounds that really work together. "Sleeps with butterflies" i don't think really should be the first single though as it doesn't really represent the full feeling of the cd...it is one of the softer ballad songs...light and fluffy...lol...very beautiful though. And yes there are quite a few songs on The Beekeeper on the lighter side. but there are a lot of heavy emotions going on throughout this cd. Strong feelings don't always have to be shouted, ya know. Some songs you wanna play while you're driving with the windows down and other songs you wanna hear on days when it's pouring down rain outside and you just wanna curl up and go through old photo albums. But something for everyone. (Toriamosrising@aol.com)

I listened to that one maybe three or four times before deciding that I found it to be just too boring, despite my being a long-time Tori fan. (mcurry@io.com)

Beekeeper was a snooze, but in a pleasant way and that comes off the shelf from time to time. (burka@jeffrey.net)

Beekeeper is a decent CD. I like "Original Sinsuality" as well. I love the cover because of the sly and knowing grin on her face. (wpm@value.net)


Tori Amos' other recordings:

The main Tori Amos page


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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