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Strange Little Girls
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STRANGE LITTLE GIRLS, the new studio album from Tori Amos, is an assemblage of songs written by men, but performed by Tori from the perspectives of a diverse cast of female characters. Songs composed by such artists as Neil Young, the Stranglers, Eminem, Depeche Mode, Slayer, Lou Reed, Lennon/McCartney, and others are taken apart and put back together darkly, gently, and in an uncompromising fashion. In crafting the new album, Amos wanted to talk about men - how men see women, how men see themselves, and how the view changes depending on where you're standing. So Tori turned to the words of men themselves to do it. "I've always found it fascinating how men say things and women hear them," the songwriter says.
Tori Amos's Strange Little Girls is a departure as she takes 12 songs written by men about women and delivers them from the female perspective. "Words are like guns" she says, "a person has to take responsibility for their words." So she turns Eminem's "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" into a song of dark misogyny, and reinterprets the Boomtown Rats' "I Don't Like Mondays" with quiet, melodious keyboards and a reflective voice. Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" has been completely recast as banshee rock, while The Stranglers' "Strange Little Girl" has a new post-punk power. Sometimes Amos's own compositions have a tendency to ramble, but these four-minute nuggets have concentrated her skills wonderfully. It's an ambitious record, but one that works. --Lucy O'Brien
Please note that there are four different covers of this album. You will be sent one at random when you purchase it.
Top Customer Reviews
Amos's much lauded take on Eminem's "97 Bonnie & Clyde" is as mesmerizing and stomach churning as it is reputed to be. Additional gems include an exquisite, heartrending version of Tom Waits's "Time" (which, in it's own way, is as good as the original); and a lovely, almost terse piano arrangement of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence." Amos's rendition of Joe Jackson's "Real Men" is, in my opinion, the best track on the album, and considerably better than the original.
Other songs, like "New Age" and "I Don't Like Mondays" are okay, though at the same time one cannot really see the point in Amos's having covered them at all. 10cc's "I'm Not In Love" is, lyrically, one of the best songs about male love and sexuality ever written, but she doesn't do it justice; and the Beatles's "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" and Neil Young's "Heart Of Gold" are outright butchered, spun out flailing and churning in an (again) cacophonous blender. But the rest of the tracks..."Rattlesnakes," "Strange Little Girl," and particularly Slayer's "Raining Blood" are all well done, stamped with Amos's unmistakable originality. Amos's muses may have hysterics sometimes, but she is never far behind a masterpiece; and what she falls short in is more than made up for by what she excels in.
The title track 'Strange Little Girl' is a great cover, a little different than Tori's main focus (the piano) but it steps it up and shows fans that Tori can have a really great song without having it completely piano driven. And I don't understand why some people dislike 'I'm Not In Love', it's a little different sort of atmosphere but it's hauntingly beautiful. I also really enjoyed 'Raining Blood', 'Rattlesnakes' and 'New Age'. This is definitely a must for any Tori fan, I think that some Tori fans were disappointed because it's not completely original but open your ears and mind with this album and you'll find a lot more than you bargained for.
Any other artist would have masacured these two songs beyond belief, but Tori, like she always does, makes it work & brings out the beauty in even the most morbid of lyrics.
Other covers such as "New Age", "Stange Little Girl", "Time", "Real Men", "I Don't Like Mondays", & Rattelsnakes" are in the same vein as absoulutly breakingingly amazing.
I found that a lot of fans had a hard time with songs such as her covers of "Happiness is a warm gun", "Heart of Gold", I'm Not in Love", & "Enjoy the Silence"
Personally, I love all of these songs, but I guess I could understand how other people might not appreciate them because they completely morph the orginal song. On "Heart of Gold", (orgianlly written & sung by Neil Young) she even changed some lyrics.
Weather you love or hate this albam, you must respect her. Because you can't say she doesn't take risks, & that is clearly what tori has done her entire career.
To be fair, I realise it is difficult to get it without listening to the original tracks. The songs have an unfamiliar texture, as the readings extricate nuances that could escape us, or rather nuances that we are not used to hearing expressed so abstractly. SLG is undoubtedly challenging listen, which requires that one really develop an ear for how emotions are uttered and reflect on how inflection and tone play as much a role as words. (The inclusion of seemlingly odd choices such as Depeche Mode's Enjoy the Silence makes more sense if thought of this way). This is art with a capital A, a formal excersise trying to communicate something very much associated with meaning (note: I don't necessarily buy the notion that all art is good...)
It is understandable that some people would not rally care to give it the attention it requires (you pretty much have to be a fan to like it). Perhaps the key to cracking the code could be: "How would a woman live this song?", but I am not wholly convinced with the consensus that the whole album consists of songs whose lyrics are sung the way a woman would hear them, given that some of them are clearly more about personifying the lyrics in a woman. An argument in favour of miscomunication in general would probably be more convincing, and accurate.
As far as interpretations go, they're eerily effective. Lou Reed's New Age, in particular, is rendered with the chilling, kinky, moaning desperation of someone on the verge of losing it: the lyrics and Tori's delivery are so attuned that it's hard not to pay attention. (That the song rocks by no means detracts from this...Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Tori Amos' covers are usually extremely interesting (amongst others, Thank You, from Led Zeppelin, on the Crucify EP, is as beautiful as it could be, and her rendition of Total... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Philippe M.
Tori Amos' music has never really been quite mainstream, and this album is probably for fans only. While there are some good tracks on this album, very few are memorable. Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2004 by Ez
Dont listern to the other reviews, this is a great album, people think that just because Tori covers other peoples songs, that this is not a worthy album. Read morePublished on Feb. 29 2004 by dingleberry
My first thought, as I listened to Strange Litte Girls the first time, was that this album was the work of a genius. Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2004 by Joan Crawford
Its not surprising that Tori released a album of covers, due to the various of covers, she does in concerts (like: Love Song, Losing my Religion). Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2004 by Michael Toscano
If you look up the word "unique" in the dictionary of popdom you'll find a picture of Tori Amos, right next to Prince and Grace Jones. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by Nasser Alqatami
Albums that consist entirely of covers are automatically cause for scepticism. The aim behind this album was to reconstruct songs written by males in a female perspective: however... Read morePublished on Dec 29 2003
...is a gr8 album that alot of Tori's fans weren't too impressed with but I personally think it a very good piece of work by Tori, she's one of the best artists for creativity and... Read morePublished on Dec 26 2003 by Pete Doherty