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On songs like "Sweet the Sting," "Sleeps with Butterflies," and "Ribbons Undone," Tori incorporates vintage organs, Afro-Cuban drums and Gospel choirs, working once again with longtime partners, drummer Matt Chamberlain and bassist Jon Evans.
After Scarlet's Walk, Tori Amos' 2002 ambitious sonic travelogue that took her to all 50 states, penning loveletters to America along the way, the fiery earth-sprite has fashioned another high-minded concept album, tying her 19 songs--and one not-so-hidden track--into a garden motif that's part a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, another A Little Shop of Horrors, chronicling her rather autobiographical protagonist's journey through what seems to be an overgrown labyrinth of the subconscious as she experiences a series of life-altering events and emotions. In addition, living in Cornwall for the past decade has certainly had an effect on Amos, she even takes inspiration from Daphne Du Maurier's classic novel Jamaica Inn, which takes place on that rugged seacoast, but the greatest change is the grit in her voice; on a song like "Hoochie Woman," she sounds like she's channeling Chrissie Hynde--a welcome change from some of the preciousness of her earlier work. She also surprises with the steely, eloquent resolve on a song like "Goodbye Pisces" one of the better break-up songs in recent memory. The Beekeeper returns the quirky singer to the same whimsical terrain of 1992's Little Earthquakes, but with much stronger storylines and a much more assured a nd nuanced voice. Her best yet. --Jaan Uhelszki
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Top Customer Reviews
What THE BEEKEEPER does offer is a 19-song set of mellow, radio-friendly tracks. The lyrics, while still rich in layered meaning, are not as inaccessible as those of earlier Amos works like Under the Pink or To Venus & Back. The melodies are complex and interesting but not dark and brooding like the angst-ridden From the Choirgirl Hotel.
The B3 Hammond Organ and the Hammond Chord Organ are featured heavily on this album, but "Sweet the Sting" still manages to makes you want to sway your hips, and "Ireland" is a fun, if forgettable, ditty. "Martha's Foolish Ginger" is a lovely ballad, as is "Sleeps with Butterflies," THE BEEKEEPER's lead single.Read more ›
My suggestion to listeners who are daunted by the sheer volume of songs here is to break it up into sections. Refer to the inner sleeve of the album if you want. It provides smaller sections of 'the garden' for your perusal.
My recommendation is to get the album and let it unfold itself for you. It grows with every listen. It's sincere and rich and texturized. It starts with a chanting mantra of sorts in 'Parasol,' rolls and rants through 'Barons Of Suburbia,' rocks gently in 'Cars and Guitars' and 'Witness,' chills and spreads out in the title track, charms with probably the most optimistic and off-the-cuff breakup song ever with 'Goodbye Pisces' and ends with 'Toast,' a hushed send-off to her brother who recently passed.
There's a lot here and is well-worth the investment. Don't write it off after reading a couple of non-plussed reviews.
I don't know if it's this whole maternal thing she's got going now or what, but I have to say, Bee Keeper is the most yawn-worthy record she's done yet. I've been reading positive reviews trying to figure out how someone could possibly find this record interesting. I played it this morning for the first time ready to hear Tori return from the dead only to tune it out after the first song or two. It became soft lullabies in the background.
Could it be that she is producing her own records lately? Has she created a warm little womb to live in while she creates music as opposed to working with incredible, inspiring producers who can bring out her best? STOP PRODUCING YOUR OWN ALBUMS, TORI!!!
The reason I give this record two stars is for the design and photography. But honestly, unless you're looking for some nice easy listening music to add to your Celine Dion and Dan Hill collection, I highly recommend giving this album a pass. Or if you are one of the baffling fans who still thinks she's producing anything noteworthy, then pick it up. I know this will be shelved for me likely never to be listened to again.
The songs on this recording weave a tapestry, rich in story, variety and substance. The Beekeeper should not be missed.
Most recent customer reviews
Tori is a master at her craft. Great lyrics and a wonderful mix of instruments to make for very interesting albums. Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2013 by Amazon Customer
Anyone who enjoys lyrics with their music or is already a fan of Tori Amos will enjoy the CD -- The Beekeeper CD music is 5-stars. Read morePublished on April 20 2005 by Marielle Chevrier
Tori never ceases to amaze me. I almost wonder if her music gets better with each album release... or at least refreshingly unique, without losing the true sense or feel of her... Read morePublished on April 9 2005