AATS review

(those of you who are not tori fans will probably want to forgo reading this)

abnormally attracted to sin
tori amos
released 19 may 2009

review respectfully submitted by:  heather dyan, 22 may 2009

okay, here we go…

18.  500 miles – there seems to be one of these on every album (hello, “miracle”).  i just can’t listen to this one.  it’s an automatic skip.  (0/10)

17.  not dying today – eh, i’m not a fan of this one either.  the electric guitars rub me the wrong way and some of the lyrics are blah.  another one to skip.  nothing to see here, people.  (1/10)

16.  mary jane – a distant cousin to “velvet revolution”, perhaps?  it’s cute and quirky in a very toriesque sort of way, but i feel it’s along the lines of an improv she’d pull out between songs on tour.  not really worth a spot on the album.  listen once and move on.  (1/10)

15.  police me – i don’t know what to say about this one.  i think it’s one to either hate or love. i’m in the former category.  honestly, it scares me a bit.  when tori does that bit in the low register, “perhaps the answer to the question lies within the question”, i cringe.  and let’s not talk about how she pronounces “soldier”.  (2/10)

14.  curtain call – the first few seconds of this song instantly remind me of “siren”.  unfortunately, it’s all downhill from there.  the piano is so buried in instrumentation that it’s all but lost.  i’m not fond of the lyrics or the electric guitar, either.  and the mention of “china” only brings up bad memories from “little earthquakes”.  (2/10)

13.  strong black vine – a decent tori rockout song, but nowhere near the bar set by songs like “cruel” and “body and soul”.  this one might get an occasional listen but not much more.  (3/10)

12.  that guy – this one seems strangely out of place on the album.  in fact, it almost reminds me of a showtune.  i like it’s dreamy quality and the lyrics, but it just seems lost.  (4/10)

11.  maybe california – tori and piano and strings are always a good combination.  i like it.  i don’t love it, but it harkens back to a long line of tori classics, and that can’t be bad.  (5/10)

10.  abnormally attracted to sin – this one has a funky vibe that i enjoy, but i just cannot get into this song – perhaps it’s those blasted electric guitars again.  regardless, i sense definite potential in this song and i have a feeling that it will be a grower for me.  (6/10)

09.  ophelia – another good example of tori and her piano – the melody is hauntingly beautiful, layered and complex.  i don’t love the chorus, but that’s okay.  good definitely outweighs bad in this case.  (6/10)

08.  flavor – for some reason, i feel like this is “give’s” sister song.  it’s cool and flowing, and, despite the instrumentation, i can still hear the piano.  one cool cat.  (7/10)

07.  oscar’s theme – i went back and forth on this one, mostly because i feel like it’s an unfinished song, an improv.  but still, i love it so much.  simple and beautiful.  and the “languid is oscar’s theme” lyric – amazing.  (7/10)

06.  starling – when the tracklist was first announced, i knew i would like this one, and i was right.  it’s dark and strange, and i love it.  but the bridge, oh the bridge — were it not for the bridge, this song would probably be in my top three.  the bridge is crazy and manic and seems completely out of place.  why, tori, why?  (7/10)

05.  lady in blue – i loved this song instantly.  another very, very cool cat.  it’s bluesy, jazzy, and mysterious.  i love how it kicks up after, “i can play, too”.  the driving piano at the end is absolutely delicious.  (8/10)

04.  welcome to england – at last, a single that i actually really like.  in fact, i’ve been listening to this song much longer than the others, and i still like it.  enough said.  (8/10)

03.  fast horse – this song makes me laugh, in a good way.  at first, i didn’t like it at all, it sounded too country and tori’s pronunciation kept throwing me off track, but it was an immediate grower for me.  it’s just good fun, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  (9/10)

02.  give – now we’re talking.  an opening song has a lot of responsibility, and this one exceeds all of my expectations.  it sets the tone, it draws me in, it makes me want to listen again and again.  yummy.  (9/10)

01.  fire to your plain – i love this one, plain and simple.  it sounds new and fresh, but retains enough of the tori hallmarks to feel familiar.  again, it’s cool and jazzy and makes me want to press repeat.  well done, tori.  (10/10)

average rating = 5.3/10

that sounds about right.  this album is good, not great.
and, believe me, tori is capable of greatness.

(see also:  my review of tori’s previous album, ADP, here)


This was a great review of an album. Nicely written, informative, and from a person that knows Amos’ music well. It should appear as a professionally written article somewhere. 🙂

Posted by Colin on 22 May 2009 @ 8pm

Great review! I will definitely be focusing on your higher rated songs when I download a few of them this weekend. I like this idea BTW… I might have to follow your lead again 🙂

Posted by Adam on 23 May 2009 @ 8am

thanks, colin & adam! tori & i go way back, and i can’t help but put in my 2 cents whenever she releases something new.

Posted by heatherdyan on 29 May 2009 @ 7pm

[…] experienced the release of another new tori album. […]

Posted by goodbye thirty-three « there’s beauty in the breakdown on 25 June 2009 @ 7am

leave a comment