Concept album explores the female psyche
Vince Talotta/TorStar news service
Tori amos is fascinated with the complexity of women. So much so that she’s called on four others to help her explore the various facets of the female psyche.
Their names are Santa, Clyde, Isabel, Pip and they can be seen and heard on her ninth studio album, American Doll Posse, released this week.
This “posse,” represented by Amos in four different guises, will not only have their own blogs, but also be present on her world tour (beginning May 28) with one of the four “women” opening the show. Tori herself will then complete the second half.
“Yes, this is quite a production, I admit,” said the tangerine-haired singer/songwriter/pianist in an interview with Metro this week. “Maybe there’s something in me that loves a rock opera.”
Amos, who’s sold more than 12 million records worldwide, is famous for her antics (remember her suckling a pig on the Boys for Pele album cover?), but this shrewd businesswoman — now also a producer — assures she has her reasons.
“I really, really thought … that we as Americans were going to make a different choice (about going to war) … and when we didn’t, then the music started to come, and I recognized the energy was defiant in some ways, that it was investigating a women’s psyche on many levels.”
To identify these influences, Amos, 43, based her posse archetypes (which make up one complete woman) on Greek pantheon, particularly Artemis, Persephone, Athena and Aphrodite.
“I’ve been really focused on how women compartmentalize themselves in our modern society,” said Amos, who lives in Cornwall, England, with her sound engineer husband and six-year-old daughter. “If you choose to be a mother then it’s very difficult to step into erotica … And so maybe you play the game but the problem is when you start believing that’s all there is.”
An outspoken lyricist, this time Amos leads the way with politics in tracks like Yo George, (a callout to U.S. President George W. Bush) who has the “whole nation on all fours” and asking “Is this just the madness of King George?”
“It seems to me that the guys who are running the world aren’t doing such a great job,” said Amos, a North Carolina native.
“I do believe now that things are at a crisis level; if the women could stop being distracted and look at what’s really happening and ask the questions that they need to ask, then I think we as a force could make changes.”