A bit of a meal to get through, with random styles zigzagging about.
Ian Wade 2009-05-12
Her place in pop history is fairly secure: slightly 'kooky', loved and used as intro music by Nirvana; comfortable in both confessional singer-songwriter mode or being sampled and taken down the rave up; her best of collection was one of those 'crikey, I know and enjoy more Tori tuneage than I thought' delights.
After something like 20 years in the business, long term fans know pretty much what to expect from Tori Amos, and for this her tenth album, she doesn't disappoint. More straightforward than the 23-track concept fest of her last album American Doll Posse, but still as beguiling, even a passing Amos observer would find much to enjoy. Abnormally Attracted To Sin is also accompanied with a DVD of 'visualettes', although that sentence will either bring joy or despair depending on where you stand on the Amos.
To be honest, Abnormally Attracted To Sin is a bit of a meal to get through, with random styles zigzagging about, a little editing may have helped it to be more memorable rather than just slightly exhausting, although, to be fair, it does represent good value for your buck even if you may have a couple of points in the 75-odd minutes where you've forgotten it's playing.
Opener Give slinks in Twin Peaks-ily, with the now traditional themes of religious imagery and, well, men creeping in on Strong Black Vine; Welcome To England is Amos-by-numbers; Flavor and Maybe California are archetypal Amos, while the seven-minute soft jazz stylings of Lady In Blue pass by reasonably painlessly.
Perhaps there's just a bit too much on this album, such dilemmas shouldn’t really be much of a problem, but surely the point of making an album such as this, is for it to be heard as it is, and not to be hacked down into more tolerable digestable moments. A shame.