American Doll Posse
By Jeremy Grand
Amos is a M.I.L.F., don't you forget. American Doll Posse, the ninth studio album from the brilliant singer/songwriter is finally something to talk about. After her last two albums, The Beekeeper and Scarlet's Walk, which seemed to veer towards dull adult contemporary, Posse does the opposite, reverting in age and flipping to youthful rock and experimental tunes.
Like Amos' covers on Strange Little Girls, she once again takes on the roles of five different women (Isabel, Tori, Clyde, Pip and Santa), which is interesting only if you need that to help you along with Amos' notoriously enigmatic poetry, but is otherwise unnecessary. The music alone is what the album is worth, producing an epic-length journey through the mind of a hardcore, fan-referred "goddess."
Though the album is lengthy, that doesn't mean there are a lot of bad fillers; that just means there are a lot of good and memorable songs (think Boys for Pele, just less melancholy). The first single, "Big Wheel," is a peppy hoe-down lesson in re-invention, calling herself a M.I.L.F. and slipping in her famously religious undertones ("Get off the cross, we need the wood").
"Teenage Hustling" is a hard guitar driven rant from the mouth of a defiant hardcore "dirty girl," introducing us to that harsher and scarcely seen side of Amos that is less like a sexual victim and more like the powerful sexual victor, although that victim side is snuck back in with the brief and haunting Fat Slut.
Amos has added a bit of a show-tune tone into the mix. "Programmable Soda" sounds like a completely different variation of "Mr. Zebra" from Pele, with strings and horns to give a playful classical feel. "Velvet Revolution" sounds like it is straight out of the soundtrack of The Godfather, with its ups and downs and increasing tempo, and that great fast pizzicato. Then there's "Posse Bonus" with its rock opera feel that gives it a reason to listen to the entire album to the end.
Posse is so much more fun than Amos' previous albums, which is not downsizing her past work (that would be absolute blasphemy); it's just currently taking her out of the category of sad rock and melancholia that non-fans just assume she has led herself into. Posse is a great way to announce a mid-life proverbial face-lift, exposing through characters her stunning beauty, facets and unquestioningly brilliant talent that millions have come to adore her for.
Published July 1, 2007
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