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Thread: American Doll Posse

  1. #1
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    American Doll Posse



    TORI AMOS
    AMERICAN DOLL POSSE
    (EPIC)
    Released: April/May 2007
    Chart: UK No.50 / US No.5

    • Yo George
    • Big Wheel
    • Bouncing Off Clouds
    • Teenage Hustling
    • Digital Ghost
    • You Can Bring Your Dog
    • Mr. Bad Man
    • Fat Slut
    • Girl Disappearing
    • Secret Spell
    • Devils and Gods
    • Body and Soul
    • Father's Son
    • Programmable Soda
    • Code Red
    • Roosterspur Bridge
    • Beauty of Speed
    • Almost Rosey
    • Velvet Revolution
    • Dark Side of the Sun
    • Posse Bonus
    • Smokey Joe
    • Dragon


    Non-album:


    The musical styles were so varied that I began to think there has to be a correlation somewhere, so I looked to mythology. I looked to the Greek pantheon where there were many women who were part of the divine feminine but had their own individuality. And I patterned my girls loosely on a few of these women. I'd been reading different books on the psyche and how we as women all have these ancient character types in us. Before Christianity became the central ideology the women were much more complex, so I was really drawn to this. We have different percentages of these women in us, but every woman can apply this to them. I'm just showing you my process.
    The concepts are about me. What's wrong with a good concept? Didn't you like "Ziggy Stardust"? If you really want to play this game, the girl sitting behind the piano is also a concept. That's an image. I do not stay in a box. You stay around because there's still a mystery and you've been able to keep your private life sacred. My husband doesn't know what the songs are about and he doesn't want to know. He does want a date with each one of the posse, though.


    Meet the Posse

    Isabel [HisTORIcal], a photographer, is a reflection of Artemis and is the most outwardly political of the bunch. She opens the album with "Yo George," a shout-out to our commander in chief, questioning what horribly dark road he and his crooked cronies have led us down, and closes the CD with the anti-war anthem, "Dark Side of the Sun."

    Clyde [CliTORIdes], who draws from Persephone. She wears her emotional wounds on her sleeve, but remains idealistic. "She is looking at the effects of not being a whole person. She is trying to figure out what she believes in and she is dealing with having been disappointed in her life," Amos says. Clyde is a little girl lost on the string-laden, gorgeous "Girl Disappearing" and on the heartfelt ballad "Roosterspur Bridge."

    Pip [ExpiraTORIal], who represents Athena swaggers her way through the driving "Teenage Hustling" and duets with Santa on the rollicking "Body and Soul." "Pip, being the warrior that she is, does confront issues and sometimes it's explosive, but I really love her energy and her casual approach to rubber."

    Santa [SanaTORIum] relates to Aphrodite and is the sensualist of the group. Through songs like the shimmery pop of "Secret Spell" or the wonderfully wicked "You Can Bring Your Dog" or the delightfully retro "Programmable Soda," "Santa is somebody who's a girl's girl," Amos says. "She understands her fellow sisters and she believes that there is enough love and passion out there for everyone. But she won't accept that there is something perverted about being very sensual and she won't drink shame with her sensuality."

    Tori [TerraTORIes], who, surprisingly, was one of the hardest characters for Amos to get her head around. "She was Demeter and Dionysus, so she was really holding and channeling the male, as well as Demeter, who was the mother, the creator of this," Amos says. She is front and center as the M-I-L-F on "Big Wheel" and on the dreamy, Lennon-esque married with the Mick Ronson guitar inspired "Digital Ghost."

    ____





    ____

    POSSE BLOGS

    Clyde
    Isabel
    Pip
    Santa

  2. #2
    This was the first album that came out after I became a fan.

    After seeing the picture with the bible and blood, I was excited because I thought we'd get something dark like choirgirl (my second favorite Tori album, SW being the first). Then the tracklist came out. 23 songs? Posse Bonus? Dragon? Mr. Bad Man? Fat Slut? Digital Ghost? These didn't sound like titles for dark/emotional songs. There was also a rumor before the album came out that it would be 12 tracks. LOL.

    Then I heard the solo versions of the songs that she did to promote the album. The excitement was back. Then ADP came out. I didn't outright hate it at first. I liked some of it but I didn't love it. Some of my favorites from the solo show like Beauty of Speed and Almost Rosey were butchered in the studio with annoying electric guitars. After awhile I started to hate it with a passion and only listened to my favorites (Bouncing Off Clouds, Beauty of Speed (mostly the live solo version), Smokey Joe, and maybe a few others). I didn't listen to most of it for up to a year. It became my least favorite Tori album.

    Then AATS came out and I hated it so much that I decided to give ADP another chance. I fell in love with it. It was full of energy and each song was tight. Even the little interludes that I hated with a passion before, I could now actually enjoy. I even love the three b-sides from this era.

    Overall, I really enjoy this album and have no trouble listening it from beginning to end.

  3. #3
    holding on for tonight Waylon's Avatar
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    Meh...I still don't know about ADP. It's too long, too cluttered, too unfocused. Some of the songs are quite good when performed solo, but the production stinks. I never recommend this album to a non-EWF because, to me, it's sort of an embarrassment.

  4. #4
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    I still think this album is better than TBK. It has a bunch of great songs on it yet it has a bunch of fillers. I'm surprised how loathed ADP has become over the years as many name this as Tori's worst ever. The overall sound, although a bit muddy, is warm. I don't mind her flirting with glam rock, I don't mind the dolls - I find them pointless, though. Programmable Soda is great and should've been extended to a full length track.
    That said I was disappointed with the lack of experimenting, she played safe - again.
    Last edited by MrQuin; 06-18-2010 at 07:39 PM.

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    I have to say I really like ADP - maybe it's because I listened to a lot of Bowie when it first came out? It does have that vague glamrock feel.

    Of course, I edited the album down and never listen to some songs, but I think the others are really enjoyable. And the sequence (in my edited version) of Body and Soul into Code Red into Beauty of Speed into Almost Rosey into Smokey Joe into Dragon is one of her finest in recent years.

  6. #6
    whose wheels are squeaking arsonist samael's Avatar
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    Don't like it. Never did. Hate the production. Lyrically not impressive (at some points even embarrassing). I have some new found love for Bouncing Off Clouds. Big Wheel was always fun. Father Son is a good song. Um....I never listen to it. And I just had to go and check the track listing, so i could say something nice....I enjoy what Smokey Joe is trying to do.

  7. #7
    thundering blissful towards death stillorbiting's Avatar
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    I would like this album more than I do, but the production is so god-awful that I find over half of it unlistenable. Too bad, because she killed some really good songs.

  8. #8
    I haven't listened to ADP for quite a while. Lifeless production, lousy guitars, too much filler, the album seems to suffer from all those things. Who knows though, someday it may seem like a goldmine. But currently the only song that has really stuck with me is BOC.

    I like the album title a lot. Kinda wish we lived in a world where she could have gone with Pussy instead of Posse but it's still good. I really love the cover photo, it's striking with the grey tones and the Barbie poses and the blank stares. Love the dolls, love the wigs, love concept albums.

  9. #9
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    Like I said in the AATS thread, I think she was going for a production style that put more emphasis on the rock influences here and maybe limiting the ethereal qualities of some of her previous records, but in the process it sounds airless and dry. I remember once putting it on (granted I was listening on bad speakers) but I had to turn it off because I found the quality on the piano and voice of "Yo George" such a turn off! Just no atmosphere.

    HOWEVER. I listened to this album again today and while the production isn't always to my taste, I think it's her most fun, light-hearted, and in some ways enjoyable record. It has enough variety and diversity for me to be able to listen in one go and not get tired; you could say songs like "Teenage Hustling" or "You Can Bring Your Dog" are just silly posturing fluff, but I appreciate the renewed energy and vigour. She's being a lot more experimental than you might initially think and there's a lot of new ground here for her. Some of my favourites include "Father's Son," "Beauty of Speed," and of course "Body and Soul," which I think is one of her best songs in that harder-edged rock style, and the frankly awesome "Code Red." That piano!

    It's messy but I think it's mostly a good kind of messy. It's fun and energetic, often without trying to be. Sometimes when she tries to do a fun/funny sort of song ("Mary Jane") it doesn't come off, but here there's just a lightness that keeps me interested. This is an album where I can deal with it being huge and sprawling, it feels like it was meant to be that. I'm ok with that. Do I think it's her absolute finest work? No. But there's definitely a space in her catalogue for a fun, not so serious kind of record, and this is it. And while she was at it, she managed to write some really great songs too. Count me in the ADP 'like' club.

  10. #10
    Senior Member aviv amos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrQuin78 View Post
    I still think this album is better than TBK. It has a bunch of great songs on it yet it has a bunch of fillers. I'm surprised how loathed ADP has become over the years as many name this as Tori's worst ever.
    agreed! yes, it's WAY too long, but still there are some great great songs on the album.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrQuin78 View Post
    I was disappointed with the lack of experimenting, she played safe - again.
    for me this album was NOTHING but safe. after two albums that were a lot more soft, to come out with the mostly rocking ADP... no safe play, imo.




    *oh, and worst cover EVER.

  11. #11
    Loves ponies. Hates phonies. Regina Phalange's Avatar
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    I don't like it, generally speaking.

    I really like Big Wheel and it was the only song I listened to before the release. I didn't do the leaks for it intentionally. I thought the whole thing was going to be good and fun. I had so much hope too for the Shame picture and was very skeptical about the doll thing. I don't know if I could tell you how many there are or there names at every moment, much less their personalities.

    When someone would say about a 2009 set "Oh that would be a santa show" or "wouldn't that pip song be awesome if done by isabel?" or whatever, I'd be so confused and not get the jokes and references.

    I can't figure out what Tori was trying to accomplish here. Was she doing the whole doll thing ironically? Was it sincere? I didn't get to see a show, but I saw plenty of pics. Those jumpsuits, the cheeto wig-just so freaking awful. Although the blond and brown wigs did look very flattering on her.

    The cover of the album is atrocious. That Shame picture would have been awesome, if not entirely reflective of the inside. It felt like T wanted to show off all her pretty wigs instead of having a good cover. SLG featured different characters and the artwork on that came out great. ADP didn't have to suck.

    There are some ADP songs besides Big Wheel that I do really like. Smokey Joe, along with Our New Year, win best songs of the 00s. But the album is a mess and even the stuff she gets right, she gets wrong in some ways. Like Smokey Joe is awesome, but it is considered a bonus track? That almost didn't make the album? But Fat Slut and Yo George, two of her worst songs EVER, did?

    So she's going to make an album with dolls. Why not have the track listing be by doll? Have the album set up as like 4-5 EPs? Again, since I don't know the doll thing very well, I have to look it up if I get curious. If the songs were grouped together, the concept might have come through easier. It was like she stuffed the concept in AFTER everything was done, which is the same feeling I get for TBK and a huge reason why the sin concept worked for AATS: it existed by itself without all the extras. The songs and themes spoke for themselves without wigs and gardens.

    Another marketing thing I hate hate hate is the 8 million different editions of this album. Go here to get this song. Go there to get this song. Go there for a poster. You know, I'll pay a little extra for a deluxe edition. I'll pay a little more for a single. But I'm not going to buy a $15 album 3 times for a couple b-sides.

    I listened to a live solo version of Almost Rosey and the album version close together the other day. The shrieky guitar was so much more obvious. As "mac aladdin" is a good guitar player, as evidenced by Ruby, for example, why was this particular sound chosen for the album? It's bad and distracting and clearly a deliberate choice.

    Although I didn't get to a show myself, I have the Legs & Boots and the tour sounded pretty impressive to me. There was an energy and enthusiasm that was missing during the previous tour. Dan Phelps was pretty awesome and I was sad he didn't continue with them.

    Some of the songs are good, but the lyrics are just dumb or annoying. For example, Roosterspur Bridge just bugs me to no end. If that had something else as the title/lyrics, it'd be one of my favorites from the album.

    This album could have been much better with some better choices: less bad guitar, better organizing of the songs, getting rid of the truly shit songs, tweaking some of the bad lyrics on the good songs, one or two editions of the album only, better cover.

    I think this has to be my least favorite album. There are just too many songs I hate and too many songs I don't like, which is sad because there are a few songs that I adore.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by aviv amos View Post
    agreed! yes, it's WAY too long, but still there are some great great songs on the album.


    for me this album was NOTHING but safe. after two albums that were a lot more soft, to come out with the mostly rocking ADP... no safe play, imo.


    *oh, and worst cover EVER.

    You mean anything but safe. Sorry, it bugged me.

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    Really? Production-wise, I think, it's yet another Tori Amos Band-record. Edgier than SW and TBK, yes but one could hardly call it experimental. I really think Tori should throw all the productional conventionalities out of the window for the next record. I mean she's free to do anything (she's also capable) but she prefers to stay in her comfort zone record after record. AATS was a step to the right direction but she needs to take a leap.

  14. #14
    Senior Member pancakefrompele's Avatar
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    This album is definitely fun, but that's about it for me. I never gravitated toward Tori's music for fun, lighthearted music. While I enjoyed some of her quirky releases, like Daisy Dead Petals and Mr. Zebra, this entire CD just tried too hard. I feel as though all Tori's love for rock-and-roll from the 70s really influenced this album; however, that vintage rock-and-roll sound has never been something that I'm drawn to, so I was kind of disappointed to hear this from Tori. Some songs really worked and rocked well, such as Body and Soul and You Can Bring Your Dog (sloppy vocals, but still good), which I could totally get on board with. Other songs, i.e. Dark Side of the Sun, not so much... I don't know, I liked this album at first, but it reminds me of meeting a really cool person for the first time. At first, you think this person is deep, sophisticated, intelligent, but after a while you start to learn that there isn't much more beneath the surface. In the same way, my first impression of this album was positive but it didn't hold up over time. I think this is probably the Tori CD that I listen to the least.

  15. #15
    Senior Member HumptyDumpty's Avatar
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    I dont know... IMO, ADP doesnt get the love it deserves. But I do believe that it will have its time... maybe years from now.

    It's taken me a long while to get to its heart, but I'm beginning to find it. I think there's a certain aspect of genius in the way that its depth is so concealed by its catchiness. I think it has some of her most blatently catchy songs and hooks to date. It's quite a theatrical album, I can't help but love its concept: the dolls, the various voice present throughout, and the way it came alive on tour.

    I see a lot of complaints about her voice, but I honestly think its used wonderfully. I remember the first time I listened to ADP and Body and Soul came on. I felt she was using her voice in a way that she hadn't done since YKTR. Now, not everyone will think that's a good thing, but I love it none-the-less. And then there are songs like Digital Ghost and Girl Disappearing that are delicate, at times almost frail, but it works in the context of the song. Not to mention, Digital Ghost is easily one of my favorite tracks from Tori.

    I consider Yo George into Big Wheel to be one of her greatest openers. Not so much context-wise, but sonically. I love the low, quietness of YG followed by the fun drumming and piano of BW.

    You Can Bring Your Dog and Mr. Bad Man are just two incredibly enjoyable and catchy tracks.

    Code Red is another song that is, IMO, one of the best of her career. I never tire of it.

    I actually, genuinely love Dark Side of the Sun. Some of the lyrics are mediocre, but the music is fantastic. I love the "Brush back my tears..." bit. It just works so perfectly.

    And back to the heart... as I mentioned before, I'm just now coming to find it. I think the leaked Miracle demo really helped me out with this. As with TBK, there are some incredibly heavy themes being presented throughout the album, but the music is sometimes contradictory. Which is where its genius lies, IMO. I recently connected with Digital Ghost on a very deep level, and while I had already loved it, it suddenly clicked. A dear friend of my family suffered a massive stroke and lapsed into a coma. She was kept on life support for a few days before passing away, but seeing her hooked up to so many machines just to stay alive was heartbreaking. And suddenly each and every metaphor in DG was no longer a metaphor... it was a truth. And another example of Tori just... knowing. I think there are similar aspects and themes in Digital Ghost and The Beekeeper (the song)... they're just presented differently.

    That was my initial problem with ADP: I wasn't connecting with it on an emotional level the way I was with her earlier albums. But I'm getting to a point now where I am. It just takes time. It takes experiences.

    I'll stop here by saying, if it's not already obviously, I love ADP.

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