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Album review: Tori Amos' 'Abnormally Attracted to Sin'

Abnormalcp From the blood-soaked opening thumps of "Abnormally Attracted to Sin," it's obvious that Tori Amos is still the reigning muse for mystic goth girls. A 17-song steam trunk of an album, the new collection strikes a canny balance between Victorian-inspired decadence, mythical pathos and arch camp. For all her theatrics, Amos is also the warm and wise sister-goddess, passing on advice she's learned the hard way.

"Abnormally Attracted to Sin," a wild-girl wink of a title if there ever was one, is rife with idiosyncrasies. "Welcome to England" is a silken glove with a few dropped stitches, specifically a guitar line that sounds borrowed from an '80s sitcom theme.

Occasionally Amos, her British husband-producer Mark Hawley and co-producer Marcel Van Limbeek smear too much pancake makeup on an already gussied up affair. But when the record hits the sweet slithery spot, like on the title track, the album's themes of temptation -- whether that be to fundamental religion, self-destruction or self-medicating vices -- simmer together with wit and heart.

It's a relief to hear something bright and muscular. "Not Dying Today" is a survivor's song, with the second-hand wisdom that music and good friends can ward off death, at least temporarily.

-- Margaret Wappler

Tori Amos
"Abnormally Attracted to Sin"
(Universal Republic Records)

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Comments () | Archives (2)

The imagery alone in this review peaked my curiosity enough to take a listen to this album. In addition, I'll take an '80's sitcom guitar line' if it means that the rest of the music is ORIGINAL artistry. It must be hard to form an organic sonic creation that is truly inspired. I'm sure it is much easier, however, to criticize one.

This is another great production of Tori Amos. An Spectacularly haunting album. If someone were expecting another Little Earthquakes or Under the Pink, he's gonna be dissapointed. Im my case, i've learned to hear her records alone without keep constantly comparing one album to another. This record – just like all the others - has it’s richness of it’s own and it’s wonderful. She’s going to different directions, but always keeping her trademark. She does perfectly with synths and guitars. The songs Abnormally Attracted to Sin, Give and Lady in Blue are ones of her best songs ever. And I just love her political and theological views as she shows in Strong Black Vine and Flavour. A dark, satisfying piece of work.

It must be remembered that the songs fit together most of the times. Strong Black Vine is linked with Flavour and Not dying today is a sorta answer to Curtain Call which is about someone who's about to die.

This album must be heard at least four times to be understood. Once you have an open hear and mind, you’ll eventually love this record.


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