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Úvodní stránka » GREAT BOOK TAIS AWARDS » Abnormally Attracted To Sin
Tori Amos
Abnormally Attracted To Sin (18 & 19 May, 2009)

Tori Amos — Abnormally Attracted To Sin (18 & 19 May, 2009)

 Tori Amos — Abnormally Attracted To Sin (18 & 19 May, 2009)Tori Amos — Abnormally Attracted To Sin (18 & 19 May, 2009)•  Po čtyřech předchozích koncepčních albech návrat k více osobnímu. Pro umělecká díla a reklamní obrázky alba Amos naverbovala módní fotografku Karen Collins. “Miluji způsob, jakým [Collins] střílí ženy,” uvedla Tori o práci fotografky. “Není to vulgární nebo ponižující, ale pro mě je prostě sexy. Získala žezlo ke mně, má plnou moc, a líbí se mi její styl.” Nicméně Rolling Stone ji za toto album děsně sepsul. Podobně Spin dává nemastných neslaných 5/10.  A tak nejlépe na světě ji v té době hodnotil Mike Schiller v PopMatters (8/10). Navíc, album debutovalo na #2 ve dvou žánrových specifických žebříčcích Billboardu: Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums chart a Top Rock Albums chart. Ještě v Polsku získalo fantastické 7. místo, zbytek světa lepší průměr. Za zmínku stojí singl “Maybe California”, ten dosáhl #1 v Portugalsku. Píseň “Flavor” byla později přepracována na orchestrálně/elektronický remix pro retrospektivní kompilaci ‘Gold Dust’; tímto dosáhla na #1 ve spotu Billboard’s Dance/Club Play Songs. Q také uděluje méně příznivé hodnocení, nicméně přiznává, že album obsahuje jedny z nejlepších písní, co Amos napsala. Co se týče prodeje, “Abnormally Attracted To Sin” šlo v USA 41.000 kopií mezi lidi během prvního týdne a na vývěsní tabuli Billboard 200 se ustálilo na 9. místě. To byl sice slabší výkon než u předchozího alba “American Doll Posse”, ale pořád úspěch, Top 10. V únoru 2010 podle WorldWideAlbums se prodalo 221,000 kopií alba po celém světě. A hodnocení Tais Awards? Podle mého názoru patří album mezi tři–čtyři nejlepší díla Tori Amos pro fantastickou škálu barev jejího hlasu, absolutní nepředvídatelnost, co bude následovat, vrcholné skladatelství, variabilitu temp, práci s intervaly a jemný přehled či nadhled při interpretaci. Trio Jon Evans, Matt Chamberlain a Mac Aladdin je dokonalé, všechno je přirozené, přesvědčivé, správně proporční a ve výsledku geniální. Dávám 9¼ a nominaci v kategorii ALBUM DESETILETÍ (TEN). Ben TaisBirth name: Myra Ellen Amos
Born: August 22, 1963, Newton, North Carolina, U.S.
Location: California, USA
Notable instruments: Bösendorfer piano, Harpsichord
Album release: 18 May 2009 (UK) and in the US on 19 May 2009
Recorded: Martian Engineering Studios, Cornwall, UK, July 2007 — May 2008
Record Label: Universal Republic Records
Duration:     76:08 + 69:47 => 145:55 min.
Tracks:
CD Disc:
01. Give      4:14
02. Welcome to England      4:07
03. Strong Black Vine      3:27
04. Flavor      4:06
05. Not Dying Today      4:03
06. Maybe California      4:25
07. Curtain Call      4:52
08. Fire to Your Plain      3:02
09. Police Me      3:55
10. That Guy      4:04
11. Abnormally Attracted to Sin      5:33
12. 500 Miles      4:07
13. Mary Jane      2:42
14. Starling      4:02
15. Fast Horse      3:53
16. Ophelia      4:43
17. Lady in Blue      7:14
18. Oscar’s Theme (Bonus Track)      3:39
Track List Bonus DVD — Abnormally Attracted To Sin (The Road Chronicles):
01. That Guy     4:01
02. Welcome To England     4:06
03. Strong Black Vine     3:27
04. Ophelia     4:42
05. Fast Horse     3:49
06. Fire To Your Plain     3:00
07. Curtain Call     5:02
08. Not Dying Today     4:00
09. Maybe California     4:23
10. Give     4:16
11. Police Me     3:54
12. Starling     4:03
13. 500 Miles     4:04
14. Flavor     4:11
15. Lady In Blue     7:09
16. Abnormally Attracted To Sin     5:40
•Ξ•   All songs written and composed by Amos.
Background:
•Ξ•   Amos lifted Abnormally Attracted to Sin’s title from a line spoken by one of the main character in the 1955 film Guys and Dolls.
•Ξ•   The album itself was written and conceived in two stages: first during Amos’ 2007 world tour, while promoting American Doll Posse, followed by a creative spurt of writing and composing the following year, in July 2008, when Amos reconnected with her former music industry mentor Doug Morris while she was visiting California to promote her graphic–novel anthology, Comic Book Tattoo.
•Ξ•   During her stay in California that year, Amos revisited some of the old homes and haunts she had frequented as a twenty–something struggling artist in LA during the late ’80s. She made a point of visiting the old church behind her old apartment. In past interviews, Amos has stated how songs such as “Crucify” and “Precious Things” were written while living behind this church, listening to endless sermons and worship–songs for hours at a time, alone, hurt and depressed following her failure as a musician (1988’s Y Kant Tori Read), and her role as a victim and survivor of physical and sexual assault. It was a threshold moment for Amos, providing her a time of respite, solace and a bit of reflection regarding her life and past. Memories of this time and these places, coupled with some of her own reflections and conclusions as a wife, mother and maturing woman, led to a spontaneous creative spell for the new album. This provided a catalyst for “a second batch of songs”, as Amos puts it, which would end up fleshing out the rest of the album.
•Ξ•   “Things were black and that’s before a whole second part of the record got written and developed when I came back to the states for Comic–Con [in July 2008]. And I was on my home ground where I wrote Little Earthquakes and there was a metamorphosis that happened. I passed by that little house where I wrote it and I thought, I took on a lot back then — I can take this on. I can fight. But I had lost how to fight. I had to change everything to fight — all kinds of people had to change. The one thing that kept me going was the love that Tash and Mark had for me. I just saw that I was becoming totally devastated and beaten.”Themes and content:
•Ξ•   While Amos’s four previous albums were highly influenced by conceptual frameworks and overarching narratives, Abnormally Attracted to Sin marks a return to a more personal album. The songs serve as loosely–veiled confessions, stark and, at times, exuberant disclosures through which Amos explores her own experiences, and how she has both defined and been defined by them throughout her life and career. Amos stated about the record: “it is not a concept album. It is a red–headed woman singing songs.”
•Ξ•   During an interview with Out Magazine, Amos used the song “Maybe California”, a track from the album in which a mother ruminates on leaving her husband and child(ren) “better off” as she contemplates suicide, to explain just how personal writing and composing both the song and the record as a whole were for her: “I wouldn’t have written this record if I hadn’t been pushed — for all kinds of reasons. I don’t want to go into all of it but “Maybe California” doesn’t come from nowhere. You’re not able to write that by having a drink with somebody who’s had the experience and you haven’t. You have to be pushed to that place.” She speaks of the mother figure in the song: “there’s nothing that she can give to stop this terrible emotional cancer that has taken over her family — her life — everything around her.” Adding credence to the notion that the song is deeply autobiographical, Amos chose to highlight the despair older, more mature women, such as herself, face: “I began to realize how serious this quiet, tragic problem was and that it’s not okay to talk about it, whereas teen suicide — it gets discussed and it’s almost something where there are [forums] for it. But mothers contemplating this — my God — they’re just going to put you in a nuthouse.”
•Ξ•   On another album track, “Ophelia”, Amos addresses her own moments of insecurity and self–loathing as a “mature woman”. She observed:
•Ξ•   “The self–harming mind tries to gain [the] control that [it] feels has been taken from [it]. It’s this very strange paradox where, by doing the wounding on yourself, you’re in the power position. Although, the idea that you’ve become your own abuser — it’s not necessarily being grasped. And so, you can step into that “Ophelia” state of mind — however old you are — where you start that downward spiral and you’re not on the ‘front–foot’ anymore in life, you’re on the ‘back foot’, and there’s a victimization–energy around you.”
•Ξ•   On the nature of her songwriting, Amos stated: “My songs might be confessional, but I don’t like giving away too many details. One of the reasons I’ve made ten albums and maintained my family life is that I respect my own privacy.” She confessed, “At times, I have used made–up characters to keep the media at bay.” During an interview, she commented: “I guess the girl that released Little Earthquakes was not a mother, and she was in her 20’s, and there were a lot of things that she really did discover. She found her voice...and then nine records later, the woman who is putting out Abnormally Attracted to Sin knows what she did with her voice.”
Art direction:
•Ξ•   For the album’s artwork and promotional images, Amos enlisted fashion photographer Karen Collins. “I love the way [Collins] shoots women,” Amos stated about the photographer’s work. “It’s not vulgar or demeaning, but I find it just sexy. They look empowered to me, and I like her style.” The setting for the album’s artwork is a cream–colored hotel room, with various photos of Amos depicting different ideas of sensuality through images such as voyeurism and sadomasochism, both of which tie into the ideas of power explored throughout the album. Collins’ images was used for the cover artwork on both single releases from the album.
REVIEW
BY MIKE SCHILLER, 19 May 2009;  Score: 8/10
•Ξ•   Oh god, 70–plus minutes again. Haven’t we been through this enough already? Hasn’t Tori Amos, after three consecutive albums that crossed the same threshold, gotten this out of her system yet? Isn’t she about due for the pared–down back–to–basics album that every artist must create after spending too long on bloated, overlong vanity projects?
•Ξ•   Granted, there has been merit to every single one of those other 75–minute beasts of albums — Scarlet’s Walk was a frequently brilliant, beautiful story, and The Beekeeper was one of those questionable albums that slowly turns into a masterpiece the more you listen to it, read about it, and learn about everything that makes it what it is. Amos’ willingness to talk in such detail about the latter album was part of what made it such an indispensable album, because a nigh–impenetrable wall of treacle turns into an intensely personal document of inner turmoil. The problem is, we’re losing patience, because it seems that Amos has turned exclusively to those impenetrable walls, only allowing us the briefest of glimpses at the naked catharsis (because really, does “Fat Slut” even count?) that she was once so adept at presenting for us. There’s no doubt that the songwriting is as personal, as wrenching, and as conflicted as ever, but when it’s hidden in reverb, metaphor, and affect, it becomes harder and harder to want to look for the emotion underneath the songwriting that has for better or worse grown up on us.
•Ξ•   It’s that very pattern that makes American Doll Posse so puzzling, because the inclination given that which preceded it is to assume that there’s something deeper to be found than the mood pieces that were so clumsily put together on that album. Granted, bits of it were fun and easy to rock out to, and it makes better wallpaper than most other albums of its girth, but it retained the guarded feel without the mystery of Scarlet and The Beekeeper. Moments of it sounded like a songwriter trying to break out of the shell she’d built for herself, but mostly failing miserably.
•Ξ•   In that context, perhaps we can look at American Doll Posse as a transitional work, given that the hype is for real, and Abnormally Attracted to Sin is the first album since perhaps To Venus and Back to truly engage the listener on a visceral level, and on the first listen no less.
•Ξ•   That’s not to say that Ms. Amos is raging here. One could infer from the very title that this is an album to be absorbed with a raised eyebrow and a sly grin. Abnormally Attracted to Sin is not the title one gives a work in which one is purging the demons of the past, present, and future, rather, it’s the title one gives a work when one is tired of playing it safe, when one is looking to dip a toe — and perhaps no more — into the black waters on the other side of the spectrum. You hear it in opening track “Give”, a song that recalls A Perfect Circle’s more ambient moments, when she sings words like “Soon, before the sun begins to rise / I know that I must give / So that I can live” in that beautiful way that indicates she knows just what she’s doing when she offers words so vague, yet so foreboding. You hear it in the seven–minute epic finale “Lady in Blue”, when she pulls the sublime trick of actually closing her mouth for the song’s final minute and a half, as if to say she’s stepped off the ledge, goodbye, goodbye, listen to the band, goodbye. Rather than something meditative, it’s something triumphant, something only possible from a woman freed of the expectations of what she’s supposed to be.
•Ξ•   The songs in between are the exploration of the journey from that dark, quiet beginning to that beautifully indulgent conclusion, and boy are there some twists and turns along the way. Some songs recall her past: “Flavor” is the direct inverse of Venus’ “Lust”, outside looking in rather than the other way around, yet still just as quiet and conteplative. Some songs recall the times: would “Not Dying Today” ever have happened without the success of Vampire Weekend? Much as I’d like to think so, it’s not entirely clear. And then there are the moments unlike anything she’s ever done, like the title song — “Abnormally Attracted to Sin” is like the electronic experiments of From the Choirgirl Hotel crossed with film noir, with an acoustic guitar break for a bridge, and it all just sort of works.
•Ξ•   Perhaps most satisfying of all of it is the realization that “Maybe California” is as wrenching a song as she’s ever written, so quiet in its despair, but so clear at the same time. “As mothers we have our troubles / You’ll leave them with emptiness for their lifetime / All their wishes will be dashed upon those cliffs,” she sings as we hear one of the most rational arguments against suicide ever put to song.
•Ξ•   And yes, there are wrong turns — at least, it sounds like there are, right now. This is the danger with trying to dissect a Tori Amos album so close to its release date, that six months, a year, two years from now, you’ll hear something in a song that you never heard before, and you’ll regret writing it off all that time ago. For now, “500 Miles”, “Fast Horse”, and “Police Me” all sound like mid–tempo drivel bordering on cliché, or as close as Tori Amos can get to cliché. Yet, when that which surrounds those errant children is so strong, so somehow vibrant in its slinky smoothness, you’re willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
•Ξ•   If you’ve grown weary of wandering around in Tori’s head, not quite sure what’s emotional or what’s just empty metaphor, if you’ve committed yourself to avoiding her recent output for fear of being disappointed again, do come back for one more go ‘round. Ignore that 70–minute timestamp and try to appreciate what’s here; you might be surprised, the way a little sin can pull you back in.
•Ξ•   http://www.popmatters.com/
In details:
CD–03 Strong Black Vine
•  Arranged by, Organ [B3], Synthesizer — John Philip Shenale
CD–06 Maybe California
•  Arranged by [Strings], Conductor [Strings] — John Philip Shenale
•  Cello — Caroline Dale, Rosemary Banks
•  Viola — Holly Butler, James Hogg
•  Violin — Ed Bale, Fiona McNaught, Kate Robinson, Matthew Elston
CD–10 That Guy
•  Arranged by [Strings], Conductor [Strings], Synthesizer — John Philip Shenale
•  Cello — Caroline Dale, Rosemary Banks
•  Viola — Holly Butler, James Hogg
•  Violin — Ed Bale, Fiona McNaught, Kate Robinson, Matthew Elston
CD–15 Fast Horse
•  Arranged by, Organ [B3], Synthesizer — John Philip Shenale
•  Mandolin — Mac Aladdin
Description:
•  Abnormally Attracted to Sin is the tenth studio album by singer–songwriter Tori Amos. It was released in the UK on 18 May 2009 and in the US on 19 May 2009 as a digital download, standard CD, and deluxe limited edition CD/DVD. It debuted on Billboard 200’s “top ten” list, at #9, making it the artist’s seventh album to do so. It is also the artist’s first release under her deal with Universal Republic Records, following the end of her contract with Epic Records, and can be cited as the first non–conceptualized and self–proclaimed “personal album” by the singer–songwriter in over 10 years.
CREDITS:
•  Art Direction, Design — Christopher Kornmann
•  Bass — Jon Evans
•  Cameraman [Camera Operators] — Christian Lamb (tracks: DVD), Genki McClure (tracks: DVD), Petro Papahadjopoulos (tracks: DVD), Samuel Macaluso (tracks: DVD), Tim Johnson (tracks: DVD)
•  Coordinator [Production Coordinator] — Jack Hogan (tracks: DVD)
•  Creative Director — Sandy Brummels
•  Design [Menu Design] — Orlando Costa  (tracks: DVD)
•  Design [Photo/Credit Menu] — Melissa M. Gross (tracks: DVD)
•  Drums, Loops, Percussion — Matt Chamberlain
•  Effects — Hank Friedmann  (tracks: DVD)
•  Executive Producer — Tori Amos (tracks: DVD)
•  Executive Producer [For Frank The Plumber] — Chris Kantrowitz (tracks: DVD)
•  Film Director [Director] — Christian Lamb (tracks: DVD)
•  Film Editor [Assistant Editors] — Phil Davis  (tracks: DVD), Ricky Hayner (tracks: DVD)
•  Film Editor [Editors] — Bill Yukich (tracks: DVD), Chris Groban (tracks: DVD), Tomer Stolz (tracks: DVD)
•  Film Producer [Post Producers] — Kendra Wester (tracks: DVD), Nazeli Kodjoian (tracks: DVD)
•  Film Producer [Producer] — Kendra Wester (tracks: DVD)
•  Film Technician [Post Assistant] — Chen Lin  (tracks: DVD)
•  Guitar — Mac Aladdin
•  Management — The Bridge Entertainment Group (tracks: DVD), Chelsea Laird (tracks: DVD), John Witherspoon (tracks: DVD)
•  Mastered by — Jon Astley
•  Mixed by [Assistant] — Adam Spry
•  Photography by — Karen Collins
•  Piano [Bösendorfer], Vocals, Synthesizer, Organ, Electric Piano [Rhodes], Producer, Written by — Tori Amos
•  Producer [Production Assistant] — Donnie Boihem (tracks: DVD), Helen Cole  (tracks: DVD), Jin Kim  (tracks: DVD), Vaughn Schoonmaker (tracks: DVD)
•  Recorded by, Mixed by — Marcel Van Limbeek, Mark Hawley
•  Technician [Chief Technician] — Adam Spry
•  Technician [Piano Technician] — Ann Walker
Notes:
•  Sticker on shrinkwrap: “DELUXE EDITION / BONUS DVD FEATURES / 16 VISUALETTES / SPECIAL BOOKLET & POSTER / INCLUDES / “WELCOME TO ENGLAND” / & BONUS TRACK / “OSCAR’S THEME” / 2707397”
•  May come with sticker “Island 50 / 1959–2009” and double–sided promo/info sheet “Island Records Fiftieth Anniversary”.
•  Outer cardboard slipcase, with a die–cut keyhole
•  6–panel slipcase: slots of both discs, photos, track list
•  20–page (extended) booklet (14,0x12,5 cm): lyrics, photos, artwork, track credits, release credits, thanks
•  Poster: 55,5x36,4 cm (folded 4 times)
•  DVD main menu: Play All / Select Track / Credits
•  DVD opening credits show the logo of ‘Frank The Plumber’
•  DVD audio is 2–channel 48 kHz/24 bit
From DVD end credits:
•  Editorial Facaility: Sunset Edit, Los Angeles, CA
•  Military Footage Courtesy Of The Department Of Defense
•  Filmed On Location In San Francisco, Cornwall, Los Angeles, New Orleans, London
•  ‘Island 50’ logo appears alongside ‘Universal Republic’ logo, except on DVD disc face.
•  ℗ 2009 Universal Republic Records. © 2009 Universal Republic Records, under exclusive license to Universal–Island Records Ltd. in the UK.
•  Made in the EU.
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Tori Amos
Abnormally Attracted To Sin (18 & 19 May, 2009)

 

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