Kirsten R. (ringwraith10) from MILLEDGEVILLE, GA Reviewed on 11/8/2009...
Apparently this CD has many different cover art variations.
All of the songs on this CD are covers of so-called "men's songs", including songs by Eminem, The Beatles, and Slayer. They are all drastically different from the original versions of the songs, as would be expected with Tori Amos.
I personally think it's a really cool idea for an album, and her versions of the songs are well done.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Andrea H. from POWAY, CA Reviewed on 1/6/2007...
I have only listened to this CD a couple of times.
0 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Bren H. (Breninithaca) from AURORA, NY Reviewed on 9/2/2006...
Haven't listened to it. My album cover is different than the one in the picture.
0 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Erin S. from CHERRY, IL Reviewed on 8/8/2006...
Case is cracked, CD is perfect.
Tori's voice is amazing as always and her piano playing abilities are mind-boggling.
0 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Brett G. (rockin) from SPOKANE, WA Reviewed on 8/7/2006...
The artwork I have is different. Great CD!
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Confusing, but not confused.
Lord Chimp | Monkey World | 10/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not sure I'll ever completely grasp Tori Amos' vision for this album. Strange Little Girls is an record of cover songs, and as I understand it, Amos wanted to give a female perspective to how men see women in music. Either the gender politics are beyond me, or she didn't do it quite right (I'll wager it's the former). She definitely hits the bull's-eye a few times though. The song that best accomplishes her goal is her harrowing rendition of "'97 Bonnie & Clyde," Eminem's vicious song about a man who kills his wife and throws her in the sea to get rid of the body. Amos's naked delivery of the song, hushed, spoken vocals over a spooky strings sample, is downright frightening. I think that fact that it makes me uncomfortable to listen to it is a testament to her success. "Raining Blood" is one of the most shocking songs here. The original, by "extreme" metal band Slayer, was full of fierce vocals and crushing guitars. Here, Amos strips it to nothing but a piano and a weird bass synthesizer, and ironically injects the song with more menace and evil than the original ever had. It's a creepy cover that plays out more like the soundtrack to a nightmare than a song. Amos' alteration of tone with these songs often changes them radically. What was an innocent little song before becomes threatening, wrenching, or indignant. Think back to the Crucify EP, where Tori completely warped Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in a way that completely changed the impact of the song (at least for me). That's the effect she's going for, I figure. Her experimentation doesn't always work though. "Heart of Gold" is so cacophonous and the vocals so awkward that I can't really appreciate it. "Real Men" is pretty, but quite similar to the original. Even when I don't understand the message, I appreciate the lovely singing and minimalistic music. "Enjoy the Silence," "Rattlesnakes," and "Time" are all beautiful songs, even if Amos' implications of sex are beyond my meager brain.I wouldn't say I'm disappointed, mainly because I wasn't even sure what to expect. I like this album, even if I must concede to not entirely understanding it. Artistically, she probably knows what she's doing. Even so, I'm eager for another release of original material."
A bliss of another kind....
bearcat007 | Lacey's Spring, AL USA | 10/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wasn't planning on reviewing this CD. However, after reading all the negative reviews and various harpings on Ms. Amos's creative abilities I felt I had an obligation to share what I think of this CD to the world.Simply stated, I think it's brilliant.It's not particularly creative in concept (Liz Phair had particular success with her answer to the Rolling Stone's Exhile on Main Street with the album Exhile in Guyville). It's not even like this is Tori's first time with reworking covers. The Crucify ep back in the early nineties featured a great cover of 'Angie' and 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. However, "Strange Little Girls"'s strength lies in the delicate way that Amos has reimagined the songs themselves. She's added a new slant to every tune, giving new light and shade over the tune and lyrics with simple inflections of her voice. With a different tone she can make a love song into a threat, and this ability keeps each song interesting in its own way. Here is my song by song review of "Strange Little Girls".New Age: This is a great opener. At times thoughtful, at others hysterical. Very catchy and very assertive: Right up front Tori lets you know that "It's the beginning of a new age" in her music. (A)'97 Bonnie and Clyde: This is a very disturbing song, told in relentless whispers. It's difficult to listen to and has a tendency to be a bit overly dramatic upon multiple sessions, but it makes its point and makes it well. (B)Strange Little Girl: This song has a sound similar to Bliss off of To Venus and Back. It's radio friendly, but is subtle enough so that it doesn't grate on the nerves. (A-)Enjoy the Silence: This is one of my favorites. It's quiet and bare, completly the opposite of the original. Bitter and ironic, it sums up the entire album with a few words, "Words like violence break the silence". Indeed, Tori's whole point in the inclusion of this song is that one IS responsible for one's own words. (A+)I'm Not in Love: Cold, bare, and not cuddly. Tori's tone is sneering, and arrogant. It's a song that is about layers - She emphasizes the lyrics: "It hides a nasty stain thats lying there", and her voice makes you wonder: Where exactly did that nasty stain come from? (A)Rattlesnakes: I know a lot of people that love this song; it's their favorite song. I find it a bit bland and a bit similar in style to some of Madonna's recent hits. I'll give it a (B+).Time: This song, although beautiful, does not hold my attention. Performed live, it captivates, but it's leaves one distracted at best in CD form. (B-)Heart of Gold: This is perhaps the most controversial of all the covers, save Eminem's. Tori basically replaced simplicity with double voices and a heavy guitar riff... Purists will loathe this remake, I find it the most rockin' song on the album. (A+)I Don't Like Mondays: Great. Soft as a lullaby until one listens to the violence in the lyrics. (A)Happiness is a Warm Gun: A bit preachy and long, but also fun and funky in the vein of 'Datura' off of Venus. An interesting perspective on gun control (B)Raining Blood: This one took some time to warm up to, but now I love it. It's menacing throughout, which is a fairly difficult mood to mantain considering its just Tori and a piano. (A)Real Men: My favorite off the album. You'll have to hear it to understand. (A++++++++)All in all, this is not a light album to play during a party. It's closest sister album is probably 'Boys for Pele' - both are dark and speak of unrestrained violence. "Strange Little Girls" will doubtless be misunderstood for many years - Perhaps we will learn to view these songs not as covers, but more as new works of art to be understood on their own terms."
I'm a Fan, and I Hate This!
Kevin Barrack | San Mateo, CA USA | 12/04/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I would say that I am a pretty devout Tori Amos fan, although not fanatical. This album is a huge letdown. The arrangements for all the cover songs are original, but just not very interesting to my ears. In my opinion they didn't improve upon the originals, and they just sound uninspired. While I love some of Tori's previous cover songs ("Angie", "Smells Like Teen Spirit") the songs on this album are bland in comparison. Listen to the sound clips before you decide to buy. If you like the clips then you might not be disappointed, but don't expect to find any hidden gems on the album that you didn't hear in the 30-second-previews."
Strange, But Beautiful Little Girls!
Victor Capo | Miami, FL USA | 10/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Right. So Tori's made somewhat of a transitional move since her experimental "Choirgirl" and "Venus" days (both albums that I LOVE, BTW...), but I think this album is probably the best thing Tori's done so far.Sure, I'll admit, I miss Tori's quirky lyrics about honey and pies and faeries and peach trees, but Tori's established her place in music history with this album. Tori's style here is much more mature than her other albums, but still exceptionally pleasing to listen to. Admittedly, a couple of the songs took me a while to get used to (mainly "Raining Blood"), which says a lot considering I'm a hardcore Toriphile and automatically LOVE EVERY single Tori song on first listen. But, after listening to the album a couple of times, I've fallen in love with the entire album, even the songs I thought I hated at first! This is fast becoming my favorite Tori album (used to be Boys for Pele).Having never heard most of these songs, the initial listen was totally new ground for me, but, later, when compared to the originals, Tori has SURPASSED them all!New Age - Very mellow song until the end. Tori uses an electric piano (not a synth), like the ones used back in the 60s, throughout the whole song. Her voice here is very rough and raspy, but fitting for the mood of the song. The chorus is GORGEOUS ("Over the bridge we go/Lookin' for love") as it brings in soft drums reminiscent of old Pacific-like songs like Fleetwood Mac's mellow "Albatross." Finally, at the end, Tori loses it and the song rolls into almost two minutes of classic Tori-gasms.'97 Bonnie and Clyde - I heard the original version of this song when I heard she'd be covering it, and, depsite the disturbing lyrics, the beat itself was catchy and pretty good. Don't expect to tap your toes to Tori's version, though. She succeeds at her attempt to expose the darker nature of this song. Speaking as the dead wife/mother sung about in the song, Tori uses a string ensemble to lead this tune and adds some pretty touching piano parts herself. Honestly, the entire song sounds like something out of "Psycho," but it's very effective. Once the chorus hits, Tori changes it all around again, changing the once tappy, peppy "Just the two of us" to an eerie, melancholic wail. WOW!Strange Little Girl - Again, Tori uses the electric piano on this one. This sounds like something she would've done with her band. It's the first single off the album, so it only makes sense that it would be peppy. Tori stayed mostly true to the original version of the song. Great to jam to.Enjoy the Silence - The old 80s hit has been stripped to the bone. Tori does this alone at her piano. That's it. Nothing else. No drums, bass, synths, nothing. That is until the third verse, where beautiful strings come in. Very subtle, but add just the right mood to the beautiful song. Makes you think about the lyrics more than ever.I'm Not in Love - Also a complete change from the original. Tori doesn't touch anything here. She strips the song TOTALLY except for the words. No piano, no synths, no guitar, nothing. Just a drum beat in the bakcground and a wailing guitar noise every now and then. I never really payed attention to what this song was about until I heard Tori's version. Bittersweet, I think.Rattlesnakes - Probably one of the most beautiful tracks on the album. Tori performs this on the electric piano and piano (I think)a times. It's very mellow. Has a desert feel to it. Tori's voice and playing are in top condition in this song. I could listen to it over and over for hours at a time. GORGEOUS!Time - At first listen, I didn't really care for the song because it's basically a slow ballad with Tori alone at her piano, but after what occured in NY, the song get a totally different meaning for me. It's gorgeous and makes me cry every time I hear it now--especially the way Tori sings softly, "...and it's time, time, time that you love..."Heart of Gold - Neil Diamond has absolutely nothing to do with Tori's version of the cover--except maybe he wrote the words. :) Tori took his song and made it something TOTALLY different! It sounds NOTHING like the original. It's a hard rockin' 60s kinda psychedelic insane loopy song that I literally feel gets me high. It's such a great release! I am in love with this song!I Don't Like Mondays - Again, Tori alone with her electric piano. Stayed mostly true to the original, but Tori gives this otherwise dark song a more innocent mood, despite the tragic lyrics. She executes it perfectly and the entire song is great. I was hooked on the first listen.Happiness is a Warm Gun - I never heard The Beatles' version of it, but Tori takes this into a whole new level. It's kind of like "Datura" in that it's very long and has different parts to it, but it's still very good. I especially like the radio interviews...first time Tori's ever done that in a song. :)Raining Blood - This is the one song that I absolutely LOATHED when I first heard it. I honestly thought it was, not only the worst song Tori's ever performed, but the worst song ever MADE. I know...drastic. But now...it's my FAVORITE song on the entire album! Tori and piano again with only a weird continuous drone in the background to add to the somber atmosphere of this sad, and, at times, frightening song. But it's also SO beautiful. Of course, Tori made it slow and paced, but Slayer's version is about 2 minutes long given how fast they belt it out. Don't get me wrong, I really like the original version, but Tori's really pulls you in and says "Here, listen to what I'm SAYING." Hard to believe Slayer wrote such beautiful lyrics...Real Men - Perfect way to end the album. Tori and her piano again. The songs pretty at first listen, but the chorus is GORGEOUS with what sounds like some kind of brass instrument crescendoing in at her "Ooooooh..." It makes you feel something weird in your stomach. And Tori ends the song/album with the appropriate "And now we wonder who the real men are...""
COMPELLING & AMBITIOUS, A MISUNDERSTOOD GEM.
Subfusc | New York | 09/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before I begin about the album itself, I'll explain why it was even made in the first place.
Tori had a seven album contract with Atlantic records from 1988-2001. Within that duration of time, although she had great success starting with 1992's "Little Earthquakes" & foward, she was in constant quarrell with Atlantic records who wanted her to capitalize on her previous successes when Tori wanted to experiment & grow artistically. This turmoil climaxed after 1999's "To Venus & Back" when Tori decided she needed a change. But she still had one more album to make in order to fulfill her contract with Atlantic. After refusing to give Atlantic anymore self-written material, the idea for "Strange Little Girls" began to come about.
"Strange Little Girls" is not your avarage cover album. If you are looking for her to merely reiterate the original version of each song, you are in the wrong place. In true Tori fashion, she challenges the listener. She takes each of these songs & makes it almost unrecognizable from the original. Neil Young's "Heart Of Gold" once a wholesome ballad of love & regret, now flipped into a spawling mosaic of electric guitar riffs that seemingly melt out of your speakers. Or Slayers "Raining Blood", once overtly angry & thrashing, now simply taken to the bosendorfer & slowly unraveled into a haunting exile like a secret serpent from a dark layer.
One admirable thing about Tori is that every project is put forth with great enthusiasm & detail. She could have easily just slapped some songs by other people together & called it a day. But each song is accompanied by a character depicted in 13 photos in which tori takes on each alias."