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The new Tori Amos album American Doll Posse takes a step away from the usual Amos piano ballads in favour of some old-school rock.

The ninth album from Cornwall’s most famous immigrant is a concept number in which she expresses herself through the personalities of five ‘American dolls’, each with their own personality, song cycle and wardrobe.

There’s more electric guitar than you might expect from an Tori album, and not always in a good way, unless you’re a fan of big-haired stadium rock and can get down with the honky-tonk, country-rock of lead single Big Wheel (unfortunately, this single failed to get airplay in many US radio stations because of its extensive use of the acronym ‘MILF’). It’s quite a jump from the introspective piano ballads we’re used to, but there’s also plenty of room for the old Tori dotted through the generous 23 tracks.

Despite its high concept intention, the album has a looser and more improvisational feel than Amos’s usually rather pristine compositions. But, after the navel-gazing seriousness of The Beekeeper, this cut gives the impression that she’s learning to have some fun with her music again.

 

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