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TORI AMOS: Abnormally Attracted to Sin

tori amosTori Amos' latest musical offering has the sensually provocative singer seductively laying her voice over mystical, expansive, at times playful and joyous, ethereal musical landscapes, all the while, affirming her will to truly live without far and within the freeing realm of love, both the universal and the self kind. The result is a marriage of near perfectly arranged musical compositions with Amos' siren-like crooning.

Fans of her pro feminine attitude, decadent exuberance for life, and gothic overtones will not be disappointed; In the song Give she unapologetically declares her need to " give so that I, I can live ," even if it means she has " crossed over the line ," while in the funky Fire to Your Plain , she praises a woman for being "bold enough" to shine with her uniqueness, obliterating society's soul-crushing standard normality. In the song Ophelia she encourages women to "break the chain" while in Police Yourself, with its heavy, John Bonham-inspired drum beat she cautions against the perils of self-censorship. Not Dying Today is a lively, catchy, upbeat testament to Amos' faith in the life-affirming power of playing music. In contrast, the sentiment of tragic loss and hopeless resignation expressed in Maybe California is underscored by a beautifully melancholy string arrangement.

Amos' voice has always been a pleasure to listen to while she continues to explore the "battle of minds" within, as in the song Flavor, one giving in to fear, the other, love. Yet its refreshing to listen to a CD where the music does not take a back seat to its thematic concept. Indeed, in the aforementioned song, she commands us, as well herself, to "turn up the frequency," while transporting us out of our ordinary world into one decorated with winding, sexy bass lines, sparse, echoing piano chords, solid, and in-the-pocket drum beats, and a vocal delivery that soothes our senses as it illuminates our hearts and minds.

PHOENIX: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Many Americans got their first taste of this French power pop band from their song "Too Young" on the soundtrack of the widely popular film, Lost in Translation , inspiring them to then discover Phoenix's first CD from 2006, Its Never Been Like That. With their sophomore outing, the high energy quartet exuberantly approach their music with reckless abandon, making it a sheer delight to listen to.


Laden with a healthy dose of retro 80's new wave synth, alternately crisp and glossy guitar hooks, catchy melodies, and at times, a psychedelic, almost chaotic ambience, this CD, named after a musical genius whose catalogue of major key melodies makes it near impossible to frown while listening, is a fun-filled journey of hills and valleys, with delicious treats to discover at every turn. There is not a dull tune here, with each song building the forward momentum of what is an unabashedly moody and yet still sweet expression of euphoria.