"Strange Little Girls," the forthcoming studio album by Tori Amos, finds the artist reinterpreting an eclectic mix of distinctly male songs from the perspective of different female characters. Due Sep
"Strange Little Girls," the forthcoming studio album by Tori Amos, finds the artist reinterpreting an eclectic mix of distinctly male songs from the perspective of different female characters. Due Sept. 18, the Atlantic album will be preceded by the title track, a cover of the 1982 Stranglers single, which will be shipped next month to U.S. radio stations.
"I've always found it fascinating how men say things and women hear them," Amos says. To that end, she tackles such artists as Neil Young ("Heart of Gold"), Depeche Mode ("Enjoy the Silence"), the Velvet Underground ("New Age"), and the Beatles ("Happiness Is a Warm Gun"). Perhaps more surprisingly, Amos also takes on tracks by Slayer ("Raining Blood") and Eminem ("97' Bonnie & Clyde").
"When I first heard the song," Amos says of "97' Bonnie & Clyde," "the scariest thing to me was the realization that people are getting into the music and grooving along to a song about a man who is butchering his wife. So half the world is dancing to this, oblivious, with blood on their sneakers. But when you kill your wife, you don't get to control whom she becomes friends with when she's dead. She had to have a voice."
"Words can wound and words can heal," she adds, "and both are included on the album... All of these songs were created by powerful wordsmiths, whether you agree with them or not."
To reinforce the identity of each of the characters "singing" the songs, photographer Thomas Schenk's pictures of Amos as each woman will grace the "Strange Little Girls" CD packaging.
Amos has a long tradition of gently reinterpreting the songs of other artists, although most have been relegated to concert performance or the occasional B-side release. Among the titles she's been known to cover are Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the Rolling Stones' "Angie," Led Zeppelin's "Thank You," and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," from "The Wizard of Oz."
Amos will kick off a U.S. tour in support of the new set Sept. 28 in Miami. The trek, which will run through Nov. 21 (the full itinerary is yet to be announced), will find the artist performing without a backing band for the first time on tour since 1994.
Amos' sixth studio album, "Strange Little Girls" is the follow up to 1999's "To Venus and Back." That set debuted at No. 12 on The Billboard 200, and spawned the singles "Bliss," "1000 Oceans," and "Concertina."
Here is the "Strange Little Girls" track listing (with original recording artists in parentheses):
"New Age" (Velvet Underground, from "Loaded," 1970)
"97' Bonnie & Clyde" (Eminem, from "The Slim Shady LP," 1999)
"Strange Little Girl" (the Stranglers, single, 1982)
"Enjoy the Silence" (Depeche Mode, from "Violator," 1990)
"Rattlesnakes" (Lloyd Cole & the Commotions, from "Rattlesnakes," 1984)
"I'm Not in Love" (10cc, from "The Original Soundtrack," 1975)
"Time" (Tom Waits, from "Rain Dogs," 1985)
"Heart Of Gold" (Neil Young, from "Harvest," 1972)
"I Don't Like Mondays" (Boomtown Rats, from "The Fine Art of Surfacing," 1979)
"Happiness Is a Warm Gun" (the Beatles, from "The Beatles" (aka the "White Album"), 1968)
"Raining Blood" (Slayer, from "Reign in Blood," 1986)
"Real Men" (Joe Jackson, from "Night and Day," 1982)