Over Tori Amos’s nearly two-decade-long professional career, the events of her life have provided prominent inspiration for her music. Her early albums were filled with the rage of her religious upbringing, rape and miscarriages. Tori’s latest album, American Doll Posse, brings back the intensity and passion of Little Earthquakes and Boys for Pele – something that’s been missing from her more recent music. The angrier Tori is, the more it comes through in her music and the better the songs are.

American Doll Posse, Amos’s ninth studio album, brings back the angry, raging Tori we remember from the early ’90s. From her opening lines of “Yo George” (“I salute to you Commander / And I sneeze / Cause I now have an allergy / To your policies it seems”) and on through the album, Amos refuses to hold back her criticisms.

The accompaniments feature strong drumbeats and prominent guitar and bass, with the piano back at the forefront. In Scarlet’s Walk and The Beekeeper, the piano-heavy style Tori made famous on her earlier stuff, like “Pretty Good Year,” was toned down, which was a loss to the albums. “Bouncing Off Clouds” showcases Tori’s melodic voice and provides ample evidence for why she was studying piano at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at the age of five.

Like Strange Little Girls, American Doll Posse features Tori in a number of getups as “the Dolls.” The variety of the personas she has adopted gives her the flexibility to address different issues and different musical styles throughout the album. All this variety makes for an album that is vintage Tori, made better with age.
(five stars)