I realize that you want to make music and that you want to be at home with your family and that you want to use up your contract, but in the future please refrain from recording such an obviously momentumless album with such obviously momentumless songs on it after you just released a rather underdeveloped disc with an equally underdeveloped (and, frankly, boring) live album. I swear, it’s getting so that i can smell this stuff from months in advance… You have albums worth of unreleased material, an archive of an entire plugged tour of songs, and probably the best ear for piano arrangements in all of music business. So, why this?
The anonymous “Strange Little Girl” shines while the timeless “Heart of Gold” seeths with garage-rock stomp, but “Happiness is a Warm Gun” is indelibly stamped with impenetrable Toriness and “’97 Bonnie & Clyde” is the sort of clumsy lark that you’re supposed to finish and then promptly shove onto a beeside or soundtrack. In the middle are the mostly solo “Enjoy the Silence,” “Time,” and “Real Men,” all of which are as arresting as their riginals while still somehow missing something integral. Album opener “New Age” is somber but entrancing, and the surprising “I’m Not In Love” is familiar and yet completely not. However, not even Tori’s eccentricity can save “Rattlesnakes,” “I Don’t Like Mondays,” and “Raining Blood,” which could have all been left in the bargain bin where they were found.
Of course i have a history of hating about half of my favourite albums for at least a week each; however, if a dedicated fan thinks a disc falls flat upon his or her first listen you should definitely take that into consideration (even if you take it with a requisite few grains of salt).