Okay, so, let’s get some things straight. I love Tori. I am spending $300+ to see her on her current solo tour because i panicked when the Philly date was in question. I own all of her in-print singles. I like to talk like her. However, i wasn’t expecting a new album. I am still waiting to hear things she’s only mentioned like “Snow Cherries in France,” “To the Fair Motormaids of Japan,” “Like a Virgin,” and “Zero Point.” I am still looking for something to wipe the purple haze of To Venus and Back out of my mind.
Two years ago this Friday i had just moved into the Drexel dorms and it was the first day of class but i was having breakfast with the girls from Kelly #2, and i had just come back from French III in possession of this strangely shaped purple double disc. And, we sat drinking milk and gabbing about awful morning classes and those strange purple sounds began to creep in. I only awarded the disc three and a half stars in my effort to get published in the school paper, but i always undervalue my favourite artists on first listen to their new material. Soon it was custom; if i did not shut my eyes to “Bliss” playing on my headset i would not be asleep in time for “1000 Oceans” to drift away. But, i was still slightly put off by the purple taste in my mouth… the wrong songs from Under the Pink on the live album, faux strings where Tori would usually have a composer, melodies recycled and reconstituted, lyrics more obscure than observant. It was not quite what it was meant to be.
Two years later, Strange Little Girls is still not quite what i was looking for. At first the name seemed like it could be an all new album or even a beesides collection; Tori always refers to her songs as girls, so it seemed apropos. Even when a collection of covers was announced i almost assumed it would include such staples of her sets such as “Love Song” & “Landslide,” or maybe songs only teased at like Joni Mitchell’s winter ballad “River” or the Beatles classic “Hey Jude.” And, of course, Tori went and made an arty self-consuming project out of it.
Each song, she says, is a song by a man about a woman, and she is trying to get us to see the woman’s point of view without changing any of the lyrics. She’s subtle, or perhaps tricking us into accepting this album in lieu of the sure-to-come masterpiece that will follow the renegotiation of her contract. But, in the meantime, she has left us these 12 new windows into her world, and we cannot help but peer in with our hands cupped close around our eyes to make it seem like we are a part of her little blue world as it turns endlessly upside down.