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An album deferred

Tori Amos returns with new songs of anger and passion

Continuing your musical career after summing it up in your previous album is tough.

Tori Amos’ new album, “The Beekeeper,” follows her greatest-hits-like compilation, “Tales of a Librarian: A Tori Amos Collection.”

Often, post-greatest hits albums are either futile attempts to regain an artist’s lost popularity or examples of an artist’s new sound or change of pace.

With “The Beekeeper,” Amos seems to be closing one chapter of her musical life and beginning another.

This new life carries a bit more “twang” and a more upbeat feel than her earlier works. The style evokes Lucinda Williams or perhaps a softer-spoken Gwen Stefani.

“The Beekeeper” features the singles “Sleeps with Butterflies” and “Hoochie Woman.”

“Sleeps with Butterflies” starts out like something from David Gray and illustrates Amos’ relationship with a lover. After what seems like a one-night stand, Amos asks whether he is “having regrets about last night.” She assures her man that, although she believes she’s “worth coming home to kiss away night,” she won’t demand he stays.

This song can be taken at face value as Amos’ characterization of herself as a woman in need of sexual fulfillment who does not need the constant presence of a man.

Alternately, the man might represent her previous greatest-hits album, which she enjoyed but which is not her final musical word.

In “Hoochie Woman,” which is darker and angrier than the other tracks found on “Beekeeper,” she sings about her reaction when she finds out she’s being cheated on. Amos continues in her persona of a woman who might be saddened by her situation but won’t be beaten.

“Keep your Hoochie Ooo hoo hoo you can Keep the house Ooo hoo hoo and the bank accounts ’cause boy I bring home the bacon I said boys I bring home the bacon,” Amos boasts.

“The Beekeeper” shows Amos is not ready to settle for a final “greatest hits” album yet. And with “Beekeeper,” she’s clearly still in the process of creating new, great hits.

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