As a concept album, Tori Amos' "Strange Little Girls" is barely even an idea, let alone a concept. Amos covers 12 songs written by males from the point of view of 13 female "characters" (in one case, twins) represented on the cover art by photos of Amos as a showgirl, secretary, state trooper, etc. (She just looks like Tori in funny outfits.) But as a collection of radically left-field covers of songs by Lloyd Cole, Depeche Mode and Slayer, among others, "Strange Little Girls" is an act of occasional instinctive brilliance.
Amos' approach varies so much that if you find one song troublesome (her pointless take on 10cc's "I'm Not in Love"), you will find terrific stuff elsewhere (Mode's "Enjoy the Silence"). The real stunner is Eminem's "97 Bonnie and Clyde." Amos doesn't rap Em's tale of spousal homicide; she doesn't even sound alive. It's a harrowing experience.
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