album reviews

Tori Amos
The Original Bootlegs
Sony (2005)
* * * *

For most bands, releasing more than one live album from the same tour would be an exercise in redundancy. But Tori Amos is famous for playing a different set every night, and The Original Bootlegs collects six diverse shows from a four-month span of her 2005 Beekeeper tour. While there's some setlist overlap (each show begins with "Original Sinsuality" and includes a sprawling 10-plus minute rendition of "The Beekeeper"), these shows easily seem years apart. Amos performs several songs with a gospel choir in London, dusts off old gems ("Winter", "Icicle"), and sprinkles each concert with a selection of location-related covers, such as Aerosmith's "Dream On" in Boston and Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger" in Manchester. But the true strength of this collection lies in the consistency of Amos's performances. Her throaty, haunting vocals balances her emotive piano and organ playing with astounding grace and power, night after night.

-Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: Paste Issue 20: February / March 2006
.: The Original Bootlegs on