Unfortunately, I feel like I need to talk about my Tori feelings first. I even like obscure myths and stuff, but it's just distraction here. This book is not good, and it begins with this narcissistic problem. The problem really is the book itself -- Tori's annoying sometimes, but at least I still respect her a lot at the end of all this, and instead I find Ann Powers the lamest hack ever. But see, that basically good chapter of a book is titled, "Sane Satyrs and Balanced Bacchantes: The Touring Life's Gypsy Caravan". I think Powers's main crime, though, is not questioning one single thing Amos has to say. Her authorial method seems to be: 1) bring up thing, 2) copy down what Tori says, 3) publish book. This makes for such indulgent content, plus it looks like total whitewashing over the slightly controversial pieces of Tori's history. Too bad none of the people on this project with her could tell it.
The only reason I even gave it ANY stars is because Tori Amos co-wrote it, and I think maybe it wasn't her but her co-writer who can't put a sentence together worth reading.
I love Tori's music. Generally speaking, I love her mind. So I had to find another way to penetrate. The figure of Mary Magdalene stands for the earth: a seed can be planted within her, whereas seeds can't be planted within men physically." And I get what she's saying. Then chapter one is all about the corn mother and I just felt so alienated and really struggled to relate it back to Tori, or anything other than a folk tale from somebody who was writing in an almost pretentious style. Tori's songwriting methods are inspiring; her education, the way she sees her projects and her music and her live shows.
She's an amazing mentor in her own faerie-experienced Tori way: "There can be room for a win-win among women, too. Aphrodite can't be Athena and vice versa.
But only a *painter* sees the world as fodder for a giant canvas and uses the eye as a camera to filter the beauty of the world through a paintbrush; only a *dancer* moves through life in a perpetual state of grace in balance and comfortable in the fluid precarious; only a *musician* lives and breathes notes until they are no longer individual tones but chords that weave into progressions that weave into harmony and melody that weave into songs and symphonies and sonic art. How the songs truly have their own lives that are expressed through Tori's voice, fingers, and artistic mind. How she truly IS her songs and what living in perpetual creation must be like. Snippets called "Song Canvases" pepper the book's chapters, highlighting particular Tori songs and giving the reader some discussion about their creation, meaning, and expression. Personal stories about growing up, finding herself, understanding her sexuality, reconciling "the two Marys," becoming a wife, and becoming a mother help readers get to know Tori-the-person as well as understand her music better, though there are very few bits of the book that beat the reader over the head with "the truth EXPOSED!" or "the INSIDE SCOOP!" type revelations about her. I would have to say that my only reservation about this book's presentation is that one very likely has to be a Tori fan already to appreciate it.
I'm glad I did because I actually found the last two chapters (on public vs private self and then the music industry in general) to be the most interesting.
As a social commentator and sometimes activist, some of the topics she has been most vocal about include feminism, religion, and sexuality.