The Beekeeper is a happy record relative to her other work. She was never that sedated in a record, because if you've been following her career you'll notice that up to that point her music/lyrics have been rather heavy. The Beekeeper was a turning point, and she went to lighter material from there on.
There's nothing wrong with her music from ADP onwards, but it doesn't sound as her usual self. To me it isn't about her being "cutting edge" (she isn't), it's just about her losing her edge. She used to have this thing where she's so different from everyone else because of her lyrics and song structures. Over time she's gotten more and more traditional and abandoned the shockingly honest nature of her earlier material.
She just hasn't been challenging conventions as of late but that's fine, she's done plenty already in her long career.
AATS has a great sound actually, like someone mentioned, almost "medieval" sounding. The songs aren't strong though. I don't get why she insists on filler like "Not Dying Today", "500 Miles", "Strong Black Wine", "Fast Horse" which have nice lyrics but musically are dreadful.
Vindrag wrote:Even if she releases songs on her albums which are not so great, I somehow still appreciate the fact she gives so much to her fans. It seemed like the reviewers of AATS complained more about the length than the music, and I guess Tori herself have realized that her albums are for her fans and that she wont gain a much bigger one even if she would make shorter albums.
Are you sure she's doing it for her fans, or for herself? In her autobiography "Piece By Piece", she mentions that her songs are magical creatures who need a home of sorts, and she's very attached to them emotionally. Personally I see it as her not wanting to waste any shred of inspiration as her only method of release these days is through albums and not singles.
As for the perception that "fans like more material even if it's filler", I strongly disagree. Very few serious music listeners have that mentality, and her sales have been falling ever since Scarlet's Walk, so her fanbase is actually shrinking.
Just my 50 cents.