Personnel: Tori Amos (vocals, electric piano, Fender Rhodes piano, clavichord, Wurlitzer organ, Mellotron, keyboards, background vocals); Tori Amos; Jon Evans (bass instrument); Mac Aladdin (acoustic guitar, acoustic 12-string guitar, electric guitar, electric 12-string guitar, E-bow, mandolin, ukulele); Matthew Elston, Rosmary Banks, Holly Butler, Edward Bale (strings); Nick Hitchens (euphonium, tuba); Matt Chamberlain (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixers: Marcel VanLimbeek; Mark Hawley.
Recording information: Martian Engineering, Cornwall, England.
Photographer: Blaise Reuterswärd.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Dan Stockland; Hayley West; Lesley Chilkes; John Gardiner; Glam Squad; Cim Mahony; Karen Binns; Debbie Thomas.
For 2007's AMERICAN DOLL POSSE, singer-songwriter Tori Amos returns to more confrontational form, after her relatively subdued and introspective '05 outing, THE BEEKEEPER. While that album may have been informed by the warm, nurturing side of motherhood, POSSE seems to plant its feet on the fierce, protective side of raising a child, with Amos referring to various social and political issues even in the record's title, which nods to the wildly popular American Girl series of collectable dolls and gives the bold performer yet another reason to play dress-up.
In keeping with the various personas depicted on POSSE's cover, Amos has kept the album appropriately eclectic, with the upbeat, keyboard-driven "Bouncing Off Clouds" and buoyant "Secret Spell" playing off moody songs such as "Teenage Hustling," which breaks into a startling guitar-heavy swagger as it comments on despondent youth. By remaining fascinatingly unpredictable (see "Big Wheel," a raucous Southern rock number replete with twangy electric-guitar lines), Amos proves that she is still a vital and uncompromisingly creative force in pop more than 15 years into her impressive career.