View Full Version : Best / Worst Album Concept

01-05-2014, 06:20 PM
I usually don't delve too much into Tori's concepts- just give me the music. I never listened to Scarlet Stories for Scarlet, read the stories behind the characters for SLG, and was on a doll's blog for about 30 secs for ADP and then said fuck it. Just curious what we all think her best / worst album concepts are.

Best- not sure. Probably say Scarlet even though I don't know Scarlet Stories. I like the road map and each song being a part of the journey. I like how the album flows and the resolution at the end with Gold Dust. Maybe I'll have to sit down and listen through Scarlet's Stories some day.

Worst- Gotta go with the BKP. SO over inflated with ideas. That DVD still gives me a headache. Just give us the music T.

01-05-2014, 11:35 PM
Worst concept: that's easy, AATS. She said it was an album about what's sin nowadays, and the only thing that MIGHT be talking about sin is a song about a kid smoking pot. But even If the songs were ok, the concept is still ridiculous: sin is a concept of religion, and religions don't have "New sins". They still predicate the same stupid shitty hate they've been talking about since the beginning. Best case scenario, she wasn't going to talk about sin.

The best concept... I'd say FTCH, though we know it's not a concept but an excuse. The concept of ADP is smart, like 5 stereotypes of contemporary American women. The execution is a mess; it should've been released as five EPs. But the idea is not so bad, IMO.

01-05-2014, 11:56 PM
Interesting to think about

I agree that Themes & Concepts a la Tori are Not my favorite
My biggest qualm is that she tends to let the story overtake the music & the message needs to be told through the music

I agree ADP was a great idea in concept but a mess in execution

TBK was a hodgepodge collection of songs that didn't have too much sonic connection & the Gardens was so after the fact it seemed

AATS I didn't even Know it was supposed to be about sin in modern society

SLG I liked how her only way to translate her ideas were sonically since she didn't change lyrics. She couldn't get lost in storytelling

SW She recently said it was her masterpiece
As for her concepts it possibly is. I like but not my favorite album though

Look forward to reading other thoughts

01-06-2014, 12:17 AM
Favorite concept was Scarlet's Walk. Fairly indifferent to Strange Little Girls because I see it as a logical precursor to SW but found Neil's narratives for the characters so utterly worthless. Doll Posse is really interesting but I don't think any of it is reflected in the actual music. And I still don't consider AATS a concept record. It wasn't promoted or marketed as such and even though she promoted general themes, I found that fairly unobtrusive compared to the actual songs themselves. I wish The Beekeeper held together conceptually but it just doesn't. I think she really wanted to outdo herself after everything she accomplished with Scarlet's Walk and in between the struggles in her personal life and writing Piece by Piece, was completely unable to.

Bryan Alan
01-06-2014, 12:49 AM
She stated herself in interviews that AATS was not a concept album; rather just a collection of songs.

01-06-2014, 02:28 AM
It seems like there is possibly a bit of ambiguity in the term 'concept album'. Many of the later albums are obviously concept, insofar as there is a pretty rigid framework based on a character/s or viewpoint. But is something like BFP a concept album? All the songs contribute to the same theme/event in a logical way that tells a strong story, imo. Sure, there is no character or superimposed theme of AMERICA or SIN or anything like that, but aren't all the songs about this singular theme/event of her breakup and dealing with that?

I personally don't really see a concept that is consistent in TBK. AATS - I've tried so hard to erase that from my memory I couldn't honestly tell you if there was a common theme ;l

SW and SLG are both fantastic concept albums that work really well in that genre.

01-06-2014, 03:24 PM
That was the issue with The Beekeeper - that Tori was forcing a concept on it, when there were so many different ideas going on at the same time with it.

01-06-2014, 05:24 PM
About AATS, she said:

What was the impetus behind this new collection?

I'm drawn to questioning what traditional authorities have defined sin to be. As a minister's daughter, I've been exposed to the traditional belief system. [Sin] has been used to shame and control people. If you're controlled by a religious structure, then you're going to have a very different outlook on life and what you're open to than if you're not controlled by these old, crumbling concepts.

(I tried to get the link, but it doesn't work; you can read the whole interview on YesSaid)

Bryan Alan
01-06-2014, 06:25 PM
Of the album, Amos has called it a personal album, stating, "it is not a concept album. It is a red-headed woman singing songs." (from Wikipedia).

That specific quote was lifted from a Tacoma newspaper interview, but she said the same thing multiple times during promotion for the album.

01-07-2014, 12:09 PM
I'd like to also consider the artork that comes with each album since they really bring things to life even more.

- FTCGH and Scarlet's Walk - music, lyrics, b-sides, the videos (on the SW DVD, not the official ASF video) and even the photographs are cohesive and powerful.

- Now take the fox/goose crap and most of the really annoying glam shots out of NoH and you have a really simple yet good concept there.

- ADP really is a diamond in the roughs and great execution could have saved it and end up as one of her best.

- I also kind of like the Tales concept minus the glam shoot. :/ Some photos are lovely though

Worst: TBK, AATS and the Complete NoH concept

01-07-2014, 06:37 PM
Night of Hunters is the worst I think. It's like a shit BFP.

Despite what Tori claims, TBK has no discernable concept, but rather just recurring themes. Same with AATS. So the only true concept albums are SLG, SW, ADP and NOH.

01-07-2014, 08:02 PM
Not defending NoH but I don't think it can be really compared to her other concept albums because its a totally different format as a Classical Song Cycle. In the NPR interview they discussed the format and if is clear there are traditional constraints/guidelines for it that she adhered to
So I don't think it's a fair comparison to her own pop albums where it is all on her and she has 100% control