Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Album Review: Tori Amos - Abnormally Attracted To Sin

Let me begin by saying that I’m a big Tori Amos fan. I journeyed through adolescence to a soundtrack of Little Earthquakes, Under the Pink, and the absolute glory of To Venus and Back. However, the release of Tori’s tenth studio album Abnormally Attracted to Sin, has left me feeling somewhat disillusioned.

Have you ever listened to a song that puts you in a bad mood? A song that grates on you so much it makes you want to drag your fingernails down a chalkboard just for something else to listen to? Fancy a whole album of songs like that? Me neither, but unfortunately that’s what we have in the case this new offering.

The official Tori Amos website adopts the annoyingly nonsensical acronym ‘AATS’, and claims this album ‘could have come out at any point between her 1992 solo debut, Little Earthquakes, and 2009.’ I can believe this. The album seems to incorporate all the songs you would happily tolerate between adored classics such as Cornflake Girl, Winter, or Space Dog, but who wants an album of filler songs? And an incredibly long one at that!

Once again, Tori has tried to combat the download demons by creating a ‘must-have’ double album, including extravagant art-work and photography, and the obligatory DVD. Unfortunately, all these extra features don’t make up for the fact that this album (and I don’t mind being blunt) isn’t very good! Even the title - a line from Guys and Dolls, and a reflection of Tori’s religion-infused childhood - annoys the shit out of me.

As for standout tracks, there simply aren’t any. The haunting melodies and howling brilliance of her earlier work are nowhere to be heard. Each song is so similar and dreary it makes listening to the album feel like a chore. Ultimately, this album just doesn’t deliver. Let’s pray then that her next offering isn’t as sinful!


Laura Adlington

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Courtney Love’s Album Pushed Back, AGAIN!

The fact that we love Courtney's off-the-wall antics is well documented by this point, but what we don’t love, is her chronic inability to get her ‘upcoming’ album Nobody’s Daughter ready for public consumption.

Helen Of Troy... has been keeping a watchful eye on the ever-changing release date, and has guestimated that Courtney’s sophomore solo album has been pushed back no fewer than five times – truth be told we think it’s probably more than that. So what the fuck is going on?

The last official excuse came from Courtney herself, who said it was due to a host of paranormal occurrences that had taken place in the studio. To be honest, this doesn’t sit well with us candid cynics, and we can’t help but suspect that the real reason is featured in the video below (skip to 1.54 to see exactly what we’re talking about).

Or, we could be completely wrong. It’s no secret that debut album America’s Sweetheart was plagued with problems from day one, resulting in such poor sales that it was considered a commercial flop by her label and the industry in general. And now the focus is firmly on Nobody’s Daughter, the album that will ultimately make or break Courtney’s solo career – let’s hope it’s the latter. So perhaps she’s simply taking the time to make sure she gets this one right, who knows. It seems we'll have the play the waiting game a little longer in order to find out.

Nobody’s Daughter is currently scheduled for release on the 20th of July.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Album Review: Peaches - I Feel Cream

When Helen Of Troy... first discovered that Simian Mobile Disco, Soulwax, Drums Of Death, and Digitalism had been invited to produce Peaches’ fourth studio album, we were a little alarmed. Independently, we’re big fans of all four creative outfits, but we couldn’t help but wonder how our favourite groin-provoking gender bender would fair in amongst these aforementioned electro heavyweights.

Our concern was unnecessary however, because I Feel Cream positively oozes Peaches’ signature style. Lead single Talk To Me, is a stripped down, electro-soul stomping delight, whilst synth-heavy Trick Or Treat wouldn’t sound out of place on phenomenal debut album The Teaches Of Peaches - even with its slicker production.

Standout tracks include swoonsome pop treat Lose You, which showcases a surprising softer side to our Merrill, the hard-hitting Billionaire featuring Shunda K from Yo! Majesty, and title track I Feel Cream, which is a bleeptastic, rave-inducing joy (and easily our favourite). It’s not a perfect offering however, with consecutive tracks Mud and Relax bringing little if anything to the orgy – we’d have culled these in favour of a few remixes.

Ultimately, this album features the progression and clarity that the lacklustre yet brilliantly-titled Impeach My Bush didn’t, resulting in a more mature and solid affair. Peaches is back fatherfuckers, and she’s as fruity as ever!


Wednesday, 6 May 2009


Time to unveil our sparkling new Spotify playlist! Inspired by recent jaunts and reawakenings, the tracklist features the sublime Civil War Correspondent by PJ Harvey and John Parish, Beat Control by toe-tapping popstrels Tilly And The Wall, plus classic tracks Don't Go and Thorn In My Side by Yazoo and Eurythmics respectively. You can enjoy it in all it's glory

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Hello Dolly!

There are many reasons why Helen Of Troy... wants to live in New York, but this week, we're even more jealous of native New Yorkers as they get the chance to see 9 To 5 The Musical. This stage adaptation of the feminist classic may have replaced Dolly, Lily and Jane with a trio of twenty/thirty-something actresses, but the music for this new Broadway show has been penned by
Parton and, while first-night reviews have been a bit mixed, Helen Of Troy has been praying hard for this high-camp musical to come to the UK.

Not only has this show reminded us how just how hermazing this film is (it's funny, surreal and has stood the test of time superbly), it's also prompted a re-evaluation of Parton as a feminist icon - see Joan Smith's superb piece in the Independent earlier this week.

So here's to Queen Dolly
- one of Helen Of Troy's true heroes. Long may she reign. Check out the amazing Dolly and Disney collaboration below.