Tori Amos’s StrangeLittleGirls was originally released in 2002. Composed of songs originally written by men, Amos took each of the songs under her musical wing, and set out to show the dichotomy of the sexes in the written word; what men say and how women hear it. Amos‘s versions, unchanged lyrically, became almost entirely unrecognizable to their originals. And in the liner notes, Amos's girls were expanded on even more, with poignant short stories by author Neil Gaiman and photos featuring transformative make-up by the late great Kevyn Aucoin. All together, it breathed further life into Amos’s thirteen distinct, believable archetypal women.
So the reasons behind StrangeTimes are not that Amos and her counterparts misrepresented the songs and their characters, but rather to drive home the idea that caused Amos to make StrangeLittleGirls in the first place. “Each of these songs became a myth of our time,” says Amos. “and whatever you think of these songs or these writers, certain songs transcend us. I have pictures in my head when I hear my songs but they are not going to be the same pictures that you see. My personal experience with a song is just my personal experience. And a song goes beyond that.”
I couldn’t agree more. I hope that efforts put into StrangeTimes go into the realms of interpretation as effectively as the album that inspired it.