Warner Music – 2001 – 62 minutes

If 'Strange Little Girls' is Tori Amos' attempt to explore the darker, seedier reaches of the male psyche, her choice of songs, or to be even more precise, her choice of writers, is spot-on. Lou Reed, Depeche Mode, Eminem, Tom Waites, the Stranglers – these boys have chronicled the dark night of the soul with the best of them.

The risk here was that Ms Amos' girly vocals and piano proclivity would dilute the darker districts of the originals, stripping them of their vitriolic veneer. To her credit, the cornflake girl has used her strengths astutely, and carefully. The standout is arguably Eminem's '97 Bonnie & Clyde'. Its malevolence eerily amplified by Tori's whispered vocals, the song takes on a ghostly gait as the tale of uxoricide builds to its shattering climax. Elsewhere, 'Strange Little Girl' echoes the positives of the Stranglers original, 'Rattlesnakes' retains its charm, and the lyrical power of Depeche Mode's 'Enjoy The Silence' is evinced to moving effect.

Naturally, 'Strange Little Girls' is not without its duds. Amos unwisely renders Neil Young's 'Heart of Gold' completely unrecognizable, while 10cc's 'I'm Not In Love' is just crap. Collectively though, this album has its merits. In a word, interesting.

Tom Grealis

Tracklisting: New Age - 97 Bonnie & Clyde - Strange Little Girl - Enjoy The Silence - I'm Not In Love - Rattlesnakes - Time - Heart Of Gold - I Don't Like Mondays - Happiness Is A Warm Gun - Raining Blood - Real Men