Tori Amos,
The Bee Sides
(AMSCO, 1995)

OK, OK, I know you're thinking: "How do you review a songbook? It's a SONGBOOK -- it's got nothing but songs in it!" That's where you're wrong. The Bee Sides contains songs by Tori Amos that were released on CD singles or imports; many of these songs were performed in concert but never reached a large listening audience through public radio.

Each listing contains the song lyrics and music by Tori, along with excellent illustrations by Pauline Stuckey. For those of you not familiar with Stuckey's illustrations, she mainly draws fairy cartoons in watercolor and ink. However, The Bee Sides also contains numerous ink drawings of Tori in different situations. Stuckey has done a wonderful job of capturing the spirit and physical likeness of Tori in these drawings.

Most of the illustrations chosen for the songs were picked by Tori's father. His choices serve to highlight the lyrics of each song and, in some cases, create an interesting juxtaposition of serene images and more intense music and lyrics.

The Bee Sides is a must for any Toriphile. And, to see more of Pauline Stuckey's "Toritoons" or fairy illustrations, visit her website here.

review by
Audrey M. Clark


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