Financial crisis inspires Tori Amos' latest album

NEW YORK Fri May 8, 2009 3:31pm EDT

1 of 4. Musician Tori Amos poses for a portrait while promoting her new album 'Abnormally Attracted To Sin' in New York March 26, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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Fri, May 8 2009

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. singer and songwriter Tori Amos says she was inspired by the financial crisis to question the definition of power and success in relationships on her latest album "Abnormally Attracted To Sin."

Amos is known for her emotionally heavy songs about topics such as sexual abuse and religion and her 10th studio album, to be released on May 19, is no different. It features songs on difficult topics including a suicidal mother and how relationships are affected by pressure from events like the financial crisis.

"The world has changed completely, it seems, in the past two years. The world that we all knew before, could wake up in feeling safe, ... now it seems that everything has been turned upside down," Amos told Reuters in an interview.

"The record is asking all kinds of questions about power -- how do we define it? Because if it's with money then we're all in trouble. And what is success? What are we attracted to? Because it kind of needs to change," she said.

Amos, who has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide, said men and women who had lost their jobs or homes or were in some other way hurting because of the financial crisis would be questioning their value in their relationship.

"I started thinking we can redefine what is a sexy, powerful male," Amos, 45, said. "To me that's the greatest challenge we have right now, because if we don't, a lot of relationships are just going to be ripped apart," she said.

Amos, who has an eight-year-old daughter, said she also felt the need to explore the role that mothers play in hard times and how they cope, or don't cope, as is the case in the song "Maybe California" about a lonely suicidal mother.

"When the mothers start to shatter, then everything just comes undone," she said. "I was noticing on my travels that mothers hide things very well but it doesn't mean that they're not being pushed to the limit at this time too."

Music magazine Billboard describes Amos as "a force to be reckoned with on the new album, which blends rock beats with flashes of the avant-garde," while website Drowned In Sound says "this is almost a wonderful album. But like some other Tori Amos records, it's an album that could easily have been two."

Along with 17 tracks on the record, Amos has also made what she calls a "visualette," inspired by silent films, for each song. A DVD of the "visualettes" will be released with a deluxe version of "Abnormally Attracted To Sin."

"I think fans need a little bit more than the song. If you're going to encourage people not to steal (music) then you need to make them not want to steal. My favorite saying is 'if its too loud, turn it up,'" she said. "You just give them more."

(Editing by Mark Egan and Bob Tourtellotte)

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