First Look: Tori Amos, ‘Abnormally Attracted To Sin’

The Goddess returns with her new album on May 19

Pink reader Ian gives me the head’s up that the album cover artwork for Tori Amos‘s new disc Abnormally Attracted to Sin has been released along with a new interview and full album tracklisting, courtesy of Spinner.com. Holy shizz, y’all … I’m so excited I can barely type right how. Here is our first look at the beautiful album artwork:


Tori Amos is in a good mood when she phones Spinner from her Cornwall, England studio. She owes her glee, in part, to a white chocolate chip cookie, which she informs us her 8-year-old daughter, Natashya, baked for her. “Husband didn’t marry me for my baking,” she laughs. It’s just weeks away from Amos’ scheduled performance at SXSW, where she’ll unveil new tunes from her tenth studio album, ‘Abnormally Attracted to Sin,’ due May 19. In addition to debuting the album cover and tracklist with Spinner, Amos discussed her new work, how to divvy up the Democrats and Republicans, and what she considers to be the greatest sin of all.

What was the impetus behind this new collection?

I’m drawn to questioning what traditional authorities have defined sin to be. As a minister’s daughter, I’ve been exposed to the traditional belief system. [Sin] has been used to shame and control people. If you’re controlled by a religious structure, then you’re going to have a very different outlook on life and what you’re open to than if you’re not controlled by these old, crumbling concepts.

The new album, ‘Abnormally Attracted to Sin,’ takes its name from a line in ‘Guys and Dolls,’ said by the character Sarah Brown. Do you feel a kinship with her in any way?

No, because I’m not torn by my religious beliefs. A lot of the problems we have right now in our world are because of intolerance dictated by the big religions.

Do you feel it’s your duty or obligation to expose these truths in your work?

I find that right now, in this turbulent time where there’s so much strife all around the world, there is an opportunity for religions to open their doors and their hearts — to become compassionate for someone else’s beliefs instead of intolerant. That’s always really disappointed me about people who talk about being religious, and yet they’re the most judgmental, usually. Right now, we’re at war, and I wrote quite a lot of this album while I was on tour last time. I traveled the world, I played in Israel, I traveled through countries where the major religions exist — and the one thing that I started to do more than ever was to really ask questions about “What do I believe in?” Traveling and seeing how women see themselves in different cultures … how the community thinks of them becomes so important for some of them, more than how than how they even feel about themselves. And some of them are dying — they’re dying in their lives. You might be approved of in your community, but your heart is completely breaking. And I don’t find that a tolerant society — that is not the compassionate Christ path to me. I began to see that kindness and tolerance were not found in institutions, but found in individuals who seemed to be breaking away from the old patriarchal viewpoint.

Did you have a similar experience growing up in a Christian household?

I was brought up in a home that was … we were brought up in the Christian doctrine, and that’s just what it was. We believed in it, and I think the question is: What is that doctrine? Because it’s not about the open heart. Maybe it takes times like we have right now, times of so much upheaval, where you allow yourself to really find out what it is that you feel about something. My daughter has all kinds of questions all the time, and if she were brought up in a less tolerant household, she would be broken, no question about it. But she has a grandfather who was a Methodist minister and she has a part of her family who are very much practicing Christians, yet she loves them. But she is not interested if they agree with what she thinks because she is allowed to believe in what she wants.

One of the current arguments at large in America is whether or not gays should have the right to marry. Religion is often used in the argument against gay marriage. Why do you think that union is so threatening?

We go back to that word — intolerance. That, to me, isn’t what America ever was. It wasn’t about telling another person how to live their life. I always said in a perfect world, you keep the Democrats out of your bank account and the Republicans out of your bedroom. But in life, why do you have to have anybody else in your bedroom if you’re a consenting adult? That is the need people have right now, it seems, to dictate to another person how they should live their life. I find that the greatest sin of all. The record explores all kinds of feelings and depending on your state of mind, your set of circumstances could result in a very different outcome.

What can you tell me about the visuals that will be accompanying each of the songs on this album?

I’m calling them “vignettes” because it’s more akin to a mini-film. This all started on tour last time, when we were filming the live shows. The director was putting together montages, and as I saw the montages, new music was already coming. I started to put the new music to the mini-films that were being made out on the road. When I travel I get all kinds of ideas. I’m forced to see things that I wouldn’t and question. When you asked me about ‘Guys and Dolls,’ I guess I was never a Bible-thumping Christian; I was always trying to question because I had so much religion in my upbringing. I was drawn to those people and those ideas that weren’t accepted necessarily, and it’s not because these ideas in reality are “evil” — that’s just the perception that’s being given. The reality I was brought up in was, “Anything that doesn’t work within the Christian doctrine is sinful.” And that’s a lot of stuff.

Oh my Goddess, it is SO amazing to have Tori Amos back. I love, love, love the coverphoto … she looks like the beautiful Elizabeth Taylor from her Cleopatra days. STUNNING! This short interview is a great tease for what’s to come with this new album. I am so freaking out right now … what a great explosion of new Tori information. After the jump, check out the full tracklisting for the album, all 17 songs …

‘Abnormally Attracted to Sin’ Tracklist

01. ‘Give’
02. ‘Welcome to England’
03. ‘Strong Black Vine’
04. ‘Flavor’
05. ‘Not Dying Today’
06. ‘Maybe California’
07. ‘Curtain Call’
08. ‘Fire to Your Plain’
09. ‘Police Me’
10. ‘That Guy’
11. ‘Abnormally Attracted to Sin’
12. ’500 Miles’
13. ‘Mary Jane’
14. ‘Starling’
15. ‘Fast Horse’
16. ‘Ophelia’
17. ‘Lady in Blue’

AHHHHH … SO EXCITED. Even the song titles inspire all these images and concepts in my mind. I cannot WAIT to hear even a tiny bit of this album. I am now MORE EXCITED THAN EVER that I am going to see Tori Amos at SXSW in a couple of weeks … AHHHH. I’m really having a hard time concentrating right now. This news is so wonderful. I’m gonna need a moment to breathe. Welcome back, Tori!! We have missed you dearly!

[Source, thanks Ian]

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  1. Your Sarah

    DYING!

  2. Ian

    WAHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

    I LOVE TORI!!!!!!!!

    I CAN’T STAND IT!

    First the Wonder Woman Animated Movie, then Watchmen, now TORI!

    I AM IN GEEK HEAVEN!

  3. Brenna

    Wow, look at that photo! She reminds me of Christina Aquilara in that pic, is that odd?

    No horrid wig/bangs, thank goodness.

    Thanks, Trent, for this! Now we need tour info. WOOT!

  4. Jessica

    Can’t wait for this! Thanks for sharing the interview :)

  5. Somebody tether me because that interview has again launched me into Tori’s ethereal mindscape. I also might require an adult diaper because I’m now more excited that EVER to hear this album. Based on where she says her mind went during the last tour, this will no doubt be a very compelling collection of songs.
    Hi-5′s for how she’s raising her daughter. If I was a little(r) girl, that’s exactly how I’d want to grow up, too.
    Oh, and this: “I began to see that kindness and tolerance were not found in institutions, but found in individuals who seemed to be breaking away from the old patriarchal viewpoint.”
    And this: “…the need people have right now, it seems, to dictate to another person how they should live there life. I find that the greatest sin of all”.
    I mean, it’s just such common sense. Yet so brilliant at the same time. I wish I could just vote for Tori or something so that we could just get her in charge of everything already.

  6. Sarah

    sxsw in a couple of weeks? more like it’s next week trent!

  7. Sarah

    i hope to see you around! i’m covering the festival for my school paper. they have me using twitter, blogspot and flickr during the whole week. would love if you made an appearance on one of them.

  8. pk

    i’m so excited for this! she’s so beautiful in the picture i CAN’T wait to see the vignettes! the song names look amazing :) she always pulls these things off with ease and grace.. not like some other artists… *cough* beyonce *cough*

  9. pk

    FYI i want that damn dress!!

  10. Pam

    I thought it was Alyson Hannigan for a moment there hahahah oops.

  11. tatiana

    good lord I love her. *excited!*

  12. nittaney

    Oh, the love of Tori. I’m so…so…so happy, because this is also her freedom from restrictive record labels. Love her.

  13. Tori Sparshu

    Ahhhhhh…. Tori <3

  14. Josh

    I hated the lackluster Epic releases Tori did, “Scarlet’s Walk” had a handfull of good tunes but it was so slick and AA Radio. just weak arrangements, decent lyrics but almost stoic performances. “The Beekeeper” was crap top to bottom, and “American Doll Posse” offered the old crazy Tori look but still safe, AA radio blahness

    I just had the chance to hear this new record and she’s manage to blend being radio friendly with her Choirgirl-esque arrangements, odd drums, weird keyboards, and powerful powerful vocals

    I thought we had lost here but it appears the old Tori, or perhaps we should say the new and improved Tori is back!

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