TORI AMOS - THE ALBUMS 1992 -1996




"LITTLE EARTHQUAKES"

1992



CRUCIFY - A piano Grunge Rock sound made this song stick in my head for weeks and got me hooked on Tori after "Silent All These Years" peaked my interest. Packs a punch with a slight drum beat and a 70s Psychedelic Rock segment and harmonising vocals.
 
 

GIRL - A little orchestration and light drumbeat as well as Tori's unmistakeable vocals and keyboard skills, it also has a kind of Progressive/Psychedelic Rock middle segment. 

SILENT ALL THESE YEARS Its quiet minimal piano and beautiful vocals reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan and to an extent Kate Bush (although I consider Ms. Bush as a Piano Pop artist and Tori Piano Rock).  Its such a lovely song.  The video is amazing and kind of sweet too like the song itself.
 
 

PRECIOUS THINGS - This has a quicker pace, a frantic piano with a more powerful Rock drumbeat and with screeching vocal accompaniment and a range of other atmospheric vocals.  This is a darker track, a powerful angry emotive track that us fans have grown accustomed to over the years.

WINTER - Written about her relationship with her minister father is an absolute gem, as with most of Tori's songs you can pick up the emotion and sense this is autobiographical.  Tori is not afraid of any subject however tough it may be, as we find out on this album.

HAPPY PHANTOM - One of those funny, bright and breezy Tori tracks that even if the lyrics are somewhat strange and maybe dark you can't help but smile, she has this given talent for music composition.  I think its her thinking how her death would impact on a lover or so I read somewhere.
 
CHINA - Another piano ballad, with soft whispering vocal verses leading into a crescendo chorus and back down again.  A very romantic song about a distant lover who doesn't share her views on the relationship.

LEATHER - Half dark, half jokingly but serious content.  About a woman who loves her partner so much she allows anything to happen to being used.  Minimal backing with Tori's vocals to the fore.

MOTHER - Captivating slight piano and vocals track. Tori uses all her vocal tehniques to convey this almost sad song, possibly about a controlling mother?

TEAR IN YOUR HAND - This has like a Classic Rock or Rock Pop vibe, with more Psychedelic moments, I love this track.  It has a great full musical backing and more produced than other songs Tori has made, and it works to full effect.  

ME AND A GUN - A vivid recollection of the whole ordeal of Tori being raped at knifepoint.  Just Tori singing a cappella, this was released as a debut single but "Silent All These Years" the B-side was preferred.  The former is is bright and positive while the latter is quite disturbing and you feel sad that Tori or any woman has been put through this.

LITTLE EARTHQUAKES - The title track and unusually at the end of the album, is simply gorgeous, almost Gothic, and almost sounding like Alanis Morissette at times.  It has off tuned segments, a little sixties psychedelia, screeching vocals, soft vocals, basically is Tori Amos in a nutshell, well in 6 and a half minutes!


 "UNDER THE PINK"

1994



PRETTY GOOD YEAR - Tori's second studio album kicks off with this quirky, sometimes sad and ironic but a great track.  Lots of beautiful soft, pure vocals, piano orchestrated anthemic parts, agonised screams.  Its unique keyboards led Alternative Rock sounds like nothing else as was introduced on her debut album, "Little Earthquakes".  As a single it reached number 7 in the UK chart.

GOD - A sarcastic message to God, with the lyrics "God, sometimes you just don't come through, do you need a woman to look after you?".  The song is like a distorted Electronic Rock number with even the odd "angels" chant.  One of my favourites, it has a little brashness and good tempo.  Maybe the subject matter controversy halted this single's progress at number 44 in the UK.

BELLS FOR HER - A sparse piano led ballad-like track with the keys almost sounding like Christmas chimes.  This is not a cheerful song, its quite sad and melancholic singing about teenage thoughts and hopes.  It is beatifully calm and the breathy, almost whispered vocals are sad, pure, soft and eerily sexy.  Another gem.

PAST THE MISSION - An almost jazzy feel to this track.  Tori plays chanteuse as the crescendo builds up to the chorus and a more fuller sound.  Reaching number 31 in the UK chart this is a more radio friendly Alternative Rock Pop track. 

BAKER BAKER - A lament on losing a boyfriend because she couldn't give herself emotionally rather than physically.  Hence the "make me whole again" lyrics.  The past rape at 21 described in "Me And A Gun" from the last album may have given her a tough time to "give herself fully" again in a relationship.  Quite sad when you know the background, but its a lovely song.

THE WRONG BAND - A very quirky, almost humorous musical backing, old variety style.  Great passionate vocals from Tori.  Laid back and with a little upbeat tempo.

THE WAITRESS - A really eerie moaning at the intro and the track continues in a dark, grisly tone.  Its like a Grunge Rock song with agonising wailing vocals.  Not one of my favourites, sometimes its a bit too weird for me.  The soft vocals then the ear piercing wailing gets a bit too much of a shock.

CORNFLAKE GIRL - A really great song and a classic from Tori.  The lead single from the album reached number 4 on the UK chart and was a global smash.  A perfect piano led Alternative Pop track, the almost Classical piano merges with heavy keys into rockier territory.  It is energetic and catchy and is a great song to sing along to.  An alltime favourite of mine by any artist.

 

ICICLE - A really beautiful, gentle song with sparse piano and Tori's exquisite vocals.  It actually feels like a wintery song in the cold! Genius.

CLOUD ON MY TONGUE - On this track I see the similarity made with Kate Bush, its a pretty average song in my opinion, not one of my favourites.  Although as an artist Tori and Kate are worlds apart (Kate being more Pop and Dance where Tori is more Rock and Indie), this song is a mean impression of Kate.

SPACE DOG - Offbeat almost medieval track with its on and off percussion and classical segments.  Again not one of my favourite Tori tracks but after having all off her albums there are some great tracks that stand way above others.

YES, ANASTASIA - An epic almost 10 minute mini movie theme.  A strangely engaging track with a little of everything from this album.  Nice finish to the set.

 


 "BOYS FOR PELE"

1996


BEAUTY QUEEN/HORSES - Tori's third album opens up with this rather lovely slow ballad.  With Tori's sultry, breathy, angelic at times vocal taking the lead, this is a triumph.

BLOOD ROSESSo many genres hidden and explored in this track.  Rather heavy in tone, with Classical, Progressive and Classic Rock intertwined with the almost surreal medieval theme.

FATHER LUCIFER - An eerie sounding track with a kind of nursery rhyme backing with a heavier part in the middle of the song where Tori merges screeching vocals with gentle soft sound.  Experimental genius.

PROFESSIONAL WIDOW - This harpsichord driven Alternative Rock track was released as the third single and reached number 1 in the UK chart, although this was a remix (rather destroyed the original for me but the charts are very different now, geared to "popular" than good) .  This album version is much more slick.

MR ZEBRA - A minute long quirky, whimsical nursery rhyme style track that is cute but surely a "filler".

MARIANNE - A beautiful slow, melodious piano led ballad.

CAUGHT A LITE SNEEZE - The first single releaed from the album reached only number 20 in the UK chart.  Criminally ignored this is one of my favourite Tori songs.  With great harmonised vocals, variants in the vocals, a minimal backing but with Pop Rock leanings.  Great song.

 

MUHAMMAD MY FRIEND - Could be considered controversial this track as Tori turns religion upside down suggesting Jesus was in fact a woman and the world should be told.  A Classical paino backing to Tori's angered yet authoritative vocals.

HEY JUPITER - Another single from the album and this finished at number 20 in the UK chart.  I love this song, it is passionate, emotional and powerful.  An Indie Pop style ballad that tugs at the heartstrings.


WAY DOWN - I actually wish this song was longer than its mere 1 minute something length.  It is a smooth, lovely slow ballad with Gospel leanings and we only get 20 seconds of that specific theme. 

LITTLE AMSTERDAM - Sounds in style to a slowed down version of "Caught A Lite Sneeze".  It doesn't really go anywhere for me and is the only disapppointing track thus far in the album listening.

TALULA - The second single from the album reaching number 22 in the UK chart.  An Alternative Rock track that builds into a crescendo towards the end.  Not one of my favourites but a good track.

NOT THE RED BARON - An overlong mostly Classical piece with sparse vocals.  Not really attention grabbing.

AGENT ORANGE - Another 1 minute track which is actually a nice Soul track proving that Tori can switch styles a little.  Would have liked to hear more than this tiny snippet.

DOUGHNUT SONG - A decent piano led ballad but again failed to grab me when this album was released and still does not.  The problem with so many tracks is sometimes you don't keep the quality going.

IN THE SPRINGTIME OF HIS VOODOO - This track was only released in the USA, suprisingle not here in the UK.  This is one of my favourite songs and is second only to "Caught A Lite Sneeze" on this album in class.  It intertwines Blues, Pop, Jazz and Alternative Rock.  This is brilliant.

PUTTING THE DAMAGE ON - Another emotionally charged, anthemic ballad this time sounding a little more Grunge/Gothic in style.

TWINKLE - The album ends with a gorgeous piano and vocal ballad.  An up and down album but Tori has this great experimental tendency that quite often unearths a unique song of genius.  Maybe this was a little too long in length but, like artists such as Prince, you cannot curb that talent. 





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