Tori Amos

Y Kant Tori Give It A Rest?
*special introductory paragraph!
*Y Kant Tori Read
*Little Earthquakes
*Under The Pink
*Boys For Pele
*From The Choirgirl Hotel
*To Venus And Back
*Strange Little Girls
*Scarlet's Walk
*The Beekeeper
*American Doll Posse
*Abnormally Addicted To Sin
*Midwinter Graces
*Night of Hunters

If you don't know how to write a professional paper about Tori Amos, entrust your homework assignment to the following writing service and have your essay written fast.

Tori began her career in a terrible band called Y Kant Tori Read, but was then sexually assaulted and responded by turning to somber piano music, which she plays while spreading her legs really far apart. She's written some really cool, nontraditional melodies and provocative lyrics, and occasionally comes across as pretty smart. However, she seems to have trouble maintaining that careful balance between "catchy" and "intelligent," too often churning out either generic radio-ready girlpoof or minimalist tuneless John Cage-style unpleasantness. Kinda seems to wallow in her sorrow quite a bit too.

Y Kant Tori Read - Atlantic 1988.
Rating = 1

This photo pretty much says it all. But let's continue, if only for the love of words and the vivid images which they conjure. First of all, regardless of what you may have heard, this album is NOT "pop metal." I have no clue why that old wives' tale has been spreading down from generation to generation. It is an '80s keyboard pop album - and a particularly bad one! You know how Madonna left dance to do pop a few albums into her career? When the mindless dancey fun of "Lucky Star" gave way to the self-important grimness of "Papa Don't Preach" and "Live To Tell"? This album sounds exactly like that stuff, but without a single moment of distinct, memorable melody from beginning to end. Just loads of really stupid-sounding out-of-date 80s keyboard tones, watery fake drums, the timeless sounds of the Synth Bass and Tori's already-tortured voice tempered with gallons of "bitch attitude" and self-confidence. Weak metal guitar solos appear in a few songs (courtesy of Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen? God I hope not, but supposedly both he and Robin Zander appear on here), but that's pretty much the only guitar you're going to hear unless you listen really hard to that little clean "sprling!" noise way way way behind the synth bass.

The most interesting thing about the album is that there honestly are a couple of melancholic, frightened little piano lines strewn here and there among the smoldering ashes of burning filth that I poured all over the disc in a fit of mature rage immediately following my initial listen. "Fire On The Side" is in fact an honest-to-Heaven GOOD PIANO BALLAD that could have fit in easily on Little Earthquakes. But every other promising moment disappears within seconds as the Latest In High-Technology Studio Production jams more bad sounds into your poor defenseless brain. Speaking of which - see if this makes you as annoyingly self-aware as it did to me for a few minutes earlier this evening: Your true field of vision is the size of a thumbnail. Everything else around it is incomplete -- a bunch of fuzzy words, faces, etc. You can hardly make any of it out. Now do you notice? Did you ever realize that your focus is SO DAMNED SMALL????? Here's another interesting fact that'll fuck you RIGHT ON up. There are these special glasses where if you look through them, everything appears upside down. If you wear them for several hours and then take them off, your eyes will CONTINUE to see the world upside down for another hour or so. Because your brain will have trained itself to EXPECT it. I'm reading this unbelievably amazing book right now called A User's Guide to the Brain. You HAVE to buy it. I'm only 60 pages into it (out of like 400), and it's already blown my mind like a dozen times. It's all in laymen's terms so normal dumbys like me and you can understand it. It explains how everything up there works. And let me tell you - the brain is one hell of an organ! It's just like the old adage, the most important sexual organ is your mind.

The second most important is your belly button.

"Hole Gouged In Corpse With Knife" didn't make the list. Stop emailing me.

Reader Comments (Robert Chaundy)
Well I have a Berlin album called Count Three And Pray which I imagine sounds like this - i.e. total rubbish (apart from Take My Breath Away, of course). And if the little multimedia presentation above is anything to go by then Tori looked a lot like Terri in the sticky mid-late 80s period so it all kinda falls into place really dunnit. Do it?

Tori Amos is a competent enough piano 'n' voice merchant but she will never, EVER have one tenth of Kate Bush's talent so buy HER albums instead, people. They really are very good, all of them.

Adam Hammack
This is, as Mark says, atrocious. (You can tell, by the way, when Mark really, really hates an album if he bothers to use extra-special HTML code for it. [See Madonna's latest.] He won't even put italics in my reader comments, but he'll bust every brain-cell he's got to insert an image of this album cover if it will make you hate Tori just a little bit more.)

You don't really need to see the cover to hate this album though. I've got a CDR copy, like most sensible people who don't want to pay $500 for an awful out-of-print album, and I hate it plenty. It's just unredeemably shitty, for the most part. It doesn't even suck in the same manner that most "Tori-I-Don't-Like" sucks. It has it's very own, distinctly rotten way of sucking. The production was laughably dated when it came out in the first place, and the songs do not fit Tori's voice or the image that I have constructed of her in my mind a bit. If I'd heard this in 1988, I sure wouldn't have been waiting in line at the store for her next effort when it came out. (BTW, Mark -- Cheap Trick did indeed suck donkey dick in the late 80's, but Nielson and Zander just sang backup vocals on a few tracks; no guitars. So I'm afraid we can't really blame them.)
This album is total imprisoned pedophile forced penile enema excretion, there's no doubt about that. But the WORST album ever recorded? NAAAAHH! That dubious honor belongs to Pia Zadora's "rock" experiment, Rock It Out. This atrocious piece of wax makes our perpetually recovering rape victim's album sound like The Wall. Ok, maybe not. But if I had to choose between this piece of runny shit and Pia Zadora's, I'd take the bear trap on the balls, please. To go. (Eric B.)
Actually, insanely I liked this one better than Under The Pinkly Fruit Tree. This one had some at least false energy to it, heh. But because of the very nature that all of the songs are ridiculous, I rate this one as exactly high as Under The Pink. Four naked men or whatever those are. Is that what I gave Under Stinkly Maco Past? I can't remember.

Yeah I agree with that Robert Chaundy actually about the Kate Bush thing but I don't want to push that so much. Not that he pushed it so much he didn't. But yeah uh I still have like a thousand Tori Amos albums to listen to, and I'm doing all these reviews based on one listen to expect more reviews later in the week.
say have you heard of a 1988 video for this?! fire on the side is a cheesy song! btw anyone seen those shitty gay assed commercials about this and that? stay away!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yea…….Tori Amos…wow. Have u seen “Commando” with Arnold Swartzeneger? It’s probably the greatest movie ever made!!! I mean the first thing Arnold says in the movie is “why don’t they just call him “Girl George”? It would cut down on all the confusion” referring to a magazine in which he reads about Boy George! Of all things!! A Blackman is killed later on as expected and an Australian man in leather and chains kidnaps his daughter coz Arnold stupidly enough had him kicked out of his army unit and naturally the Aussie wants revenge!! It’s more brilliant then it sounds. 10/10 for Commando.

Add your thoughts?

Little Earthquakes - Atlantic 1992.
Rating = 7

Not feeling very whimsical today. Some prick keeps trying to fax something to my home phone and no matter how much printer paper I eat, I can't seem to get their message to come out of my ass. Got some DIPSHIT conference call in a few minutes even though this is supposed to be a day off for me. But could be worse - two people at my office are getting the axe today, and nobody knows who it will be. I guess we'll know on Monday when these two people are blasting out some tasty blues-influenced solos. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! AXE! I'VE MADE LIGHT OF TWO DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS OF THE WORD "AXE"!

A charming British chap was kind enough to burn an MP3 cd for me containing the entire studio LP works of Tory Animosity so let me waste no more time of your time. I was honestly extremely surprised to hear so many unique and interesting ways that Tori found to express herself on this, her solo debut. From great dramatic string/piano hooks to unrecognizable pounding background noises to bouncy show tune stylings teetering on the brink of madness to simple a capella folk balladry to romantic piano loveliness to creepy as all hell staccatos to hard-to-follow, almost free jazz/prog ivory meanderings to simple normal poppiness - and that's just the first song!!!!

I'm kidding. That's not really just the first song. This is Tori Amos we're talking about, not Mr. Tori Amos-Bungle! Heh heh heh. Whoa! Check that out! That entire sentence said the same thing backwards as it said forwards!!!! "Heh heh heh." There! Did you see it??? IT'S AS IF GOD HIMSELF HAS ENTERED THE ROOM AND PLACED A BOUNTY ON MY SOUL!

Classic rock fans will of course gravitate towards the cover tunes - of The Beatles' "Girl," The Rolling Stones' "Winter" and Pink Floyd's "Mother" - all of which have been given entirely new music, lyrics and themes, as well as being credited to Tori Amos instead of the original artists. Having retained the original song titles as the only vestiges of the original songs, she has cleverly managed to avoid lawsuits and royalty payments. It's often said that all women are stupid, lying whores, but I think it's clear from this clever business move that Tori Amos isn't stupid.

At some point - and I'm not sure at what point this will be, but I see it coming - at some point, you're going to realize how little of a shit I give about the music of Tori Amos. It was presented to me for review, and I'm reviewing it. I'll be as honest as I can without putting myself to sleep, and you can take it or leave it. I'm not a woman, and I think women would probably get more out of this music than I would because it is from a woman's point of view and covers a lot of woman issues (the same way that women really shouldn't be into, say, The Mentors).

However, even as a mere male music man, I am honestly extremely impressed by a full half of these songs -- the neat collection of hooks and weird breathy sound effects that make up "Crucify," the AWESOME trembling chord sequence of "Girl," the scary as shit high-end piano tapping of "Precious Things," the surprisingly evocative romantic flavor of "China," the cold eerie real-life rape soliloquy "Me And A Gun" and the pounding strange beautiful title track. These songs almost literally reek of astonishing creativity, idiosyncratic individual vision and emotions so real, you want to rip open your stereo speakers so you can jump in and console the poor woman. All performed with (mostly) just piano, violins and that sorrowful, scared little voice. Powerful. Vivid. Potentate.

Does anyone have any idea why I felt compelled to write the word "Potentate" there? I don't even know what a "potentate" is! Is there some Vivid Video adult film called Powerful Potentate or something? If so, write your Congressman and tell him to send me a copy. A CLEAN copy, please. With all the nudity and adult situations removed.

As for the other half, I guess a few of them are okay, but I pretty much loathe the popular "Silent All These Years" (which I can't listen to without singing the lyrics "Went to a party last Saturday night/Didn't get laid, got in a fight" - as a professed former metalhead, I find it VERY unlikely that Tori has never heard "Kiss Me Deadly"), as well as the boring melodramatic "Winter" and this arm-bleedingly annoying happy bouncy thing called "Happy Phantom." Phantoms aren't happy. Enough with the lies, Liey.

If piano is your jive turkey, you should buy this because Tori certainly approaches the instrument in a much more interesting manner than Elton John does. And as the most famous and talented pianist of all time, Elton John is the man to beat.

Reader Comments (David Dickson)
OH MY GOSH. I am the first person to ever post comments on the Little Earthquakes site. Well, that's probably to be expected. I've noticed over the months that people who post online comments on music sites tend to be, without exception, guys, and Tori Amos listeners tend to be, without exception, girls. You can't win. Anyway, this album is a gem of post-'80's folk-pop that will either take your breath away or leave you in tears--or, if you're one of those people who pays attention to nothing but the lyrics, and you're a guy, make you yawn. But I don't care what you listen to, dudes-- IMHO, this is one of the best debut albums of the '90's. Highlights include "Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "Precious Things", "Winter", "China", "Tear in Your Hand", and "Little Earthquakes". And "Me and a Gun" is one of the most haunting pieces of a cappella ever put to major-label tape. Pass on at your own risk. I'm out. Peace.

Adam Hammack
A right proper debut. My grade would be about the same as Mark's. I think that about half of this (mostly the first half) is undoubtedly some of the strongest material of her career. "Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "Precious Things", "China", and "Tear in Your Hand" are still concert faves and rank amongst my very favorite Tori songs.

I can't listen to "Me and a Gun" any more though. It's kinda like "Full-Metal Jacket" -- a little too direct and graphic for my taste. (Look at me... Complaining about Tori Amos, of all people, being too direct!) 7/10 (Eric B.)
Better than the other three Tori Amos albums I have listened to, having borrowed them all from a friend. I'm doing these reviews all based on one listen, so maybe that's not fair but I can't see listening to these albums more than once.

This is way better than Under The Pink, and way better than Y Does Tori Have Underwear On Her Face. Tuneful, interesting and all that. Not very diverse, but it seems, listening to the three albums I have, Tori is not a diverse "talent".

Her piano playing usually goes nowhere. It's just there's no hooks in her songs usually. There is on this one. There is not on Under The Pink. Also, her Kate Bush-isms annoy me completly. Being a big Kate Bush fan, listening to Tori so shamelessly ape her betters is a bit of an insult.

She is a good piano player, and her lyrics while direct are often times not embarassingly stupid. Well, sometimes.

Any ways, yeah for this album a 7 out of 10. I'm really not looking forward to listening to the rest of her albums, but suffering from mild obsessive compulsive disorder myself, I probably will. If any are as bad as Under The Sink, I think I might just put on "Maple Leaf Rag" by Scott Joplin and dance the rag time dance until the cow comes home. My wife that is heh heh.
The only Tori album i've been able to stomach (though Y Kant Tori Read sounds interesting in an 80's-era Pantera kind of way, me being someone who considers Projects in the Jungle and Power Metal to be among Pantera's best albums), Little Earthquakes is pretty solid, especially the first half as others have said. "Crucify" is nice and catchy, "Winter" is a good long ballad, "Girl" and "China" are pretty good too, and "Precious Things (originally by Big Black i think) is decent as well. The second half isn't as good, but i'd give this 7/10. The only things on Under the Pink i like are "God" "Icicle" and "Cornflake Girl" and after that (Boys for Pele, Choirgirl Hotel, To Venus etc.) i couldn't care less.
I love this one and I give it a 9 out of 10. This comes from someone who does not give a fuck about Tori Amos and only listens to her music.

Add your thoughts?

Under The Pink - Atlantic 1994.
Rating = 3

I'm going to completely project here, because I don't know anything about what drives Ms. Tori. But it sure SOUNDS like she enjoyed that bit of mainstream success she had with "Silent All These Years," and thus turned her back on the idiosyncratic side of her song composition to offer up as many easily digestible follow-up hit single candidates as possible. Aside from one really creepy tappity song that may have been an outtake from the first CD for all I know ("Bells For Her"), these lush, easy-on-the-ears piano ballads could just as easily have come out of Canada's own Celine Dion. Not only that, but in an attempt, I suppose, to branch out into other radio-friendly musical genres, tracks like "God," "Past The Mission," "Space Dog" and the hit "Cornflake Girl" (which, to be fair, DID deserve to be a hit, with its great tense mandolin/piano melody) offer up the same Empowered-Woman-Funky-Rock that has made Melissa Etheridge a favorite of middle-aged men whose toupees keep getting blown off their heads by nu-metal due to the dearth of NEW "classic rock" sounds on the FM dial.

So between the Celine Dion-isms and the Melissa Etheridge-isms, there are disappointingly few Tori Amos-isms to be found on Under The Pink. And when those Tori Amos-isms DO pop up (as in "Icicle" and the endless "Yes, Anastasia"), they're so completely lacking anything at all resembling a hook, you'd might as well go fishing with a SHOE attached to your pole!!! HAHHEHH!!! HAAHAHAHAhA~!

Hook joke, sorry. But hey! At least it wasn't a Hook joke!!! HA HHh1!!

Robin Williams joke. Sorry. So yeah, my point is that where the best tracks on the first album merged intriguing pianoplay with emotional, memorable hooks, this CD is just a bunch of predictable piano ballads and obvious femme-rock songs, with a few unpleasant diversions into cold, tuneless depression.

A guy I almost know slightly named "Rick Bunkell," when told that I was giving this disc a 3, responded, "Wow, I don't remember it being that bad!" To which I could only respond, "Well, you're not me." By no means am I insisting that everybody who loves this CD is wrong -- I'm not even a professional paid music critic with a PhD in "Music Criticalism" and credentials ranging from work in Rolling Stone and Trouser Press Record Guide to a lengthy published dissertation on the elements of unconscious narcissism represented within the mid-period works of John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. I am but a man. A man who can only speak my honest mind on those topics that are of import to me. Luckily, the work of Tori Amos is of minimal import to me, because if I DID care about negligible dreck like "Pretty Good Year" and "Baker Baker," well - that'd make me kind of a LOSER, wouldn't it?

Having said that, if you know any publishers that might be interested in a lengthy dissertation on the elements of unconscious narcissism represented within the mid-period works of John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, let me know if they'd prefer a BJ or an up-the-butt.

Reader Comments

jccable@comcast.netHURF (John Cable)

I give her 5 stars. OUT OF A HUNDRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Slamming toir amis will never get old to me, people. I might write a comment for every album!

Adam Hammack
Different from the last one in some important ways, but still quite good. Only the last three songs on this one sometimes leave me less than satisfied. I like 'Under the Pink' because unlike on some of her other albums, the slower tunes are either catchy enough to follow ("Pretty Good Year", "Baker, Baker") or atmospheric enough to create a neat ambience ("Bells for Her", "Icicle"). The ones with more drums and rhythmic elements ("Waitress", "Cornflake Girl") are really strong as well. You can actually just barely squeeze the really good tracks from this one and the one before it onto one CDR that makes for a pretty great listen. 8/10 (Eric B.)
Jeez. I borrowed a friend's Tori Amos albums as he insisted she was better than Kate Bush. He also had Y Kant Tori Do Speed, and I listened to that as well.

Uh, Under The Pink is not a very good album. A couple of good songs, the best being Corn Flake Girl, the worst probably being Yes, Anastasia, even if some of the orchestration on that is okay in an over the top elton john sort of way. I do like Elton John only early stuff, stuff after a certain period is crap.

And Kate Bush is a lot better than Tori Amos. Under The Pink That Stinks and Winks indeed! Bairly a 3 for Cornflake Girl and maybe a couple other songs that didn't make me kill my pet fly Louis.
I agree with Adam, although I'd give this one a 7. Almost all the songs include interesting shifts in dynamics and juxtapositions. "Pretty Good Year" has a good piano tune and her voice is really good. She hits all the right notes effortlessly. "God" has a great guitar part that starts the song. She lost some of that jazzy feeling that Little Earthquakes had and it's not as stupendous as that one, but it's still quite interesting. "Past The Mission" has a great chorus. Is that Trent Reznor singing with her? The atmosphere is either calm ("Baker Baker", "The Wrong Band", "Cloud On My Tongue") or haunting ("Icicle", "Bells For Her"). I even liked the nine minute epic "Yes, Anastasia". Overall, a pretty good effort.
Good site Mr. Prindle, but where's your Ian Dury review?

Ah, Tori Amos Under The Pink. It meant a lot to me once. I still like it. Such an emotional impact, can't explain it. Beautiful and quirky at the same time. Sure, I had to pinch my arm from time to time and say to myself that "this is not Kate Bush". Very similar voice - at first, but it'll pass.

Unfortunately "Boys for Pele" wich came up next was a let down: impossible to get. Too long.

I've lost intrest in her music since then. But I'm still under the spell. I wish she could do a "simple" and "catchy" album - by Tori standard that is. 'Cause I'm really in love with her. Oh, but I am.

Add your thoughts?

Boys For Pele - Atlantic 1996.
Rating = 4

Eww. EWW EWW EWW!!!! Suddenly Tori gets a hankering to be a strong predator-type woman like early PJ Harvey. So she adopts those same fucking irritating vocalisms - yelling really high-pitched ugly tuneless shit, letting her voice crack on purpose (because that's "real"), adopting stupid "tough girl" accents, straying WAY off melody in the name of "coolness" - basically destroying an album that wasn't all that good anyway!

Same mix of lone piano songs and full-band treatments as the last one, only this one is like twice as long. Luckily, that means there are a higher number of great songs to enjoy as long as you keep your little fast-forward remote control thingy close at hand so you can avoid headache-inducing tantrums like "Blood Roses" and "Hey Jupiter." Six songs is a decent length EP, right? Then let's go with the cold eerie, classically-influenced "Horses," "Father Lucifer," "Marianne," "Muhammed My Friend," "Not The Red Baron" and "Doughnut Song." These six songs are fan-good-tastic! DEFINITELY among the finest she's ever written. Heck, "Father Lucifer" has such an awesome piano line, it reminds me of the Beau Brummels' cover of "Play With Fire"! That's right! You heard it here! Tori's piano line is reminiscent of the brilliant classical guitar break that Mr. Ron Elliot worked up to hold the interest of those listeners unaware that the record company forced them to do an entire album of cover tunes. But we can discuss this at greater length if I ever review the Beau Brummels.

But what's up with these OTHER 13 songs??? Just a lot of whiny yelling and obstruse near-non-existent cold piano meanderings. Now, I know that there are a lot of stupid people in the world, and some of those people are likely to be female college students. So I'm ASSUMING that that is the audience that this is supposed to appeal to. I can't imagine anybody else being willing to put up with the incredible amount of self-indulgent obnoxiousness she spreads across this 9-million-minute borefest.

BTW, as my wife is a woman and all, I decided to ask her HER opinion of Tori Amos, her being a woman and all, and being forced to sit through Tori's entire catalog so I can review it. My wife answered thus: "Tori Amos? Oh, she's a buncha shit!" That was last night though. Opinions can change! And boy have they. As I once again ran quickly through Boys For Pele to make sure that my original opinion still stands, my wife suddenly volunteered the following information: "All she ever does is whine whine whine!"

So maybe Tori isn't for you gals out there either. Perhaps only our friends in the Animal Kingdom were meant to enjoy the works of a singer whose name is Mao Riots when you mix the letters up.

Reader Comments (Dave Wagner)
"I can't imagine anybody else being willing to put up with the incredible amount of self-indulgent obnoxiousness she spreads across this 9-million-minute borefest."

Well, ME, for one! I'm a 21 year old man with a hardcore/noise rock background - not only is this EASILY one of my favorite albums of all time, but I LOVE Tori and pretty much everything she's ever done (though she's mellowing to a disturbing degree lately). So!

Someone's opinions on music concern me not even a little - what I'm really confused about is EVERYTHING ELSE ON THE GODDAMN PAGE. I know this whole deal is a front, but my impulse is to ask you to do me a favor and package all your hateful, LAZILY cynical bundles of stereotypical arrogance in a nice tidy bundle and toss them into one of those lovely New York rotting-baby full dumpsters, eh?

The first time I read through these reviews I thought you had been a lot less inflammatory than usual, but now that I'm looking at them again I think they are the most offensive you've ever written by some distance. I almost feel like congratulating you for reaching this landmark. So much misogyny for such a nice guy... it's my fault for being (perhaps stupidly) sensitive to it, but what's with that, anyway?

Oh, well. Your interviews are great, by the way! Love you as always, kid...

Adam Hammack
Ugh. This is Tori on so many hallucinogens she's lost her ability to tell between "interesting" and "five minutes of playing a boring, repetitive piano (or even worse, harpsichord) riff over idiotic lyrics". This album is so pretentious and bloated that it made me HATE everything she'd ever done when I heard it. Just fucking hate everything about her! I had a girlfriend at the time who was ludicrously obsessed with all things Tori, and she really brought to my attention how blind some of these Tori-fanatics can be to her utter inability to self-edit. (I have the same basic problem Billy Corgan and his apologists, although I quite like a lot of Billy's work.)

Let's get the positive bit over first so I can get back to bitchin'. There is absolutely nothing wrong, in my opinion, with "Mr. Zebra", "Caught a Light Sneeze", "Mohammed my Friend", or "Talula". They are all perfectly catchy, slightly off-kilter Tori Amos brand pop-songs which I enjoy very much.

Now then. THE REST OF IT MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL!!! Not even in that enjoyable REM way of not making any sense. It makes no sense, but acts like it DOES make sense. It strives and connives to convince the listener that a bunch of utterly random words make a dreadfully important point. The lyric "slag pit/stag shit/honey bring it close to my lips/yes/don't blow these brains yet/we gotta be big boy/we gotta be big" simply does not hold enough weight to be recited over such a minimal accompaniment as it is and not make me want to kick the shit out of the person singing it. See, the person singing it sounds like she's telling you about the single most defining moment of her existence. But it's just a bunch of gibberish delivered without much hint of irony or humor. If there's one thing that a songwriter can do to piss me off, it's writing really poor lyrics and singing them in such an over-wrought and self-important manner as Tori does here. Buy it if you must, but you're only encouraging her to make more long-winded "deep and serious" crap if you do. 3/10 (Eric B.)
EASILY the worst of her first four albums I listened to so far. Worst because it's the LONGEST. I'll be the first to admit that Tori Amos can write a pretty clever, and interesting song when she sits down and tries. However, I think she does this like four times or so on this album. Leaving 14 other songs to GLARE OUT AT YOU AND THREATEN YOUR VERY LIFE.

Dullsville City.Or Salt Lake City (we'll be coming soon!)... Maybe I shouldn't quote obscure Beach Boys songs in a review? Kind of makes me look like a "faggot".

Any ways, yeah I could make an album like this. Based on her keyboard playing here, I'm about as good as Tori. I'm also about as good a poet as Tori. COMING SOON FROM MICHIGAN BOYS FOR PEPE! 35 SONGS OF RAMBLING DISCONNECTED PIANO AND HARPSICHORD OVER LAPPED WITH BAD VOCAL MELODIES AND SUCH. heh
Just curious, how would "Hey Jupiter" be considered a "headache inducing tantrum"?

Other than the Tori page (which you seem to bash regardless - and most of Tori's albums suck on the first listen anyway), kudos to the most hilarious review site (hell, most hilarious site in general).
I don't find this one a borefest at all. In fact, I love it more than the first two albums she made. The harpischord is an amazing addition to her sound and the songs are just great. "Horses" kicks off with a marvelous melody on the piano, "Blood Roses" follows with mighty harpischord playing. The thing Mark said about "Father Lucifer" and "Play With Fire" by Beau Brummels is true. There is a similarity in the melody. I love both songs to same extent. What I like about "Professional Widow" is the ugliness. I like it how she sounds almost angry while singing those obscure lyrics: "Prism perfect"?, "Hard cock"? No idea.

"Mr. Zebra" manages to be the best song on the damn album in only one minute. The orchestration is wonderful. What I like about these first three records of hers is that the orchestration that accompanied her was always light and not over the top. That changed on the next record which is why I find is so repulsive. "Caught A Lite Sneeze" may very well be her best song. The lyrics are inspiring and her vocals are unbelievably good. Try listening closely to the third time she sings the chorus, the background vocals she did are haunting and heart-breaking. "Muhammad My Friend" is light on percussion, but it works well cause it's just her and a piano. Her piano playing seems to be more intense than usual ("Marianne"), almost as she were on the verge of something.

"Little Amsterdam" is the only song that brings back the jazzy vibe that was best felt on the first record and it's why I love it so much. There is a weird sound in the background that sounds like somebody's channeling through the radio stations. I think it was a great idea. The first half of the record is much stronger than the second half, but it's still quite good as a whole. I like it how it's mostly discomforting and intense. In other parts it's quiet and calm, but always soothing. If this is self-indulgence, as Prindle says, I can put up with it pretty easily. 8/10

Add your thoughts?

From The Choirgirl Hotel - Atlantic 1998.
Rating = 5

When I heard that Torpid Ambush was putting out a new album, I was all like "Yes! Torky Anus has a new album out!" So I went to store to buy the new Torny Flameass CD and BOY! Was I surprised! It didn't hardly sound like the Thorny Clambake I knew at all! If anything, it sounded like an electronic bass-throbbin' house dance dark dancey club band for teenaged girls with tattoos and black lipstick. I was all like "What happened to the Turkish Orangutan I used to know?" And the guy at the store was all like, "You didn't hear? Foreman Crampsash has decided to play with a full band and make full band kinda music instead of the piano stuff that Horny Penis used to do!" So I was all like, "Okay, but it's gonna take time for me to get used to this new Corky Romamos sound." But I have to admit that it grew on me and grew on me and finally I shaved it off and just kept the mustache.

Can you believe Dave Marsh? He wrote that last paragraph. What a prick that guy is. But who expected such craziness as this: Throbbing house dance vibe music by Tori Amos? The piano only plays a major role in maybe four songs! The rest are pounded into your brain through cool Eno-style production effects, bizarre guitar tones swishing around for atmosphere, heavy booming bass guitar and really awfully fake drums (unless they're real). As with all house music, however, if it doesn't have some sort of hook, it just dances along the floor with nothing to grab onto. Quite often, this is the case on here. I mean, after you've already experienced the cool psycho boom Meat Beat Manifesto-isms of "Spark" and "Cruel," there's simply nothing to derive from such genre exercises (BAM!!! Cliche for YOU!) as ""Iiiee" and "She's Your Cocaine." There are already a billion "DJs" and "MCs" creating this dated, tiresome shake-your-body-around-because-if-you-try-to-actually-listen-to-it-you'll-realize-it-sucks "dance music" - we don't need Popeye Ornbegger doing it too!

Its foxy moments shine through the fog like a Velvet Laser Beam though, and there's enough of them on here to keep you sitting pretty for at least the first half of the disc (extra kudos for "Liquid Diamonds"! Rock on, "Liquid Diamonds"!). The second half drags a bit, but then I guess you could say the same thing about a monkey that's paralyzed from the waist down. And personally I think that's really fuckin' mean to make fun of injured animals. If that's the way that Tori Amos wants to live her life, that's fine. But I have my rights too, and perhaps I'LL decide never to buy another Tori Amos album as long as I live.

Which would be an easy decision to make, because she's not very good.

Reader Comments (Adrian Denning)
Ah, what the fuck. This is a wonderful album, better than the much more praised ( by fans and the merely curious alike ) Little Earthquakes. This is a fine, wonderful album by the green eyed one with a twinkling cunt. See Nick Cave.

Adam Hammack
See, now I think this one is much better. This was the first one I really sat down and listened to on a good stereo system, and the ambient texturing that features so prominently really made me care a lot less what Tori was babbling on about. While it's true that some of the songs don't exactly have the strong compositional elements that many of Tori's songs boast, ("Raspberry Swirl" and "Eieieieieie!!!" are pretty basic dance material), I even like these songs about a jillion times better than most everything else I've ever heard when I've been in a club. I'd take Tori's version of drum n' bass over Madonna's or Kylie's any day. The difference: TORI ACTUALLY HAS THE ABILITY TO WRITE A SONG HERSELF. She's a piano prodigy, and as such understands how to assemble a catchy song herself without a whole lot of outside input. That doesn't mean she does it all the time. (Sometimes she prefers to sit on her piano bench and fart out crap like "Black Dove" and "Jackie's Strength".) But genre exercises from a talented songwriter who might not normally write those particular types of songs (like the dance stuff on this album) are usually more interesting to me than the popular fare from which they take their inspiration. Madonna might have a pretty alright voice, but she couldn't find Middle C on a keyboard for all the cock in Brooklyn. So, no points off in my book for the lack of chords on some of the more rhythmically oriented tracks. As for the rest, "Spark", "Cruel", and "She's Your Cocaine" are my fave's. "Hotel" and "Playboy Mommie" are also really catchy in their own ways. Don't much care for "Liquid Diamonds", "Northern Lad", or "Pandora". Hate "Black Dove" and "Jackie's Strength". 7/10 (Eric B.)
Better because it's more energetic. Well at least FAKE energetic... lots of BOOM BOOMP BOOM BOOMP shit on this one. Also it's shorter, unlike the 12 day long Boys For Pele, which was a major borefest of rambling, disconnected piano and harpsichord playing over which tori croons her rambling, disconnected poetry. She's not a very good poet, but I have a great friend who is a great poet who swears by her. Anyways, a five our of ten, maybe six.
The percussion on this record is what makes it so repulsive. It sounds like bad dance music and the drums are so over the top, it's unbearable. I can cope well with "Jackie's Strength", but that's only one song that's good on a record filled with industrial beats. It's like a horror. Her voice is buried in all of it and it's now only filling the atmosphere, rather than setting it. The sum of album's parts is better than the album as a whole. The overall sound is what bugs me so much. Prindle's right - "Liquid Diamonds" does rock.

Add your thoughts?

To Venus And Back - Atlantic 1999.
Rating = 5

When I considered the prospect of sitting through a 2-hour Tori Amos double-CD, my initial thoughts involved the little-known terms "torture" and "suicide." But strangely, the first disc is pretty good! It's an all-new studio disc featuring the same general house dancey sound as The Choir's In The Hotel, but with much more piano presence, as well as sundry echoes, copious delays, hella weird noises sliding in and out of the stereo mix and an overall wild, woolly, full-to-splittin', intriguing "Wall of Sounds," to paraphrase world-famous record producer Phil "Philthy Animal" Spector. Actually, to be more insightful, this is much less a house record than just a house-DRUMS record with slow sad music on top. And even THEN, some of the songs feature a real band. Quite frankly, I simply have no interest in flipping through the songs again to remind myself what they sound like. I remember several of them being good though. There are a few all-out dance thumpers ("Juarez" and the Ray Of Light- ish "Glory Of The `80s"), but they all pale in comparison to this:



So your slow, fully well produced hypnosis songs are where you'll want to focus your efforts this time. Unless `70s Joni Mitchell-style singer-songwriter piano underachievement is your bag, in which case skip every song until you get to "1000 Oceans." The All-Music Guide insists that a lot of Tori's stuff sounds like `70s singer-songwriter material, but I hear it very rarely myself. In THIS track, it's pretty blatant. Carole King-kinda average but slightly pretty piano melody. Mellow `70s marijuana attitude. A guy with a huge afro walking through my living room HEY! WHAT THE A;LREHG'HA' JSGJ


OK, I stabbed him to death with my mousepad, so about the live disc: It's no good. Where the studio disc earns a 6 and designation as "The first Tori Amos album to rise above mediocrity since her debut," the live disc gets a 3. It SLICKS. Just boring, endless piano ballad after boring, endless piano ballad after - there's one point on the disc where I literally ran across FIVE PHYSICALLY DRAINING SONGS IN A ROW. It's almost as if she purposely went through her catalog and chose all the weakest songs that she's ever written, then made them twice as long as they originally were. Out of 13 songs, there are only THREE - count `em - THREE - count `em - THREE - count `em - THREE - count `em - THREE - count `em - FOUR - GODDAMMIT DON'T COUNT THAT ONE

Count em.

No but besides "Precious Things" (not the Big Black song), "Cornflake Girl" (not the Kelloggs commercial jingle) and "Bells for her" (not the soon-to-be-written AC/DC song), this disc is an endless wet old rug seeping dog urine through a crack in the barbed wire covering the hole in the basement floor where the psychotic man left you to die while playing The Fall's "Hip Priest."

Ha ha ha! Did you enjoy my Silence Of The Lambs reference? Check this out: I CAN SMELL YOUR CUNT!

So maybe you should rinse it out or place an air freshener up there or something. But you never answered me - did you like that Silence Of The Lambs reference I made a few paragraphs ago?

Reader Comments

Adam Hammack
Mostly agree with Prindle: the studio disc is pretty great, (I'd give it a 7/10 myself), but the live disc is mostly unnecessary and suffers from what I would deem a poor choice of material. This is not to say that Tori is not usually incredible live, because she was both times I've seen her. I just don't like this live disc very much. I won't give the combined package itself a ranking. If you think you'll like the studio disc, pick the thing up. If not, don't let the live album persuade you.

The studio disc continues on the atmospheric bent that 'Choirgirl' started, but not as dance-hall oriented. There's a lot of layers to wade through in stuff like "Bliss" and "Glory of the 80's", but I think they make the songs that much stronger. I won't go into much more detail. This is a good Tori album, but not her strongest. It's pleasant to listen to for the most part, but never really over-whelms me. Still some great material, though. "Concertina" gets stuck in my head all the time, for instance.

Oh yeah. And "Suede" blows. BLOWS. Can't say I've ever met even the most rabid of Tori fans who really digs that one. 7/10 (For the studio disc only.)
Juarez is great. Bliss is good. Other stuff is just uninspiring.

Add your thoughts?

Strange Little Girls - Atlantic 2001.
Rating = 2

I know that most critics tend to lump this in with Paul Rodgers' 2000 tour-de-force Electric, but the truth is that they really aren't all that similar. For example, the Paul Rodgers album features all original tracks by Paul Rodgers, while the Tori Amos disc is simply an arrogant collection of cover tunes completely ruined by some sort of smug, half-assed attempt to make a kind of obvious statement about how women are viewed by the male-dominated entertainment field or something. At least, that's what she told the press right before it came out.

But that's a load of crap - one look at the songs she picked makes it clear that it has nothing to DO with any kind of overarching theme - it's just her failed attempt to make other artists' tunes her own. If she were truly interested in doing what she claimed she was trying to do, it would have been SIMPLE to pick 10 pop metal, classic rock and rap songs that belittle women beyond compare. Instead, what does she do - sets "Heart Of Gold" to a wretched electronic version of the "I Wanna Be Your Dog" riff, titles 10 minutes of boring SHIT "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" (which was subverted into a female song over a DECADE AGO by The Breeders), plays a pointlessly straight rendition of "I Don't Like Mondays" and - in an unexpected twist of creativity - recites Slayer's thrash classic "Raining Blood" over some of the more unsettling piano music you're likely to hear in this post-Billy Joel day and age (God bless his gentle deceased soul and guide it into Heaven). What do ANY of these songs have to do with women? FUCK-ALL! That's what!

("Fuck-all" is a term used among us British people as a less offensive euphemism for "Fuck-Your-Brother-In- The-Bum," a topic that we discuss quite often over here in Britain because we're all inbred mongoloids).

As I've always believed - and my work shows it - if you don't have anything to say, leave us all in peace. This disc is a degrading reminder that minimally gifted minds maybe shouldn't attempt to dick around with the art of eminently more talented individuals.

For further illustration, ask to hear a copy of Mark Prindle's "Louie Louie." On a scale of 1 to 10, it sucks gallon upon gallon of blood and semen out of my ass.

How much you wanna bet they're gonna put that line on a sticker for the front of the next Tori Amos cd? You just watch. I know how these money-grubbing record labels operate. Remember a few years back when I compared Ballbreaker to a pile of waste resting on a turntable - and their very next album was called Stiff Pile Of Waste Resting On Your Upper Lip?

Reader Comments

jccable@comcast.netHURF (John Cable)
I had a friend (who I now loathe mainly because she loved this GAY SHIT CRAP) who loved toir amis (toir amis being her new "French-sounding" name). She was a fat fucking sweathog. She acted really ZANY and poetic. Poetry is for fuckin FAGGOTS. Not to offend fatties and fat fucks.

Anyway, this page I am in love with. Here's a poem I will write about it.

I am love
I love this page
Orange juice nipples made out of couch
Please don't sit on the plastic
Get it? Don't sit on the plastic, because you're supposed to sit ONLY on the plastic
My fuckin balls
Mark Prindle admitted to Josh Cable that after listening to Stiff Upper Lip, he likes Ballbreaker, but didn't change the review yet
There is a thunderous thunder storm of sorrowful sorrow inside of my gigantic cock
Oops I accidentally blew off everyone's (fucking) face with huge jizz sprays


Just like I am a minister of death, praying for war, tuiro amsi is a minister of pretense praying for rape. But it seems unfair to pick on her for her being raped, even if she used it for some gay songs. But I'm going to anyway: she's probably like OOO I HOPE SOMEONE RAPES ME SO I CAN USE IT FOR ANOTHER BIG SELLING ALBUM. That was unfair and uncalled for, but I think someone eventually had to say it, so that no one else has to. Plus her shitty music sucks ass and it's like a fucking fork of gayness in my ear. Let her fans come all up to me, right to my face, and I will say, HEY, YOUR MUSIC IS FUCKIN GAY... FAGGOT!!!!!!!!!!!

Then I blast some really shitty Shammy Hagar music at them, even though I hate his shitty ass, at least it's offensive enough to make them cry CUNT BLOOD from their fucking eye testicles. I'll play "There's Only One Way to Rock," and then when he says "there's only one way to rock!!!!!!" in the chorus, I'll scream in their faces "AND THAT'S STANDING UP, NOT SITTING ON A FUCKING BENCH, CUNTS!!!!!" then I slappa their face. And then I finish them off with a huge fucking sac load of awesome non-pussygay DLR Van Halen that vaporizes all of humanity because DLR goes HA-HA-HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW.


I slappa their fuckin face. They're miserable because their mothers take it in the FUCKIN ass, that's why! (Tom Joyce) (Seanpaul White)
How sad a u!!! Ok so you don't like Tori!! Big , who really care what you like or dislike.. To be honest im sure your opinion matter little to anyone. Your just using up space on the internet with your negative views and bull shit ideas. Maybe you should get out more???? Locked in your room all year dishing Tori LOL!!!!! How many albums have u made??? Really that many. Do u even play an instrument?? Think it's time you grew up!!! Tori Amos is a goddess and honey sounds to me like your a closet fan, why else would you put so much effort and time into something so sad??? Oh and most likely and in denial of your sexuality as well...Fag boy...
Why is it that every time I read a positive Tori Amos review, it is intelligent, eloquent, mature, and often poetic in nature. When I read a negative review, however, people find int necessary to resort to puerile namecalling and assenine taunting? Furthermore, I can appreciate a well-developed argument against Tori's music; hell, even I've been terribly annoyed by one or two of her songs, but if you are going to publicize your opinions, at least make sure they are comprehensible, intelligent and somewhat mature.

Now, if any of the respondents on this site can offer me a negative review of Tori's Music, one conceived with a modicum of clarity and reason, maybe I can be swayed to agree with you. Until then I will be forced to agree with the smart, loyal, and beautiful fans of this Goddess! (Rob DelMedico)
I must ask you, sir, why do people confuse "intelligence" with "class"? Using profanity is not a sign of a lack of intelligence. Idiot. Oops. Now I must be stupid, as I insulted you. Darn. (R. Kronenburg)


Adam Hammack
Eh. Good idea for an album. Half-way decent choices for covers, even. But it seems like every one of these that I was looking forward to hearing when the album came out disappointed me. ("Happiness is a Warm Gun", "Enjoy the Silence") The rest struck me as utterly inconsequential. I can honestly say I've only listened to this one two or three times, and I don't really plan on giving it too many more tries. Not too impressive. 2/10 (Daniel Powel)
I will give some reasons why Tori mostly sucks:

1) Most of the albums have tons of pretentious, long, overblown piano ballads that are usually completely devoid of any actual melody or structure.

2) Her affected vocals are mind numbingly grating

3) With the exception of female college art majors, NONE ONE gives a shit about Tori's crappy minister childhood

4) Her cover of Heart of Gold.

5) All the covers on Strange Little Girls.

6) After about 8 albums and over 100 songs (at least), I can count the quality ones (you know, those with a melody) on one hand.

What? Why is Tori good?

1) Great Piano Player

2) Great Playing Style

3) She's Hot

The moral: She should have been a session player for Roxy Music's new tour and never written a song (or maybe just one album-which might have been decent)

Add your thoughts?

Scarlet's Walk - Sony 2002
Rating = 3

What is this, 1975?


Then why are we sitting here listening to this boringass Joni Mitchell confessional female singer-songwriter piano boring bullshit shit???

Myra Ellen Amos has become nothing more or morer than a middle-of-the-road bland woman adult contemporary Natalie Merchant ass-fucker. The lyrics are indecipherable poetic repetitions supposedly inspired by 9/11 and the plight of the Native Americans, and the music belongs on an orthodontist's inoffensive (except to people with TASTE) radio station. Haven't we heard all these melodies a million times already? Where are the emotions? Where is the "anything interesting at all"? Dull doldrums and drama, driven by fretless bass, strings, acoustic guitars and more empty piano chords than you'll find in a box of Old Man McGillicudy's Empty Piano Chords Box. I like three of the songs, but out of 18, that's only 1/6th of 18, which is a bad percentage. I'll go with the cute bouncy lil' "Wednesday," the cool little Fleetwood Mac dark groove "Pancake" and the nice whirling circling "Virginia." And she pulls off some harrowing choruses in "Crazy" and "I Can't See New York." But that still leaves - let's see, five minus eighteen, okay -- 24 songs that aren't any good! And that doesn't even COUNT the album cover!

Okay okay okay okay okay, you, okay okay, you caught me. The truth is simple: This is not my kind of music. It's too subtle. It seems like nothing at all is happening emotionally or musically, but that's because I'm always in search of BIG expressions of loud, proud bombast, like Spooky Tooth's "IN YOUR FACE" Witness LP. But I hate this. It goes on for eight billion years and there are hardly any songs that don't sound like Paul Simon with his dick slammed in a piano. Dude, you know what would be awesome? If I were to cut and paste the All-Music Guide review of this album into this review, and then assholishly disagree with all of it. Let's do it!

Perhaps Tori Amos didn't intentionally whittle her audience down to merely the rabidly devoted ever since Boys for Pele, (MAYBE ALL HER FORMER FANS REACHED AGE TEN AND OUTGREW HER SELF-PITYING BULLSHIT) but it sure seemed that way with the deliberately abstract arrangements, double albums, and cover records (NOT TO MENTION ALL THE POORLY-WRITTEN SONGS!). That devoted cult (OF ASSHOLES) may be all that pay attention to Scarlet's Walk, her first album for Epic, but it marks a return to the sound and feel of Under the Pink (IT'S JUST AS RADIO-READY AND WORTHLESS AS THAT RELEASE) and is her best album since then (IF BY "BEST," YOU MEAN "WORST"... WELL, YOU'RE STILL WRONG). Much was made at the time of release about its concept (GUESS I MISSED ALL THE "HYPE") - conceived as a journey through modern womanhood (EVERY SONG IS ABOUT MENSTRUATION?), when Tori herself journeyed through each state in the union (DEEP!) - but following the narrative is secondary to the feel of the music, which is warm, melodic, and welcoming (LIKE A WARM, MELODIC BAG OF DIARRHEA), never feeling labored as so much of her last four albums often did (NO NO -- USING THE WORD "LABORED" IMPLIES THAT SHE PUT ACTUAL EFFORT INTO THOSE RECORDS). This doesn't mean it's an altogether easy listen (ESPECIALLY THE FIFTEEN SONGS THAT AREN'T ANY GOOD AT ALL): an intensive listen reveals layers of pain (IN THE LISTENER) and an uneasiness murmuring underneath the surface (WHERE YOU MIGHT NORMALLY EXPECT TO FIND A "MELODY"), but it's delivered reassuringly, in croons and lush arrangements (I GUESS I GOT A DEFECTIVE COPY) that nevertheless are filled with quirks, making it both comforting and provocative (EVERY BIT AS PROVOCATIVE AS A STEVIE NICKS ALBUM). Which, of course, is what Tori Amos delivered in her early years (WHY, YOU'RE RIGHT! I'VE NEVER FELT MORE COMFORTED THAN THAT A CAPELLA SONG ABOUT HER GETTING RAPED AT GUNPOINT!). If this isn't as startling as Little Earthquakes or majestic as Under the Pink, so be it (I CAN THINK OF TWO BETTER ADJECTIVES THAN "STARTLING" AND "MAJESTIC" TO DESCRIBE UNDER THE PINK -- AND ONE OF THEM RHYMES WITH "FUCKING PATHETIC"). It's confident, alluring, and accomplished (WHAT HAS SHE ACCOMPLISHED? A 74-MINUTE HELEN REDDY SONG?), luring listeners in instead of daring them to follow (WHO ON EARTH COULD POSSIBLY BE "LURED" BY MUSIC THIS NONDESCRIPT? OH WAIT, THE ANSWER'S COMING SOON). And, frankly, it's a relief that she finally delivered another record like that. - Stephen Thomas Erlewine (THERE'S YOUR ANSWER!).

Reader Comments

Adam Hammack
REALLY, REALLY GOOD!!! Possibly her best album all-around in my opinion. I'd give it an 8/10. There isn't much filler (besides the a capella track and one or two others), it's almost all quite catchy, and even though it's one of those pretentious Art Garfunkel-y "I'm traveling across America" albums, it somehow manages to not totally piss me off. This one is very inoffensive and "normal" musically, almost adult-contemporary sounding in places. It uses pretty standard "band" arrangements with piano's, Fender Rhodes, guitars, bass and drums; not a lot of the opaque electronic elements of the last one. Just very warm sounding production that really suits the material. Of course, even without a lot of the atmospherics of some of her other recent stuff, it has much more going on than, say, Sarah McLachlan usually does. And Tori produced it mostly by herself, so somebody give her a pat on the head and a new tampon, would you? I would heartily recommend this album to anybody who likes piano-driven singer/songwriter music, I don't care what Prindle says.

Also, since Mark is probably in no hurry to do so himself, I reviewed the recent "Best Of" set for you all. (Of course, since I don't despise Tori as much as Mark seems to, the conclusions I reach regarding its contents probably will not resemble his eventual review in the slightest. Actually, if you want to check out what his review might look like, drink lots of dark soda pop and then spit at your screen for a little while. When it's nice and sticky, rub some sand and ground up cheetos into it. Then pee on it. If you're lucky, that might look about ugly enough to match the bile Mark spews when it comes time to write about Tori.)

"A Tori Amos Collection -- Tales of a Librarian" : Really good. A "hits" collection of sorts, but chosen by Tori to reflect what she thinks of as her own best compositions. That sounds like the makings of a perfectly wretched train wreck, but actually, I have very few problems with this one. Sure, a few songs like "Jackie's Strength" which I really dislike made the cut, a few songs that I really enjoy like "Caught a Light Sneeze" did not make the cut, and they put a retarded fucking dance-remix to "Professional Widow" on there which completely shatters the mood of the CD exactly half-way through. (You get to the eighth track and all of the sudden the most generic, crap bass drum beat ever starts in and you think you're listening to DJ Icey-Prick or some jerk-off. These fucking piece-of-shit DJ assholes that remove all melodic and chordal elements from a song and reduce it to drums and one vocal phrase repeated ad infinitum FUCKING PISS ME OFF!) Anyway, for the most part I've really been enjoying this since it came out. If you come to a track you don't like, just skip it and there's a good chance you'll like the next one better. (I can't say the same about 'Pele'.) The most interesting thing of all about this collection to me is that almost all of the songs have either been HEAVILY remixed or completely re-recorded altogether. The stuff from "Little Earthquakes", for instance, has a much more organic and less "reverb-y" early 90's vibe to it. It was all done so well that it took me a few times listening to some of them to even notice that they'd been changed. And oh, there are two unreleased tracks on here as well, at least one of which ("Angel") holds up to the best material she's yet released. Nothing on here from "Scarlett", though. I think this was the last thing put out by her old label, and "Scarlett" is her debut for the new one. Anyway, this one's definitely worth having if you're even slightly interested in Tori, but you're gonna want to make a CDR without that asinine dance mix on it. 8/10 (without the dance-mix.) (Danielle Lovett)
If you don't like her then why are you giving her so much press? Quit bitching and do something productive. So lame of you.
with all ur shit ur not going to stop us from liking her you know! (Rick Bradley)
She's a fair piano player, but she sucks.

Caterwalling and meandering, she is the worst and inspire girls and women to wallow in their own self-pity.

She is lame, I wouldn't buy and album of hers if I had your money. She can't sing is totally vapid and only lezbo's and man-haters get what she's talking about.

She writes songs about vibrators. What man do you know writes songs about his hand, masterbation yes but vibrators? why don't you take your self-pittying, wallowing, sel-absorbed, caterwalling ass out of here what a bunch of shit. Her music makes me go limp, and I had a hard on at the time she came on........she is a dudes nightmare, and an old as chick now at that.

Sorry grandma Amos, blow (Raine)
It always amazes me the people that can't see beyond the end of their nose. Tori Amos is a gifted and talented artist, who sees the soul in her music. She is a dealer of distortions. twisting the truth to see the other side. (Daniel Powel)
You know, I have this RealPlayer Rhapsody, so I can listen to anything-no matter how painful.

So, after two days of traveling down that alcohol and razor coated Slip and Slide called Torn Anus' Entire Catalog (at work-boredom will make you do odd things), I have to say; this is about the best thing that I've heard from her. She mostly sings not like an over affected asshole. The production is nice.

She still sucks.
OK Marko,

What's up with your page? If you really don't like tori then why the whole page about her? You sound like some loser wannabe punk hard ass that does'nt know shit. No offense. I cant tell if you're that or gay. Which I have no problem with. But you come across really fucking fucked. I believe the only problem you have with Tori Amos is, is that she unlike all the skanks that are around now has real talent. not some garbage singing in front of a mirror with your older sisters hand me downs performing to make a dick hard like Britney Spears or whoever. Recognize real talent when you come across it.
I'm somewhere between Adam and Mark on this one. Certain parts of the record are really strong, but some are just bland. There are songs that are completely void of interesting melodies and don't come anywhere near reaching a fresh hook. The record starts good with three good songs in a row. I like the way she sings "Into every young man's Bedroom -- you gave it up/on DVD and magazine --you gave it up/a private rite of passage --you gave it up/to every boy's sweet dream" in Amber Waves. Sure, it's a common melody as a lot of the material on this album. Mark was right, a lot of it sounds like something you might hear in orthodontist's office.

A Sorta Fairytale is quite nice too. Wednesday is amazing. Lyrics and music are top notch. Sweet Sangria, Crazy, Mrs. Jesus, I Can't See New York, Taxi Ride, Scarlet's Walk, Virginia, Another Girl's Paradise and Gold Dust are all good songs. I can't hate Tori when she makes something as beautiful as Pancake. Rock on, Pancake! Seriously, this song is the finest on the record. The lyrics are unbelievably good and the music is very soothing. The record comes as pretty good, but it's too long. If she dropped some songs from it, it'd be great. Otherwise, a good effort, but I give this one a low 7.

Add your thoughts?

The Beekeeper - Epic 2005
Rating = 4

Hay, if George Bush asks you what I thought of the movie Deep Throat, be hilarious and say, "W., Mark felt..." and then just start laughing and whip your dick out and pee on his shoe. Then punch him a hundred times in a row in the face, take a razor blade and slice his body neatly into two pieces, and then cement the two outside portions together so that the internal organs face the outside, fall out and glop all over the floor. Then vacuum all of it up, empty the vacuum bag into several ice cube trays, put in the freezer for 12 hours, then pile the flavorful ice cubes back into the empty shell portions of his body, use a jackhammer to break through the cement, turn the outside portions back inside (facing each other), seal together with Krazy Glue, and enjoy your new cold President with hardened cement on each side of his body!

- Cooking With Heloise, Random House Books 1974

Well, Tori Amos is back. Back with her finest album since To Venus And Back, which is saying absolutely nothing since she hasn't released a good album since Little Earthquakes, but the main culprit for this album being so unbearably boring is its length. Nobody - I mean NOBODY, not even her BIGGEST FANS - need 77 minutes of Tori Amos material on one album. Especially if she's determined to stick with this Carole King/Joni Mitchell '70s soft rock singer-songwriter style she's picked up over the past few years. My wife, purportedly a woman, hated this CD even more than I did, at one point exclaiming, "Can you turn off this whiny shit, please?" I personally hear no whining on this particular Amos release, so I responded, "It sounds whiny to you? It sounds calm and relaxed to me." The wife's final word on the subject: "It sounds like music by some Renaissance Fair loser." And I thought, "Yikes!" because my wife was right! If this trend continues and women continue to be right, it won't be long before the whole country is ovulating! You won't be able to walk down the street without slipping and falling face-first into a river of menses!

Here, let me try to articulate why I don't like this CD. It's not offensive, not annoying, and quite frankly it provides perfectly good background music for gardening or some other skirt-wearing nature pursuit for girls. But if you really try to listen to the songs - really concentrate with all your might - you notice that she's not doing anything interesting. A few lovely piano twiggles here and there, some catchy Madonna-esque tunes (mid-period Madonna) here and there, lots of sorrowful post-goth tear-wringing here and there, but mainly just a bunch of predictable happy/sad piano ballads and peaceful hippy folk stylings. It's mostly piano-built as you'd expect, with some occasional acoustic strumming, and I don't know drums from an ass in the ground but a lot of the songs have that r'n'b drum sound where the hard beat goes 'KACK' like one of those fuckin' doctor things that slams down and pricks your finger when they want to take your blood. If you ever want to demolish the tranquility of your heartwarming piano ballad, I'd advise going with the 'KACK' electronic beat. The aural equivalent of a man beating himself in the skull with a bone pulled from his own amputated arm, the 'KACK' beat has a promising future in sucking all positive lifeforce out of the universe.

Lyrically, the album's theme seems to revolve around a woman whose man keeps leaving her, coming back and thowin' her a nut, then leaving her again, and her daughter dying or something. Sources indicate that she uses lots of literary metaphors but all I read are stroke books so don't turn to me for guidance. As long as her clothes are on, I don't know WHAT the fuck she's talking about!

Here are a few winning phrases pulled from my notes, for you see I make notes while listening to CDs for review. Many of your other top reviewers do no such thing, but I feel it's important to have some idea about what it is I'm writing about, especially since I can never remember how any of the songs go when they're over and I don't know the song titles because I only have it on an MP3 disc and that's at home. But that's the difference between me and other critics: I care.

Here then are the phrases, all determined to better exact your vision what herein to sounds this album as:

"She could have made the vocal harmony haunting, but failed to do so" - Oh! That reminds me! There's a lot of harmony background vocals on this album, probably performed by Tori herself, a professional singer! See? Without this note, I never would have remembered that.

"Gentle piano thing."

"Gentle piano. Sounds happy, or at least comfortable."

"Cool high piano chord triplets! Good verse! Eh, never mind. The chorus is too happy."

"Peaceful, nice, substandard."

"Slow miserable piano forgettable"

"Slow comfortable piano forgettable"

"Generic as hell 'riff.' Nondescript folky vocal melody. Like Indigo Girls happy lesbo shit."

"If Eric Clapton was a woman."

"Lamest lyrics EVER. Pretty piano playing though."

"Eck. Too happy-dappy hippy-dippy folk nature peace bleah! The wife says it sounds like Tori Amos's bid to do a car commercial -- and it includes the lyric 'Driving in my Saab'!!!!!"

"Her voice sounds JUST LIKE Stevie Nicks in this one. Actually, the music does too. Christ! Why not just call it 'Gold Dust Woman II: Golder and Dustier'?"

"Why is she singing like that? 'Face' is 'FUH-AYCE' 'House' is 'HAY-YOWSE' 'Bank' is 'BUH-AYNK' 'Bacon' is 'BUH-AYY-KUN' What is wrong with this idiot? Someone kick this woman in the balls."

"Piano reminiscent of a later REM song whose name I don't know. Also reminds me of one of John Lennon's songs for Yoko whose name I don't know. The song, I mean. I know Yoko's name. It's Yoko."

"They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I guess a picture of Tori Amos is worth a thousand words about how boring this album is."

I have to go home now. I'm leaving early tomorrow on a vacation and I want you all to have a great time. Say hello! I'll be the guy in the log!

Reader Comments
wow. you're one opinionated bastard. you don't like tori amos.. so why do you waste your time reviewing her albums? especially since your reviews are biased, totally suck, and are complete closed-minded opinion. go figure out what incredible talent, style, and originality, and give these albums another listen. oh yes, drop dead too.
RE: guy

Using "opinionated" as a pejorative strikes me (ouch!) as fairly bizarre. But as for why Mark keeps reviewing these albums without pay, I'm not sure. I mean, he has listened to every Tori Amos album to date and can be fairly certain that he's not going to like each new release at all, so I can only assume that he likes the sensation of not liking things. As he's obviously only listening to Tori as a result of needing material for this site, I figure he just likes writing negative reviews - which probably isn't the most noble trait in the world to have, but I can certainly sympathyze with it. Nothing is more boring than writing about music you enjoy. There's only so many variations on "this is great" that one person can handle writing.
I wish the damned bees would sting some sense into her. Sweet the sting, indeed.

This isn't very good. I liked "Scarlet", and thought it hit about as close to normal as a Tori album could without turning into a Sarah McClauclin album. (If I mis-spelled Sarah's last name, it's 'cuz she shouldn't have been such a stupid cunt.) This is entirely too bland sounding. The production sounds laughably flat, and most of the songs aren't terribly intriguing either.

My wife is a big Tori fan. She got the special edition disc with the (yippee) DVD. Tori Amos is, I can tell you now with complete certainty, INSANE. Listening to her explain the concept of seeing herself as the "beekeeper" to all of these songs and mentioning Native Americans no less than 37 times was nearly disgusting. Actually, it was nearly incoherent. It was about like listening to a Syd Barrett interview. She goes off on tangents and conveys points through extended (cough cough nut-so) metaphors about guacamole and incas and such. Actually, I don't remember a damned thing she said. I just remember thinking she sounded like a mental patient and then forcing myself to have another beer out of desperation and rage.

And then another.


There are a few good songs, but I wouldn't really recommend this disc to anyone whom i didn't dislike. I enjoyed "Scarlet", and still do (in the context of "recording artists whom my wife really likes but with whom i'm not entirely enamored"), but this is a step too far in the direction that Tori started on her previous album. It's not just in-offensive, it's out-right bland.

Tori herself, however, is still quite tasty.

mmmmmm......... Native American Nuts...............

(That's what she tastes like, see...)
i don't care what any of you say, tori's music is soothing. (Verukah)
I must say, I am a professional, well-educated woman… I go to work, pay my bills, raise my children… and I f*%@ing love Tori… Just letting you know…
Maybe before you decide to diss Tori Amos – you should first try & understand the essence of the human soul.

Maybe you should read the lyrics – no wait... someone should read it to you because God knows, you won't get it. (Marnie)
Boys, Tori Amos's music is not perfect BY ANY MEANS, but the WAY you guys critic her is so reactionary that your opinions are meaningless. Try experiencing her music objectively, pushing aside all those homo fearing feelings.

She's pop music and everyone who makes it big turns into water-downed pop. On the social perspective ( which is music's ONLY purpose alot of the time) she's a representation of a female TRYING to live in Compassion and Heart. This is a fucking hard thing to do in this world- there are alot of failures. I thinkTori has a peice of it. Just like you boys are TRYING to be smart and strong and live life like men who are not push overs. You're not that successful either. You're reactionary and only looking like a member of that BORING! BORING!BORING!BORING!BORING!BORING!BORING!SOOOOOOOOOOOOOFUCKINGBORING boys club.

Try listening and criticing Kate Bush, she's less mainstream and truly more connected to the sensitive feminine. If you come up with the same approach, it's maybe you, sweethearts, not the artist, who have to raise some standards....

love & peace (if you're up to it)
I personally don't care what people think about me; (a male) loving everything that Tori does...there is something about her..her voice? (verbal and musical)...her mind? it awakens something deep in my lower spine. and when I look at her eyes.. I see home

Thank you very much (Mary Katherine)
I admit it: Tori is my guilty pleasure. Sometimes I'm in the mood for sad stuff and she's great. Mostly. Even when I enjoy her, the way her lyrics mean nothing really irritates me.

but that doesn't mean I like what I've heard of Tori the person. I don't know what to think of her except that she doesn't have much insight into herself. For example, on the official bootlegs she did a cover of "Don't Look Back in Anger." She preceded this with a 2 minute, 11 second rant (I ff every time, that's how I know) about how Morrissey really pissed her off years ago. The anecdote is apropos of nothing, since all she's saying is that she won't do a song from him since she can't stand him. Then she sings "don't look back in anger" about 20 times or so in the song, puts the whole thing on the bootleg, and sells it.

Of course, there is the possibility that she is exhibiting a masterful use of irony. However, if I were Morrissey, I'd suggest she google "unintentional irony."

are you going to review her official bootlegs? I'd love to get your take on it.
Wow, I just read all these comments on the music of Tori Amos. Not one was by anyone who really knows anything about music (sorry, just obvious). And I'm not saying that because the comments were negative. Just blatantly non sensical really. Sounds like a bunch of little toddlers trying to sound like legitimate music critics. Come on! Phrases like "total imprisoned pedophile forced penile enema excretion". I laughed my ass off!

And....comments like

"Well I have a Berlin album called Count Three And Pray which I imagine sounds like this - i.e. total rubbish (apart from Take My Breath Away, of course)".

Honey, if off the whole album the only song you felt was up to par was "Take My Breath Away" then you don't know music at all.

"Tori Amos is a competent enough piano 'n' voice merchant but she will never, EVER have one tenth of Kate Bush's talent". Come on! Let's face it, you heard a breathy female singer with a piano and thought they were putting out the same music, right? Then you didn't really ever hear either at all. And COME ON! Comapring Tori Amos and Elton John! Why would anyone ever do that? Oh yeah, because they're the only two piano players that the writer has obviously ever been exposed to. Too many other embarrassing references made on here to point out.

Kids trying to sound grown up about cute.
Who do you people like musically? I think Tori has had some creative death like every artist...but she is refreshing compared to the shit that is on the radio. Yes, she was heavily influenced by Kate Bush...every artist has influences and uses them for inspiration.

Some of the comments you have made are very insensitive...not even about Tori necessarily, but of women being "cunts" and getting raped like it's a funny irony. Not funny dude. Grow up and get a new hobby.
you're pathetic thoughts should keep to yourself. I doubt you could recognize talent in any aspect. Tori rules. listen to yourself you selfabsorbed jackass.
Not my favourite Tori Amos album by any means, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. For Tori fans, that is, I wouldn't recommend it to the uninitiated, because it's way too self-indulgent in many places. But that's the deal with her music - it requires active participation, and playing along. For those who do, the journey through psyche, mythology and politics on which she acts as a guide is immensely rewarding.

PS. This is rather a cool site. Since you seem to admire Steve Albini, have you ever thought about writing reviews on Nina Nastasia?

Gee Mark,

You love to hate Tori Amos more than her cry-hard fans love to love her. Seriously, how many hours of your life have you spent re-arranging the letters of her name? You have a weird, sick, and backwards obsession with her. You should seek therapy or suicide (suicide, the album by Suicide. It may take your mind of Tori for awhile). Oh, and by the way, you are most definitely gay. You have every bit of raging-Homo spite as every Faggot I’ve ever met. You are one QUEER mother-fucking FAGGOT, and you LOVE Tori Amos, faggot. You will feel better if you come to terms with your love for GOREY ANUS FUCKING.
Hmmm...the problem with this one seems to be the lack of things happening on it. Like Mark said, she's not doing anything interesting at all. The melodies are nice for the most part, but nothing here comes anywhere near being strong enough to top something from her previous records. Even the ones I hate like To Venus And Back had Juarez. Scarlet's Walk was also mellow, but it had Pancake. Nothing here can top stuff from Little Earthquakes, Under The Pink and Boys For Pele. She lost the ability to write strong songs here. Her lyrics have gone downhill. All the melodies here sound like something you've already heard because it's typical "melody central" material. The record is also too long and some material on it is boring and bad.

But let's name those melodic parts: Parasol has a nice vibe ("I haven't moved since the call came"), Sweet The Sting is sweet indeed (but has this predictable vocal melody "where others have failed"), The Power Of Orange Knickers ("Who is this terrorist?"), Jamaica Inn ("the pirates have come"), General Joy ("where your boys were left behind"), Mother Revolution (the whole song sounds like something you've heard so many times before, but it's still a good tune), Witness ("Is there anyone? Is it any wonder?" - catchy!), Marys Of The Sea ("Les Saint Marie de la Mer, you will dance your ring"). It's all nice and melodic, but the record lacks surprises. She's playing it safe here, which makes no sense, cause she always crossed some boundaries before and it worked well. I don't think she sold out. I think she didn't work on these songs too long. She just made new material and didn't care enough to finish it and produce it properly. It would help if the band and the producer tried to do something too, but they're all so stiff here.

It's not annoying, it's not whiny, she's not in a mood for self-pity, she's not pronouncing the words weirdly as Mark suggests, she's not doing anything particularly crazy, but that's the point. It just lacks good stuff. Little Earthquakes gave us the acapella and mighty tunes, Under The Pink gave us juxtapositions, Boys For Pele gave us harpischord and some nice obscure material. This is just too bland. It's a shame, cause the songs could have grown into something majestic, but here they are, being just soothing enough. Thankfully, American Doll Posse was headed towards something different and more band-oriented. The production of ADP is also nice and the tunes are interesting. I give The Beekeeper a high five. 5/10

Add your thoughts?

American Doll Posse - Epic 2007
Rating = 1

Okay so I'm hanging out with Tikki-Tikki-Tembo-Nosa-Rimbo-Cherry-Berry-Roochi-Pip-Berry-Pimbo the other day, and all of a sudden he falls into this muhfuckin well. And I'm all like, "WTF!? Get out of that muhfuckin well, Tikki-Tikki-Tembo-Nosa-Rimbo-Cherry-Berry-Roochi-Pip-Berry-Pimbo!" And he's all like, "Dude, get someone - I'm totally-ass drowning!" So I runs to the old cobbler man and I'm all out of breath and scared so I says to him I says, "Hey, Tikki-Nosa-Cherry-Berry-Nosa-Rimbo-Ruppi-Pimbo fell into the well!" And he's all like, "That's not his name. Say it correctly." And I tries like four, five more times but he keeps telling me I have to say his name correctly, and totally-ass ignores the part about the well cuz he's a muhfuckin bitch. Long story short, Tikki-Tikki-Tembo-Nosa-Rimbo-Cherry-Berry-Roochi-Pip-Berry-Pimbo is dead at the bottom of the well, so Chinks name their kids shit like "Jun Ku" and "Bip Na" now. That's my fable. FUCK YOU!

Some Old Chinese Proverb Guy

It doesn't take a man with a Degree In School to note that "Tori Amos" backwards is "Soma - I rot!" Interestingly, this is also her artistic philosophy.

"I'm pretty sure she has narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder. Why? Because of the level of self-pity and ego mixed with slight craziness and drama that goes into every record she's released. I don't think a normal person could do it for that long." - Brenda Prindle

"She plays five different characters on this album? Ugh. That's so FEMALE!" - Brenda Prindle

"-ibble!" - Henry Benjamin Aske-Prindle The Dog

Leading top recognized musical expert and rock and roll critiquesmith Mark Prindle knew there'd be trouble the minute he heard the lyric "I am a M.I.L.F. Don't you forget." That's right. Tori Amos on track two of her new album announces to the world, "I'm a mother I'd like to fuck." Well, do feel free to fuck yourself, Ms. Amos.

Ten reasons I hate this album:

1) It has 23 songs, and a good 20 of them are among the most useless, unnecessary pieces of music I've ever heard in my life.

2) Tori Amos absolutely refuses to not pronounce every other word like a complete asshole. "Know" should not be pronounced "gnaw." "Teenage" is not spelled "Teee-nuh-ay-eej." "Dirty" does not have three syllables. Those are a's in "bad man," not o's. "I" is not spelled "Ah-ooo-hi." Ditto for "me" and "muh-ay." Ditto ditto for "okay" and "oh-kuh-ay." Ditto ditto ditto for "Hey," "Huh-ay-ee," "Stay" and "Stuh-ay." And I think "Station"/"Stuh-ayy-shun" and "complication"/"compli-kuh-ay-tion" speak for themselves. WHY DOES SHE SING LIKE THIS??? SHE'S NOT FROM THE DEEP SOUTH, AND EVEN IF SHE WERE, SHE WOULDN'T PRONOUNCE HER WORDS LIKE THIS!!! But enough of my yelling in print form.

3) She writes and performs the songs as five different characters, all of whom look remarkably like Tori Amos with different wigs on. The interesting thing about these characters - Tori, Clyde, Santa, Isabel and Pip - is that none of them can write a song.

4) Each of the five characters has her own online blog. Maybe this should be reason #1.

5) Nearly every track is either a corny macho rocker (with hoTTT metal guitar!) or dull anemic ballad (with colDDD piano and string section!).

6) It's not exactly "Memorable Melody Central." In fact, I count... umm... one memorable melody. That would be track three, which sounds specifically formulated for radioplay but is indeed catchy. Great disco beat too!

7) The lyric "Sometimes I think I understand/The fear in the boy, the fire in the man."

8) One of the songs is anti-Bush. In 2007. Don't be afraid to press those controversial buttons, Tori!

9) A promising dog-oriented song completely shot to hell by the first-line pronunciation "You can bray-ing your doe-ahg...."

10) "MILF" is not a sexy term of empowerment for aging females to adopt as self-identification. It's not like telling yourself you're beautiful even if you weigh 300 pounds; "MILF" is a reflection of one person's opinion of another person. You can't declare yourself a MILF. It would be like me calling myself a "GTATGWTHSW" (Guy That All The Girls Want To Have Sex With). If no man has expressed interest in "F"-ing you, you're not a MILF!

Also, here are a bunch of zombie movies I've seen:

Zombi 2 - A zombie fights a shark! A woman has her eyeball shoved into a large wooden splinter (and vice-versa!). Gory and wonderful! Several of Lucio Fulci's other movies featured zombies too, but this is the only one that's ALL about zombies.

Dawn Of The Dead - I haven't seen it since the 8th grade and found it a bit overlong and dull at the time, but I'd probably like it now.

Burial Ground (Nights of Terror) - HILARIOUS. People just stand around in terror as zombies lumber towards them. An ADULT MIDGET plays the role of a small child who is obsessed with his mother's breasts. At the end, he becomes zombified, she lets him breast-feed, and he BITES HER NIPPLE OFF!!! AN ABSOLUTE MUST-SEE! IT'S SO BAD!!

Dead and Buried - Really fantastic one about a town full of seemingly normal people who are actually zombies, and keep killing all interlopers and turning them into zombies. The great twist ending should have been predictable, but I for some reason didn't see it coming.

Zombie Lake - Another one that's so awful, it's a must-see. The absolute worst direction, make-up, acting and dubbing you will ever see. But NEVER boring. Every scene brings a stupider element that wasn't there before. Has tons of nudity too, which is a plus.

Day of the Dead - Good actioner with a cute "good zombie" named Bub

Night of the Living Dead - The original. Scary!

Land of the Dead - Zombies zombies zombies away! I expected this to stink, but I quite enjoyed it while watching. Dennis Hopper is always a hooter, for example.

Shaun of the Dead - HILARIOUS!

Revenge Of The Dead - Also known as "Zeder," this is a different sort of zombie picture. More of a slow but interesting mystery that culminates with zombies and a "Pet Sematary"-style ending. It involves a typewriter ribbon and "K-Zones."

28 Days Later - I liked it, but don't remember a thing about it. No interest in seeing 28 Weeks later.

Zombie 3 - Pretty basic. I enjoyed it, but it was no classic. Come to think of it, what the hell was it about? Zombies?

Dawn of the Dead (remake) - The first 10 minutes are INCREDIBLE!!! Slows down after that, but still good

The Boneyard - A funny, bizarre one with Phyllis Diller and Norman Fell. Features a giant zombified poodle!

Dead Alive - Sweet Jesus is this one hilarious. Maybe the goriest film ever - and smart! Peter Jackson did it. A must-see. Not scary at all, but more fun than a tiny remote-controlled car. A comedic, extremely bloody and gory take on zombies. Lawn mower!

Cemetery Man - A more philosophical take on zombies. Really smart, literary, funny, artistic. Very, very good.

Hell of the Living Dead - Boring and overlong, but I'm a moron so I enjoyed it anyway.

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie - Really good Spanish one (set in Britain) from the early 70s. Dark and serious, with good acting and really creepy scenarios.

Night of the Comet - Fun! Valley girls against zombies.

Night of the Creeps - Hilarious! A light-hearted 80s one with zombified frat boys and a funny-as-hell parody of a 'tough cop' character.

Plan 9 from Outer Space - People love this for its 'ineptness,' but I found it mostly dull. I actually fell asleep, to be honest. This is to take nothing away from Ed Wood himself, whom I do find entertaining in concept (and Glen Or Glenda was a scream).

Tombs of the Blind Dead - Takes forever to get going, but the blind dead are really eerie when they finally show up. They ride horses and have to HEAR people to attack them (they're BLIND, you see!). I've no interest in seeing the four sequels though, if that's okay.

Return of the Living Dead - I loved this when I was a kid, but haven't seen it in years. I remember laughing at a pair of mortuary workers named "Bert" and "Ernie."

Return of the Living Dead 3 - A teenaged kid tries to save his dead girlfriend by bringing her back to life, but she slowly turns into a flesh-eating zombie. Sad but very good.

Shock Waves - Nazi Zombies who live underwater! Ahh!

Slither - A rip-off of Night of the Creeps, but still tons of enjoyable.

City of the Walking Dead - Walking, my eye! These zombies run, and are fast as all get-out! Really creepy. Some awful acting and a terrible ending, but man -- fast zombies are scary!

Reanimator - I saw it when I was a kid and found it too silly, but I'd probably appreciate it more now.

The Dead Pit - Everybody in this movie overacts like crazy, but I enjoyed it because it has dead people who walk around trying to kill you.

Deathdream - A tragic, excellent one about a Vietnam War casualty who returns from the grave because his mother can't bear to lose him. But... he's a ZOMBIE!

the Evil Dead trilogy - You've seen these, I'm sure. The second one is one of the greatest movies ever. And I'm proud to say that I eagerly awaited its release after enjoying the first one on video as a child! I was so excited when it finally came out. I remember seeing the TV commercial for it over at Stephen Mott's house, while his asshole stepfather was probably upstairs snorting cocaine the prick.

A Virgin Among The Living Dead - These zombies act like normal people. A very slow, not terribly interesting movie. I know it seems crazy that a Jess Franco movie could be "not terribly interesting" but somehow...

I also own a few others that I haven't watched yet: Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, Day Of The Mummy, Plague of the Zombies and Night of the Living Dead (remake). I also asked for Zombie Holocaust for my birthday so hopefully I'll have that one soon.

It's strange that I like zombie movies so much considering that I usually hate stock horror characters. I can't stand vampire movies, for example. What the hell's scary about a vampire? And werewolves? Oooooo! Look at the scary werewolf! (*makes fart noise*) But something about zombie movies makes me refrain from making a fart noise. The gross factor, the gore, the way an epidemic always starts with like one zombie and then escalates until hundreds of them are coming at you from all sides -- they're just really eerie! And/or stupid! Most of them have a downbeat ending where everybody dies too, so that's pretty funny.

Speaking of which, my wife and I saw a really violent motorcycle/car accident a couple days ago. A car stopped short and the motorcyclist behind him skidded under the back of the car, then flew off his bike and flipped/bounced all over the road three or four times. Unexpectedly, he then got up, hopped back on his bike and drove away. Too bad, because about six of us had already called 911! Ha ha, you stupid police, firemen and ambulances sure looked like an asshole risking your lives to speed through rush hour traffic to a non-existent accident scene! Fuck you, people who help other people.

Look, here's my impression of an ambulance. "Wheeeooo! Wheeeooo! I'm a stupid asshole!"

Reader Comments
Dead Alive? Where I come from that's called Braindead and it IS bloody hillarious! Especially that bit with the priest "I kick ass for the lord!" Magic!
Tori claiming she is a MILF. I guess she is attractive enough but totally has this "I suck in bed" vibe about her.

Anyway, not only had I not seen any of the 101 horror movies, but I haven't seen any of these Zombie movies all the way through. In fact, the only one I had seen any of was Plan 9 mainly cause I'm in sci-fi.

There are bad movies. Then there are bad movies that are so bad they are enjoyable. But Plan 9 somehow goes one step beyond into so bad that you feel it sucking the life force out of your body. Plus it was boring as you said. I only made it 20-30 minutes in and couldn't take it anymore. (Leslie)
yes! DEAD AND buried was excellent! zombu2...zombi 2 had its moments, but i was expecting more... my ex g.friend cried within the first 10 mins of the remake of dawn of the dead.... hence the "ex". DUMB CUNBT...dumb cunt. its just a movie.
Now that was a quality Tori Amos review. And I’ve seen every single one of those movies, fyi.

Oh! And children shouldn’t play with dead things is pretty good. Watch that one. And Zombie Holocaust is atrocious but hilarious. It is a half-assed attempt to combine the cannibal and zombie genres. And watch some more Fulci.

Have you seen Meet the Feebles? It doesn’t have zombies, but it’s another pre-Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson movie that blew my mind.
I like your review and wish to add the following:
1. I think she uses her music to work through her pain.
2. That whore almost made me want to die.
I saw 'Plan 9 from Outer Space' on midnight movie showing and it was in color, a terrible thing to do, colorize a movie whose main enjoyment comes from the old b-movie, poorly made nature of it. I prefer 'Glen or Glenda' when it comes to Ed Wood's 'unique' film making. Have you not seen 'Return of the Living Dead 2'?

big ups on the Tori Amos reviews. Haven't really heard anything by her but, it's true testament that today's neo-feminists have NO sense of humor. My best friends are female and listen to the Dead Boys and don't give a fuck but aren't hard, anti-male bitches. And I have to say this is the only place I can see the Mentors mentioned in a Tori Amos review... incredible.
I find a lot of her stuff uninteresting and uninspiring, but I was surprised by how much I enjoy this record. Sure, Tori's got her own quirks, but I love these songs. She surely is hot enough to be a MILF, but I'm not a very good judge. I even liked the dog-oriented one. Hehe.

As a die-hard Tori Amos fan, but apparently not as big a fan as you as I have not listened to every song on every album as you have so painstakingly done, I am a little embarrassed to admit reading your reviews with unremittent glee. Yes ... glee. By the end of your page, I was in hysterics and on the verge of blindness. Love your writing - it's as funny as Tori is torrid, turgid, turdy, etc.
I can't sympathize at all with the people who think the Dawn of the Dead remake is awesome. It's not a matter of whether I prefer slow or fast zombies, and I didn't go into it expecting to hate it simply because it was a remake of one of my favorite movies. (I had already accepted that it was going to be a completely new and different zombie movie, just with the Dawn of the Dead name.) It's just not a very good movie. It's for people who watched 28 Days Later and were annoyed by the presence of interesting and likable characters, memorable scenes, a unique visual style, and a genuine sense of tension and dread. It's also apparently for people with low standards... literally every positive review I've read has said the same basic thing: "It's not as horrible as I expected it to be, therefore it's awesome." Nobody calling it awesome today will care about or even remember it in 10 years. Sure, the first 10 minutes are fantastic, but the remaining 90 are a bunch of mediocre and forgettable nothing. Call me snobby, but the movie didn't cut the cheese for me.

I hate mustard, but I love cheese. I also love fart jokes.

Adam Hammack
Doll Posse Sux!

(Hewu Rox!)

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Abnormally Addicted To Sin - Universal Republic 2009
Rating = 4

The only reason I still review new albums by Tourbus Ampersand is because I demand that all of my pages be as complete as possible (aside from those live Pearl Jam albums). I don't like the music of Tamsham Arbitrage at all. So let's do this quickly, while I'm intoxicated on something clear.

There are lots of strings and acoustic guitars (as well as pianos, of course, for that is Ms. Armsock's key instrument) on this lousy record. My wife points out: "It's like she went shopping for new ideas on her iPod!" and my wife is right. Track 1 is the last PJ Harvey album (White Chalk). Track 2 is Beth Osborne. Track 3 is trying to be "Kashmir." Track 4 is Madonna. Track 5 is from the third Led Zeppelin album. Track 8 is '80s Fleetwood Mac. Track 9 is Siouxsie & The Banshees. Track 10 is Portishead. Track 11 features the awful phrasing "Impeccable Pecadillo."

As usual for the undertalented Teri Garrmos, Abnormally Addicted To SHIT (zing zong!) is full of dull ballads, generic pop-rock and ugly grotesqueries. However, in a striking urban development, she actually sings like a normal human being in nearly every song! Also, I honestly REALLY LIKE five of the songs, which might be impressive if it were a normal 10-song album. Unfortunately, she recorded 17 songs and most of them make me want to smack her in the face and I've never smacked a woman so she'd better hurry it up with the sex implant.

Thank you, Torn Hamstring, for the five honestly hooky, melodic, smart and memorable songs. I refuse to name them (because I can't remember their names. I know one is the first song and one is the last though).

One other thing: the song about smoking pot is literally so vomitous that I literally didn't vomit but could've. Ingeniously, it's cleverly entitled "Mary Jane," like a genius who went to college would name it.

And in the interest of free speech, I've thought up several ways that Tori can make her next album even GOODER!

-- Record the music and vocals inside a vacuum cleaner, so they're both drowned out by the superior sound of "VOOOOOOOOZZZZZHHHHHH"

-- Lay down the vocal tracks while eating a cheeseburger. Example: "Muhaaaaaaaaay gobble gobble gobble Buhaaaaaaay-buhaaaaay gobble gobble gobble...."

-- Release Little Earthquakes II, a re-recording of her 1992 classic updated for the Now Generation. Sample lyrics: "Oh these little earthquakes - II!/Here we go again - '09!/Oh these little earthquakes - just recently!/Doesn't take much to rip us into pieces - today! Not back in 1992 as I'd originally claimed!"

-- Let some other band record it.

Reader Comments
Why are you bothering to review Tori Amos albums? (Ryan K.)
Hi Mark,

Just in work reading your Tori Amos page, nice to read a good bit of venting every so often! I am in agreement with you, I think Tori Amos is boring, annoying and generally rubbish. I notice that by the end of the page there are more lovers of Amos than detractors, I also find it pretty funny that many comments claim that you are too immature to enjoy Amos' music and out of touch with the human soul and suchlike. Then we have many of them calling you "gay", "a fag" etc etc. Very mature. They seem to be exactly the kind of people you would expect to defend Amos, and defend her in exactly the way you would expect - thinly veiled childish name calling masquerading under an intellectual superiority complex. Also, to the person who called someone else "honey" whilst calling them wrong for disliking a Berlin album, what's that all about? Into the bargain, that same person seems to claim that if you dislike Tori Amos you cannot have a musical education, and if you have a musical education you must like Tori Amos. I have a musical education, and she sucks. I could say why she sucks, but everyone else already has, particularly you Mark. So in summary, good page. And to the people who wonder why you keep reviewing this stuff, wouldn't it be boring to have a record review site with only records the reviewer liked? Also, this page must be generating some traffic with all the fans of Amos above!

Disliking Tori Amos does not make you a chauvinist.

If you like Tori Amos, fine, chill out.

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Midwinter Graces - Universal Republic 2009
Rating = 4

Hey everybody, this here's Tori Amos! Now before ya'all start busting my twat for reviewing my own album, let me express my gratitude to Music Critic Extraordinaire Mark Prindle -- the only hero with the guts to tell it like it is about my pathetic excuse of a discography. What, you think I'm happy with all that morose crybaby bullshit that comes out under my name? Jesus, take off the skirt! Shit no. As anybody who really knows me could tell you -- including all those great lil' fellers at the Tori Amos Kamp For Kids -- it's good old American boogie woogie rock 'n' roll that really gets my snatch goin'! Unfortunately, due to my many obligations with the National Rifle Association and National Field Archery Association, I hardly ever get the dang time to hang out in the studio when all the post-production shit goes down.Next thing you know, the records hit the stands and all my piledrivin' flamethrowin' rock and roll guitar has been replaced with depressing piano emo puke for whiners! Christ almighty, the stories I could tell. Perfect example -- did you know that, as originally laid down in the studio, "Silent All These Years" was a low-down dirty boogie woogie about passing gas? Don't ask me WTF happened in post, but anyone who don't think fartin' is funny can kiss my ass!

Which brings us to Midwinter Graces (or, as it was titled before the suits got their hands on it, A Happy Horny Sexmas). I swear to good all Christ and the Devil, when I high-tailed it from the studio to git to my TV show on time (I host an outdoors program called Mr. Zebra), the record was a barrel of monkeys and a bucket of laughs all tied up in one big rock and roll basket! Well bust my gash and pay me a dollar if the goddamned record label didn't toss out every last one of my killer Gibson Byrdland riffs and replace them with churchy pianos and violins and gay faggot shit. Not that I expected any different from those towelheaded sandniggers at Universal Republic. Listen up, you bunch of Jihadists -- if you can't understand English when I tell ya to leave my shit AS IS, then get the hell out of the country! And any pinko commie liberal who thinks I'm racist for saying that can kiss my ass!

Ahh but I'm just playin' with ya. Still, how can I not get a little upset by this kind of meddlin'? I'm down there rockin' my slit off so our brave soldiers can have a kickass new holiday album to blast while blowin' Iraqis sky-high to preserve our American freedom, and the next thing I know the whole thing sounds like a Sunday service on downers? Jesus H. Motherlover! It's enough to make me wanna just stay on the road rockin' the rafters forever, and tell the record companies they can kiss my ass!

Look, here are just a few examples of what happened when the label got ahold of my Yuletide tunes:

"What Child, Nowell" (my version) - A lightning-speed fist-pumping ode to the Big Brothers Big Sisters Of America
"What Child, Nowell" (their version) - Strings, a horn, sleigh bells and a harpsichord battle to the death to see who's the biggest pussy

"Emmanuel" (my version) - A slow blues about a proud buffalo named Emmanuel who roams the prairies wild and free until a brave American bowhunter defeats him in the heat of a great life-or-death battle.
"Emmanuel" (their version) - Sounds like a hymn. A hymn to SHIT!

"Pink And Glitter" (my version) - Duh. As evidenced by my many illegitimate children, no "Aunt Tori" LP is complete without a raucous boogie woogie tear-down-the-walls-and-take-off-your-pants sex anthem! And remember, not all that "Glitter"s is gold, if you catch my drift.
"Pink And Glitter" (their version) - I remember this one time in Miami when I took a shit on the hood of a car. It sounded just like this. I mean, what the -- jazz!? Torch loungey big brass horns!? Oh -- and it was nice of them to leave in my chorus about showering the world but EDIT OUT the line about what I'm showering it with. Jesus, do they think America's teenagers have never read Penthouse!? Grow up.

I could go on, but suffice it to say that they only improved two tracks out of twelve. In retrospect, I realize it was inappropriate of me to back the heartbreaking lyrics of "Our New Year" and "A Silent Night With You" with .44-magnum high-octane four-on-the-floor all-cylinders-blazin' rock and roll boogie woogie guitar pyrotechnics, and that the label probably made a wise decision in replacing my hot riffage with more subdued strings and keys backup. Oof, I can't believe I originally followed up the lyric "Every corner I turn, I convince myself that one day you'll be there" with an axe solo emulating the sound of a vibrator cranked to 10. So I gotta thank the suits for doing me a solid on those two. Otherwise, they can kiss my ass! All my labes-to-the-wall shredding has once again been flushed down the shitter so a buncha thirtysomething Goth Freaks can dye their hair black and mope around smoking dope to classical alt-pop adult contemporary hymnal churchy jazzy depressing holiday HORSE SHIT!

At any rate, thanks again to Mr. Prindle for letting me have my say here today. And if you ever find yourself in Jackson, MO, be sure and stop by for some big game hunting with Tribe Amo at our Earthquakez Acres ranch. Bag just one white-tailed deer and you win a free copy of my recipe book, Murder It And Butter It! But most importantly of all, be sure to stick a big hunk of Happy Horny S -- shit, I mean fucken Midwinter Graces -- into your lover's stocking this Christmas. And you can bet your sweet poontang that Santa won't be the only one "coming" down the "chimney" all night long!

Reader Comments
This is a friggin' hilarious review. I'm not sure what prompted you to have Tori Amos doing a spot-on parody of Ted Nugent, complete with off-the-topic racist rambling, but it works! It sounds like an actual Ted Nugent interview I once heard on the radio in which he was defending a record by the horrendously crap AOL pop band "Damn Yankees" that he was once in, talking about how incredibly kick-ass rockin' it was before the producers messed it up. The funny thing was, you couldn't imagine those songs EVER kicking ass, no matter how they were produced.

As for Amos... I love "Little Earthquakes" and the studio side of "To Venus and Back," and I also quite like "Under the Pink" "Scarlett's Walk" and "From the Choirboy's Hotel." If that were her whole catalog, I'd consider myself to be a fairly big fan. But, she always had some horrible records mixed in with the good ones, and she's been on such a losing streak lately that I'm afraid to even listen to a new record by her. It seems like she has kind of disappeared up her own ass.
I went to your website concerning Tori Amos starting from Y Kant Tori Read to Midwinter Graces. You have a lot of thoughts about Myra's style ,and exposing your comments of her foundation as a pianist. Honestly, I could write you an inform you on how your thoughts are repulsive, obtuse, and impertinet. However I assume you already are aware of this so I do not need to waste time over that. It amazes me how much people can draw conclusions about musicians when all they know is a fraction of what inspires her to creates pieces in which others are affraid to publish. We all have out favorite musicians but who do we think we are when we have not attempted to record or perform for over 40 years now sir. Mrs. Amos is an itellegent woman who has mastered the art of being a piano prodigy. Granted I understand opionions from other listeners concerning what does she mean when she says in Space Dog, "the grape fruit is wining." I have little over 20 yrs of listening to Tori Amos an I do have to say her music is another language that one adapts to over time. I will not demand your respect for her because I don't think your even capable of respecting music as a being. You use words llike grotesqueries, and you demand that all of your pages be complete as possible. You call her Tamsham Arbitrage... I have thought about writing people like yourself emails but have never been pushed, irritated, as much as you have done to me. So, keep on writing your nonsense and the day you look back an realize how Tori Amos inspired thousands by inspiring them to become better musicians, seek help after being raped, and to rise above record compnany's who keep you from becoming your own you will feel like the pathetic fuck head you are!

Madan Mohan
Even though I really like Little Earthquakes, I will put Tori Amos down as yet another 90s artist that listeners who don't have their rock history right go crazy over. She has great facility both as singer and pianist, I give that. But even if that is at all such an incredible phenomenon for a female artist working in the 90s (um, Fiona Apple? About ten times more interesting.), from the point of view of rock and pop music, overall, it is not. I think George Starostin nailed it as to Why Kant Tori be the next Kate Bush - she just tries too goddamn hard and makes her sincerity so obvious it gets in your face and a little tiresome after a while. Sorry, art is not about what you have to say, it's about how you say it and that's where I want to hear some creativity. And starting song after song with a few none too exotic bars of piano is frankly not very creative (and I am NOT saying that she does it ALL the time, just far too often for my liking). Pity, there's a lot of potential on the first solo album and a lot of songs hit the mark but she has just kind of stagnated into oblivion and mediocrity from thereon. (Steve)
I suppose that I shouldn't, but I like Tori Amos a lot. I've tried unsuccessfully to pass off my infatuation as an "ironic" Sonic Youth-esque obsession with a female pop star, but at this point I'm willing to admit that I enjoy listening to her music for entirely non-ironic reasons.(This is your cue to quote A Clockwork Orange: "Are you now, or have you ever been, a HOMOSEXUAL?!") Anyway, I think I'll go stick my Tori Amos cds next to my Big Black vinyl just to annoy Steve Albini.

Adam Hammack
I've had to bring my self to peace lately with the fact that I do, in fact, enjoy the music of Tori Amos quite a lot. (Don't stop reading yet. I don't really care one little bit if everyone else, including Prindle, continues to hate her; it's completely understandable. She's a pretentious cunt a lot of the time.) But I've figured out how to dig on her, see -- how to "groove with this chick" as it were...

When her stupid girly lyrics bug you, all you have to do is act like she's singing in Norwegian or some other loser language. (If you happen to speak Norwegian, pick a loser language you do not speak.) Anyway, it's a lot easier for me to take most of her material (up the ass like the homo I am) if I try to blur out the shit she speaketh underneath and just hear it phonetically. So keep that tip in mind when you get to "Black Dove" on the Choirgirl album and see if it helps you to not click past it immediately.

Actually, I hate that particular song so much the trick doesn't even work on it for me. So try it on a half-way good song instead.

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Night of Hunters - Deutsch Grammophon 2011
Rating = 2


Look, there's a reason I generally only review jazz albums, and that's because I 'get' jazz (particularly long improvisational passages). But I don't know classical from a hole in the ground and even if I did, I'd still probably bury a corpse in it because what little I've heard of the genre is duller than a ding-dong. On the other hand, I acknowledge that heavy metal started with Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" and I absolutely love a lot of classically influenced prog rock. So maybe I'm just listening to the wrong stuff? If we're specifically referring to Tori Amos's Night of Hunters, I can assure you I'm listening to the wrong stuff.

This album finds Tori appropriating the works of classical composers like Chopin, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Bach and Mussorgsky, and setting them to an original womyn-cyntyred fantasy tale that Wikipedia outlines thusly:

According to Amos, the concept centers on a woman who is left alone on the eve of her relationship's demise in an old Georgian house near the River Bandon, located on the outskirts of Kinsale, County Cork in Ireland. As dusk turns to night, the woman is confronted by Annabelle, a shapeshifting "childlike creature" who "emerges from nature", played by Amos' daughter. The mythical creature, representing "duality", as well as the ancient forces of "the hunter" and "the hunted", coaxes the woman to follow her into the night, transporting them both approximately three-thousand years into the past to witness a previous incarnation of the woman's relationship. It was a time of great chaos and violence in ancient Ireland as a war of beliefs raged on, and the woman and her lover fought side-by-side as bards, using the ancient tree alphabet as their only weapon. Once the war was lost, however, the woman and her lover crossed the Atlantic on his sailboat, abandoning her world, the New World, in favor of his world, the Old World. It was during this time that forces, both within and outside of their control, drew the couple apart. After their sojourn into the past, Annabelle inducts the woman in an ancient peyote ritual which is meant to further expand her consciousness through both hallucinogenic and meditative means. During the ritual, Annabelle helps the woman realize how she abandoned her own fire and inner-strength when she left her world in favor of her lover's. The woman also sees how both she and her former lover interchangeably misused the ancient forces of "the hunter" and "the hunted" against one another throughout the course of their union. This self-destructive dynamic, in turn, also plagued the present-day incarnation of their relationship. Once the ritual and woman's self-examination are complete, Annabelle reminds her of the perils and benefits found in using and misusing the ancient energies of "the hunter" and "the hunted". The creature also advises the woman that there are "forces" at work that must be dealt with and that she must leave her so that she alone may face the Fire Muse, played by Amos' niece. In meeting the mythical goddess, the woman is allowed to recapture the fire and inner-strength she had abandoned, both in her past and present incarnations, and is taught about the "light" and "dark" forces of the world at large. The Fire Muse reminds the woman that more than just her own mortal pains and desires are of concern and, together, as the fiery goddess calls upon the woman to see the world from a higher perspective, they weave a spell to protect the light of the world from the forces of darkness. The woman ends her journey at dawn, renewed and grateful for her place in the world and for all of the people that have inhabited her life, including her former lover."

You know what might make the album even better? If she took herself more seriously.

The record is performed on piano, strings and woodwinds, and -- as you've probably surmised by the preceding plot summary -- it's just a bunch of endlessly morose female fairie bullshit. Sadly, the first song on the album (trudging piano stomper "Shattering Sea") is also the best song on the album, raising one's hopes that Tori may have finally overcome her 18-year slump and recorded a second good album, only to smash those hopes against a rock with the next 13 bags of garbage. Were all these songs seriously written by different people!? Because, as interpreted by Ms. Amos, every one of them sounds like a variation on one of two themes: (a) grim, humorless minor chords of self-pitying drama, and (b) schmaltzy Disney ballad Phil Collins crap.

The most interesting thing about the (extremely boring) disc is that four of the songs feature guest vocals by Amos's daughter "Natashya," which must be a typo because it's inconceivable that Tori would name her child something pretentious. And I'll admit something here: when I first heard her daughter's voice, I thought, "Oh my god! Does she have fetal alcohol syndrome or something!?" because her voice is weird. She seriously sounds like she might be mildly retarded; it's just an odd timbre. But then I looked her up on Wikipedia and discovered that she's TEN YEARS OLD!!! Granted, that doesn't make her voice any less strange, but holy Christ! Ten years old!? Hitting notes like this!? Singing her mother's dumbass lyrics without throwing up onto the microphone!? I'm impressed! Very impressed. You should've seen me when I was 10 -- I didn't just sound retarded; I was retarded. One of my great joys in life at that age was watching the TV game show Starcade, wherein contestants pitted their arcade game skills against each other for cash and prizes. But I didn't just watch it, oh no -- I watched it with cassette tape recorder in hand so that I could record the sounds of the video games being played. Sure, the beeps and boops were inevitably buried under the crowd's cheers and the host's dumbass comments, but hooee those video game noises! Get 'em where you can! And why? Why did I enjoy such a pointless and stupid endeavor? Because I was TEN YEARS OLD. Meanwhile, Natashya's over there singing about failed adult relationships in perfect pitch, with her weird little voice.

The bad news is that this probably means Tori's raising her daughter to be as self-important as she is.

Summary: It's another chocolate shit cookie from Famous Amos. Even if you're a huge, overweight fan of classical music, do you really want to hear all your favorite pieces coated in asinine lyrics like "I'd like to induct you into the drink of the cactus practice"? If Chopin were around to hear this nonsense, you can bet he'd be Chopin! Chopin their BALLS off!! Ha hahahahhah!

Spelling and anatomy's for fags.

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Buy your Tori Amos CDs here, because you like her and me

Back to Mark Prindle in Schindler's List II: The Tremendously Exciting Post-War Years