The Edmonton Journal
There is an Album Review In The Edmonton Journal called "AMOS IS DANDY" from May 2, 1998. Many thanks to Butterfly Angel who posted this article to the precious-things and Torinews mailing lists.
AMOS IS DANDY
by Shawn Ohler
From the Choirgirl Hotel
(Atlantic, 54 minutes)
A lot of people swore off Tori Amos after her last record, Boys For Pele.
Noted less for it's music than it's bizarre liner art (Tori suckles baby pig, Tori genuflects on stained mattress), Boys For Pele was an over-reaching, esoteric nightmare that favoured unlistenable art over real songs.
From The Choirgirl Hotel, Amos' fourth record -- fifth if you count her foray into Vixen-ish glam metal with late 80's dud Y Kant Tori Read -- is a super little comeback.
With dozens of take-your-breath-away moments and coherent songs that exist on their own, Amos returns to the form of her 1991 breakthrough album, Little Earthquakes.
Earthquakes and Hotel are not similar records, though. Where the former was spare and mostly piano/voice, the latter's a sonic shocker.
Amos plays most of the new album with a full band. The result combines the ancient atmosphere of an old Kate Bush record -- or the new Loreena McKennit -- with a clattering, indierock sensibility.
Some songs are all about groove, which has never been one of Amos's strong suits.
The standout track iieee(that's right -- iieee) begins with an ethereal chant anchored by a rumblimg bass line and a sticky drum loop. Halfway through it slams into six bars that sound like they were yanked off the first Pixies record. Very cool.
As always, Amos sings with a passion that's almost incendieary. And while Choirgirl's themes aren't as angry (or oblique) as Boys For Pele's, she hints at the pain of her recent miscarriage and fires away at the ghosts of some old relationships.
There are some missteps here -- the choppy, electorinic Hotel, the monotonous Raspberry Swirl -- but the rest of Hotel is definetely worth checking out.
OTHER CRITICS RAMBLINGS ON:
*Tori Amos's From the Choirgirl Hotel
"On From the Choirgirl Hotel, Amos comes clean with the rock'n'roll that's always driven her, from as far back as when she stormed out of her rehearsal room at Peabody Conservatory. Whereas 1994's Under the Pink and 1996's Boys For Pele strove to extend Amos' voice and piano foundation into different areas -- R&B and Dance -- From the choirgirl closes up shop and starts over with a live band recording." (James Hunter, Rolling Stone)
Release Date: May 5
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