Ink Blot Magazine
Millennial Issue

Added January 6, 2000

Over 20 people emailed me to report that an article on Tori is now available at the Ink Blot Magazine web site, as part of their millennial issue. It is part of their "Why We Love..." series of articles. Go to the Ink Blot web site to read it or look below.

Dream Weaver
by Johanna Ravich

There's something magical about the rain. Stare out at it from behind a cold window pane. If you look long enough, you may begin to sense a sullen mood creeping over you until you feel as dark as the sky. Take a walk in a spring shower and you can indulge in the same relief felt by flowers who have long awaited some sign signaling the end of an interminable frost. The rain seems to have a music all its own -- an inescapable sound that will affect even the most hardened senses. It's the song without a given name, but if I were the one chosen to define it, perhaps I would call it Tori.

Maybe there were only a lucky few who felt the initial tremors of Tori's Little Earthquakes back in 1992. Those who had already heard a sampling of her strange magic alongside the talents of fellow bandmates Brad Cobb, Matt Sorum and Steven Canton of Y Tori Kant Read, were finally allowed the opportunity to experience Tori as a solo artist. It was the debut album of debut albums -- setting a seemingly uncharted precedent in alternative music. With a combination of pure imagination, a childlike awareness and a voice capable of twisting itself in the most unpredictable and alluring of fashions, Tori set her spell in motion, and Little Earthquakes proved to be the perfect wand.

With the arrival of Tori's Under The Pink in 1994 and 1996's Boys For Pele, it became quite obvious that hers was a spell to be reckoned with. Perhaps it was her unique lyricism that prohibited us from trying to break free. It is much more intriguing trying to decipher the meaning of songs with words like: "Hello Mr. Zebra/ Can I have your sweater/cause it's cold cold cold/in my hole hole hole/Ratatouille Strychnine/sometimes she's a friend of mine/with a gigantic whirlpool that will blow your mind." Although her meaning may seem esoteric, it doesn't scares us away, and leaves us hoping that perhaps we'll stumble upon some great revelation.

By the time 1998's From The Choirgirl Hotel appeared, the name Tori Amos possessed a mystical and otherworldly connotation. We had already been hypnotized by "Hey Jupiter" and captivated by her "Precious Things." Her followers were many, and they were hungry with anticipation to see how her visions would present themselves next. Fortunately, Choirgirl pleased, as it had promised, without words. Though slightly more electronic than her previous albums, Choirgirl (and her most recent aural montage, To Venus And Back) granted us access to the same microcosms that had been alluded to in the past, only this time with a supercharged beat. "I took a taxi from LA to Venus in 1985. I was electromagnetically sucked back into a party going on that night." --Glory Of The 80's. Both discs travel slowly yet triumphantly through a storm of emotions -- some of which even the deepest of souls may not be able to understand.

It may be difficult to explain in words, but there is no denying the fact that Tori Amos possesses a unique and powerful magic in her music. The sound has the power to affect because every song contains slivers of some sort of past that we've all been able to relate to in one way or another. If you close the doors to cognitive analysis and listen with your heart, you can hear what makes you feel. Tori is the rain that trickles down your spine -- perhaps uncomfortably at first, but eventually nudging you towards submission as she becomes that familiar bliss, rage, sadness, desire, fear or hope that you have come to know so well.

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