The Irish Times
There is an Album Review in The Irish Times on May 1, 1998. They make "from the choirgirl hotel" the album of the week. Many thanks to Jennifer for alerting me to this.
The Irish Times
Friday, May 1, 1998.
Album of the Week
Tori Amos: "From The Choirgirl Hotel" (East West Records)
For Tori Amos, and most of her fans, the personal details of her life often take precedence over the musical. Or, at least, both are so inextricably inter-linked as to be virtually indistinguishable from each other. That's how it has been since songs such as Me and A Gun on her first album, Little Earthquakes, detailed the rape experience which, she claims, fragmented her psyche, separating body from soul. In fact, Tori once suggested that only "giving birth to a child" might make her whole again. This is central to an understanding of From The Choirgirl Hotel, a suite of songs inspired by her relatively recent miscarriage. Tori's pain, rage and characteristic determination to reassert life in the light of such a tragedy shines through in tracks like Playboy Mommy, Black Dove (January) and Jackie's Strength. More than this Tori has said that the experience put her "in touch with a more primitive feminine side", making her "watch for rhythms" which is the defining feature, musically, of this album. Her legendary piano moves to the back of the mix in many tracks and a real-live band dominates cuts like Cruel and She's Your Cocaine, though we're not talking here of the kind of techo rhythms that many non-fans may have found so appealing in the Armand Van Helden remix of Professional Widow. Some tracks are, as usual, impenetrable, but overall this album is another never-less-than-fascinating chapter in the continuing tale of the life of one woman. If not all women, all men. Joe Jackson
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