There is a 4 out of 5 star review of Tales Of A Librarian at iafrica.com that was posted on December 31, 2003.
Thanks to Christoff for first telling me. You can read the review online at iafrica.com or below:
A Tori Amos Collection: Tales of a Librarian
By Jocelyn Newmarch
4 out of 5 stars
So am I the only one who detects traces of Meatloaf in Tori Amos' music, more usually associated with natural fibre-wearing vegetarian listeners?
I suspect I probably am, but I dare you to listen to the tinkling piano of 'Precious Things' and not be reminded of that radio-friendly 80s rocker.
More detectable influences, however, are Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush -- probably the two most innovative female singers of the twentieth century. Quite an act to follow, but many would argue that Tori's done them proud.
Tori Amos' quirky approach to folksy alternative rock has won her legions of fans, with her tender piano ballads, storytelling lyrics, and husky, dreamy, little-girl voice. If you don't already own her albums, or want a comprehensive overview of her repertoire, her collection, 'Tales of a Librarian' is a keeper.
The CD cover features Tori in silk blouse, beret and gloves, with more 50s-style glamour pics within the booklet itself. Presumably this is what the well-dressed librarian wears for an evening out these days.
Sartorial issues aside, 'Tales of a Librarian' offers enough to gladden the heart of anyone remotely interested in rock as a genre, all handily summarised with the help of the Dewey Decimal System.
An album highlight is the new song, 'Snow Cherries from France', the wandering tale of a childhood promise, and magical romance. Told in an almost fairytale manner, with guitar and mandolin adding to the folksy feel, the song is a fitting closer.
I also enjoyed the challenging 'Silent All These Years', where Tori wishes to be a mermaid, wonders what's so amazing about really deep thoughts, and ponders the existence of a heaven for unexpressed screams.
Taken as a whole, the collection astounds with the sheer breadth and depth of emotions and stories. There's Armand van Helden's dance remix of 'Professional Widow', the story of rape in 'Me and a Gun', the witty 'Mr. Zebra', and the childlike 'Precious Things'. The librarian metaphor isn't so out of place after all.
It's a deep album -- an album concerned with more than just the next party or silly infatuation, an album that assumes the listener is actually interested in what the song is about. How refreshing.
Musically, the album is just as rewarding, veering from the lilt of Midwestern I-can-see-the-tumbleweed-blowing-in-the-dust bittersweet nostalgia, to Seventies folk, and cutting-edge dance. Watch out for 'Angels', another new recording, and the sing-a-long strains of 'Mary'.
It's a bumper album, featuring 20 tracks, and every one of them's a cracker. None of this filler rubbish for our Tori!