I just added to The Dent this December 18, 2003 review of Tales Of A Librarian from The Nelson Mail newspaper in New Zealand.
Thanks to Erin for sending this to me.
A compelling, personal collection
BY Hunt Stewart
Tori Amos - Tales of a Librarian (Atlantic)
Tori Amos has skirted calling this a ''greatest hits''. Purely from a marketing point of view, a compilation with only four songs on it would be tricky to push. In fact, it was mostly in the first two albums that she troubled the charts before she took the offramp away from the brightly-lit superhighway to Commercialsville.
It's clear that generating the perfect pop song has never really been her main priority but there is little question that she has given us a compelling and highly personal body of original and complex songs.
Amos has at various points pilfered from other artists, but Librarian is all her own. It's a pretty good cross-section from her first album Little Earthquakes through to this year's Scarlet's Walk, with all of the obvious tracks like Crucify, Cornflake Girl and Professional Widow, and tracks that are anything but obvious, like the theatrical Mr Zebra from Boys For Pele.
But it's the largely overlooked songs like Under the Pink's Baker Baker and From the Choirgirl Hotel's Jackie's Strength that really underpin this collection.
Sadly missing is Choirgirl's knockout Raspberry Swirl, but to make up for it Amos has thrown in three new tracks - the sparse and gentle Snow Cherries from France, Sweet Dreams and Mary.
As titles go, Tales of a Librarian is a little on the odd side, but that about sums up Amos as well. - A