Off Campus Online
January 1996

I found a review of Boys For Pele that I never read before at OffCampus Online, a web site for teenagers by teenagers. The review is by Mike Belle of Forest High School. While I don't agree with the reviewer, it is still an interesting read.

'Boys for Pele' marred by Amos' voice


This week, I am reviewing "Boys for Pele", a pop album released last week by Tori Amos. This album is, mainly, a simple pairing of vocals and a keyboard instrument, such as a piano. The overall mood of this album is mellow, with a very calming tone.

The keyboard work is very good and gives off an exceptional, soft sound. The vocals, though, vary greatly from song to song. In songs such as "Marianne" and "Not the Red Baron", the vocals help generate the relaxed mood of the album and support the instrument to create a very good sound. In "Marianne", the tone is very soft and mellow. A piano lays down a great tune and is helped by the vocals. Together, the two create a sweet sound.

"Not the Red Baron" begins with an incredible piano solo and shows how extraordinary this part of the album is without the vocals in the way. There are some vocals in the song, but, fortunately, they do not ruin the mood.

In other songs, such as "Professional Window" and "In the Springtime of his Voodoo", the vocals either get too rough or too high pitched and ruin the music from the instrument.

In "Professional Window", the song goes away from the overall tone of the album to create a very disturbing mood. The song is way too loud for the tone of the album, and the vocals make a rough, annoying sound that pierces the ear. Besides the vocals in this song, a synthesizer creates an unusual sound, which wouldn't be that bad if the vocals didn't obscure it.

In "In the Springtime of his Voodoo", the piano playing is, once again, great, but the vocals come in to nearly ruin the whole song. The song starts off with some nonsense vocals which are sung very roughly and are extremely irritating. When the vocals finally do calm down, the song gets a little better.

One of the better songs on the album, "Mr. Zebra" (which happens to be my favorite), goes away from the album's mood. Although there are some instances of calming music in the song, this is a very short, catchy tune. Here the vocals and piano play very well off each other.

Overall, I found this album to be OK. It makes for a great piano and keyboard cut but becomes spoiled by the half-decent vocals. I will definitely not be buying this album, but if I were, it would only be for the instrument play. Even though I have found the vocals to ruin this album, I suggest you listen to it for yourself. Who knows? You might find those vocals quite appealing, or, at least, not a distraction from the instrument play of the keyboards. You'll find it on display at Spec's.

Mike Belle is a freshman at Forest High School.

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