Orange County Register
January 2, 1998

The Orange County Register contained a review of the Great Expectations Soundtrack in the January 2, 1998 edition. The comments the reviewer makes about Tori are quite negative.

Temper 'Expectations' for this album

"Great Expectations: The Album"

Various artists



This soundtrack for the coming "Great Expectations" adaptation (starring Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow) sports 16 performances, but this disc is more a tale of two singers, Chris Cornell and Scott Weiland, trying to make names for themselves apart from their starmaking bands.

There are more cinematically appropriate titles here -- Duncan Sheik's average, slightly sad "Wishful Thinking"; Poe's not-bad "Today" -- and of the other previously unreleased cuts here, there are better performances. Pulp's "Like a Friend" begins moody and slow but erupts in a flurry of melody, while the Verve Pipe's shiny, whimsical "Her Ornament" offers ample explanation as to why an esteemed songwriter such as XTC's Andy Partridge would want to work with the band's leader, Brian Van Der Ark.

But Weiland -- whose band, Stone Temple Pilots, may yet have a future -- and Cornell -- whose band, Soundgarden, broke up last year -- are the big draws. And they both share an unhealthy Beatles fixation, with Cornell's curiously conventional "Sunshower" sounding like John Lennon fronting Guns N' Roses and Weiland's radical departure "Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down" not too unlike Lennon leading a revival of "Cabaret."

Of the two, Weiland has a better time of it. His fascination with Brechtian tones is out of left field, but at the very least it intrigues, and though lyrically he's still on Mars, his vocal style is maturing.

Cornell's pleasant but plodding tune, however, lacks both the sting of Soundgarden's smartest hooks and the intricacy of the singer's other solo soundtrack appearance, "Seasons" from the "Singles" compilation. Here's hoping that this is just a toss-off.

The other attention-getter here is Tori Amos' "Siren," though it doesn't deserve to warrant much notice. Like much of the performer's recent work, the track is breathy, over-earnest and directionless. That a more obvious songwriter, Lauren Christy, effortlessly outshines her is just one more indication of how lost in Fairyland Amos is.

-- Ben Wener,

Orange County Register

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