Teen Grrl Album Review
July 6, 1998

Added July 18, 1998

An interesting review of "from the choirgirl hotel" appeared at the Teen Grrl web site during the week of July 6, 1998. I thank Manda C for alerting me to it.

Music Review: From the Choirgirl Hotel
by Caroline Pelletier

I recently wandered into a record store to pick up Tori Amos' latest album, "From The Choirgirl Hotel." I spotted the item, plucked it from the shelf and made my way to the cash register. The clerk gave me an amused look, cocked an eyebrow and told me : "That was quick!"

I've been a fan of Tori's for about a year now. My friend dubbed "Boys For Pele" for me and I've been addicted ever since. Although I am not a die-hard Tori Amos fan, I do hold her in my utmost respect.

Back at the record store, I made my purchase and took to the parking lot. Quickly, I located my car, slipped in and popped the CD into the player.

I cranked the volume.

I was not overly enchanted by Spark, the first song. However, the second track, undoubtedly about an ex-lover, makes up for the previous one. It's called Cruel and in it the singer hisses "Flaunt all she's got in our old neighbourhood/ I'm sure she'll make a few friends." She goes on : "I can be cruel/ I don't know why."

Venomous gave way to bittersweet as I skipped ahead to song number 5. The piano ballad, titled Jackie's Strength, tells the story of a wedding gone wrong. Moved, I skipped back to Black-Dove (January) to catch a haunting tune about isolation and loneliness.

In the nostalgic Northern Lad, Tori sings : "Girls you've got to know when it's time to turn the page/ When you're only wet because of the rain. " In the song, Tori seemingly closes the door on an era of her life, but not before remembering it. Another song, Raspberry Swirl, is more fervent than anything else. It filled me with a sense of urgency as I crossed a bridge, speeding above the limit.

Not that Tori Amos should be blamed for my reckless driving.

The varied moods on Choirgirl Hotel show that Tori portrays an emotion with instruments just as well as a writer can in plain English. Although I am a writer myself, I'm having trouble describing the exact qualities of her music. Sometimes words don't suffice; you just have to listen.

Tori Amos is multifaceted. She is many characters rolled up into one and she lets us meet them all. Like us, Tori has her ups and downs. Like us, she has lived through many things such as a miscarriage, a wedding, date rape and sexual guilt. Her very human nature makes her all the more appealing.

From The Choirgirl Hotel is a beautiful album. It's Tori at her epitome, complete with the beautiful piano renditions and outstanding voice her fans have fallen in love with. As I rolled into my driveway and shifted into park, I knew my purchase had been worth the cash.

I encourage you all to march into your local record store and amaze that clerk with your swiftness and determined airs.

Please give me feedback, comments, or suggestions about my site. Email me (Michael Whitehead) at mikewhy@iglou.com