IQstyle magazine (Germany)
September 2001

Added September 10, 2001

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A Tori article appeared in the September 2001 issue of IQStyle Magazine, which is a music and fashion magazine for Germany and Austria. Thanks to Martin Strathmann, who wrote the article and who sent the English translation below to me. Thanks also to Alexandra ~cherryblonde for also telling me about it and for sending me a scan of the photo that was printed with the article. I do not include it here because it is a photo of Tori's Strange Little Girl character, which can be seem on the Dent's Strange Little Girls page.

Cover Girl

By Martin Strathmann

Many people were disturbed that Tori Amos covers solely songs by men on her new album. They were wrong.

The fact that this woman has an incredible impact on the lives of 16-year-old girls is probably inexplainable even to herself. There must be something that Tori Amos touches in growing up young women. It might be her frequent talking about fairies. Or her offensive presence and the undiminished self-esteem she's sending out. Or the fact that she's often dealing with father-daughter-realtionships or incidents in the ladies' locker room.

Most of the songs Tori Amos plays and sings on her new album "Strange Little Girls" are older than most of her customership. La Amos decided to only cover songs originally written and performed by men and thus giving them a "female perspective", as she says. The choice she's made couldn't be more diverse: Slayer are featured, The Beatles, Depeche Mode, 10CC, Tom Waits, Neil Young, The Stranglers, the Boomtown Rats, Joe Jackson and, yes, really: Eminem. She tells his hysterical rape- and murder-fantasy "97 Bonnie & Clyde" from the perspective of the woman the most discussed song of the year.

When the news, what kind of songs would be on "Strange Little Girls", were published in may, Amos' impressing internet fan community was in quite an excitement. People that had given her the status of a saint for emotional treatments such as "Silent All These Years" or "Hey Jupiter", now promised Amos' soon decline or suspected her of some mental disease. With her considerably louder and more electronic albums "From The Choirgirl Hotel" and "To Venus And Back" she had already drewn parts of her fan community away from her. They wanted their old Tori back, the red-haired woman und her piano.

Some of them will return with "Strange Little Girls", solely because of Amos' version of Joe Jackson's mini-drama "Real Men". Where Jackson had embraced bombastic massiveness to give an insight into the inner drama of a sensitive man in a world of machoism, Amos just leaves it at tenderly performed words, piano parts played inccredibly fast and sparse guitars and strings. A song that might well make some weaker characters cry. The 10 minutes long version of The Beatles' "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" is of a totally different kind compared to which U2's foul version from the times of "Pop" loses in every aspect. It sounds like watching the ocean doing some ebb- and flood-routines for three weeks just in a much shorter period of time.

The power lies in sparseness this time. When doing 10cc's "I'm Not In Love", Amos takes a lot out of the box marked Massive Attack and gives the song a lot more athmosphere than the original had. The Stranglers' single "Strange Little Girl" is turned into a powerful rock anthem, Depeche Modes "Enjoy The Silence" has become a spacy epos. "I dived into these songs because I wanted to find out something about the female characters in them", Amos says. "Instead I found out a lot about myself."

So far Amos hasn't revealed what this exactly is. The secrecy before the release of the album was of a Michael Jackson dimension anyhow. It's strange though that the birth of her daughter Natashya a year ago wasn't of too much importance. Although the newly mother said after the first feeding sessions that "an ounce of mother-milk has more power than the finest Tequila".

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