VH1 reviews "to venus and back"

Added September 20, 2000

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VH1.com placed a review of "to venus and back" on their web site. You can follow the link to read this review or read it below. Readers can also rate the album at the VH1 web site, and at the time I posted this to the Dent, the album had been rated ESSENTIAL! Thanks to Jenni aka Jenkraze for pointing this review out to me.

Tori Amos
To Venus and Back

Tori Amos has been known to compare her records to children, and now that she's had so many it's becoming difficult to distinguish them. To Venus was originally intended as a B-side collection with a stage show attached. But it hits the shelves with twelve new studio songs and a rip-roaring live set from last year's Plugged tour.

Tori's lyrics still deal in verbal collages like "terracide" and "luna rivieras," and the drippy sexuality of her past work remains intact. But Amos seems to be ditching the cumbersome dramatic gestures of her early days. Instead To Venus and Back experiments with the sonic textures that have all the club kids blowing their whistles. The electronics are used effectively, but Amos' manipulation of machines doesn't inject her tunes with the same tense effect that her piano has provided in the past. The Steinway-led ballad "1,000 Oceans" is one of the most billowing songs she's written in a while, even if it's effectiveness is at the expense of the singer playing sacrificial lamb to a man-child.

Only "Datura" makes something novel of these new electronica possibilities. Over an ebbing piano loop, Amos reads a series of incongruities belonging on Isabelle Allende's shopping list like "golden shower tree." "Datura" is Kraftwerk with a clitoral piercing, and it informs much of the album's live section. Led by Steve Caton's purring guitars and Amos's keyboards, the band stretches tunes like "Precious Things" and "Cruel" to the breaking point. It's an effective background for some too-scary-for-Lilith yelping and the audience approve hysterically. Those looking for hits will have to settle for B-sides like "Sugar," an unexpected highlight. This excursion to Venus is an inter

[Note from Mikewhy: The interview on the VH1.com web site ends just as you see it here. They must have accidently left off the final sentences of the review when posting it!]

C. Bottomley

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