Speaking of Tori Amos, oh, how I love Tori Amos. When I was in high school my best friend and my sister were both obsessed with her and I didn’t see what the big deal was until years later. In high school I tended to be on the darker and more metal side of music and rarely branched out into other genres, almost anything with a piano was too “light and hokey.” Ah, the pitfalls of youth. I discovered that Tori Amos’ work was more emotionally and musically complex than anything else I was listening to at the time, and by college I started really paying attention. Most of her work has taken on a very personal slant for me since, especially her early work.
Little Earthquakes is not my favorite Tori Amos album (that’s Boys for Pele) but it is a good contender, which is quite a thing for a debut album. The songs on this album are all solid, unique and emotional tracks and I now know them all inside out and backwards. This whole album is full of masterful piano playing, angsty and passionate vocals, and timeless themes. Notable tracks? I would say all of them are worth a listen, but ones that stand out especially to me are Winter, an icy, beautiful meditation on relationships, China, a love song about distance and yearning, the stripped-down Leather, raw, honest and sexual, and the eerie, emotional and triggering Me and a Gun, about rape. Tori Amos pulls no punches in her subject matter or lyrics, and it makes for a terrific album (and career) full of honesty and pathos.
This is a must listen. Just go do it, already.