Jackie Listens to: Tori Amos’ Little Earthquakes (1992)

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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.

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