Tori Amos, thank you

September 16, 2017

My relationship with Tori Amos has gone through its ups and downs. Like many people in the Tori universe, I first came to her music in the 90s. Under the Pink was my first album, and I quickly went to Little Earthquakes then Boys for Pele then From the Choirgirl Hotel then To Venus and Back then Strange Little Girls then Scarlet’s Walk then ….

It all got a little wonky after that. The magic of those first few albums is legendary. Everything about that period in Tori’s career was perfect. Every B-side was better than most people’s album cuts. Every song was … perfect.

Musically, my time at USC was defined by a few things: Prince, De La Soul, Ani DiFranco, Smashing Pumpkins and Tori. It’s Tori’s music that sparks memories and emotions like no other.

I have always hung on to Tori past the “classic” period. The Beekeeper didn’t do anything for me, but I found a lot of spark in American Doll Posse and Abnormally Attracted to Sin (underrated album, if you ask me). But, still … nothing really got me like the old stuff. Even the highlights of Unrepentant Geraldines felt a little uninspired.

But she’s back. At least, that feeling I’ve been searching for … is back. Native Invader, the new album, is ridiculously good. There’s so many layers to it. And, lyrically, she’s on top of her game. It might be her crowning lyrical achievement.

I get deeply obsessed with albums. And, in this world of constant constant constant music at our fingertips, I’m dining that I need to be more intentional with my listening habits. No need to move on to the next thing. That’s what Tori did for me in the 90s. That’s what she’s doing for me now.

(yes, this lyric video is corny, but … just listen.) My favorite song from the new album: