Turn That Noise Down - Tori Amos

So many well-known albums turn 30 this year and Steve Taylor-Bryant and Susan Omand travel back to 1992 to revisit some of the sounds of their youth that made parents shout "Turn that noise down!" This week, Susan is left unshaken by Little Earthquakes...

What am I missing with Tori Amos? Several of my Twitter buddies rave about her music but, apart from that one song she did about bringing toast tonight but it's got to be a cake [those aren't the words, the song is Professional Widow - Ed] that Armand van Helden did a club remix of, I hadn't listened to anything else she'd done. I've probably heard it, but not "listened," you know? So, when I spotted her debut album Little Earthquakes on our 1992 retrospective list, I thought it would be a good chance to rectify that and I listened to it.

Umm. I mean, it was ok. I would do a track by track but there's really very little point as the majority of it was much of a muchness for me. It was an American Kate Bush soundalike with added piano and orchestra and I kept waiting for her to burst into the chorus of Babushka. But there was nothing I hadn't really heard before by someone else, even though I hadn't heard those particular songs before; I certainly don't remember any of the five singles off the album from back in the day. There was no real wow, new, different for me - apart from one song but more on that shortly.

But then I mentally took a step back. Yes, she was the 90s answer to Kate Bush, with all that that implied. Looking at what was around in the charts and the clubs at the time, Amos was COMPLETELY different and unique in both her singing and her presentation. Here was a young red-headed lass alone on a stage with nothing more than a piano, no big noise, no big show, singing the modern equivalent of folk ballads and she could hold audiences in the palm of her hand. So that is what I am missing with Tori Amos - the context.

Am I a convert to her music now? Honestly, probably not. For me, for the most part, this album is nice backgroundy stuff, with interesting piano and orchestration; I wouldn't switch it off, nor would I actively seek it out. Apart from the aforementioned one song, and that is more for her stunning a capella performance than anything else, which takes me back to Celtic folk music in its dark and haunting refrain. The standout track on the album for me is Me And A Gun.

Image - Amazon

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