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Tori Amos : Highly Overrated or Creative Genius?

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Tori Amos : Highly Overrated or Creative Genius?

Old 10-22-07, 02:25 AM
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Tori Amos : Highly Overrated or Creative Genius?

I was a huge Tori Amos fan back in the day ("Little Earthquakes", "Boys for Pele"), but really think she lost it along the way. "The Beekeeper" was horrible.

Yesterday, I was listening to some of her newer songs on my Ipod and reading the lyrics at the same time (after a looong while) - and ended up feeling more than a little disappointed. At 15, when I first listened to her, she seemed to be so deep and inspirational. Now at 31, I just find her sort of directionless and all her lyrics to be very, very pretentious and even infantile.

Then I listened to some of her back catalog and realized she wasn't the genius I thought she'd been all these years. I never expected this.

What do you think - Is Tori really a genius or just a fake loopy retard?
Old 10-22-07, 02:33 AM
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I think she's happy now.
Old 10-22-07, 07:14 AM
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I think she's diluting her legacy, the more music she releases. Her first 3 albums were great, the next two were good and everything since then has been declining in quality.
Old 10-22-07, 07:24 AM
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I think mostly I am sick of death of her 'mysterious' lyrics that she writes mainly only for herself. During 1995-96 I remember sitting with my 'Boys for Pele' booklet trying to find deeper meaning in anything, but considering my age at the time it was probably justifiable. I don't know - she just seems so..... hollow?
Old 10-22-07, 08:29 AM
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I think the problem is that she's trying to incorporate her deep lyrics into a mainstream music style. Back when the first 3 albums came out, her music wasn't like a lot of music out there (shut up, you Kate Bush fans), and the lyrics fit in well with that unusual style. Nowadays, her music has become very mainstream sounding- Adult contemporary, even- but the lyrics have maintained the same loopy sensibilities, and they don't really work well together.

And this is coming from a fan of hers since YKTR, though I actually bought her last CD months ago, and have yet to listen to it, because the last 2 have let me down so much.

-jason
Old 10-22-07, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by fuzzbox
her music wasn't like a lot of music out there (shut up, you Kate Bush fans)
I used to tell the flakey college girls that tried to turn me on the Tori in the mid '90s, "Umm, no thanks, I already have that music...it's called Kate Bush!".

And, yeah, she's always been severely overrated, IMO.
Old 10-22-07, 11:04 AM
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I don't think she's popular enough to be overrated.
Old 10-22-07, 02:26 PM
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I don't usually look up the lyrics to songs, nor do I try to delve for deeper meaning in the music I listen to. As such I have always enjoyed Tori's music... true, I tend to gravitate towards the older stuff, but I still enjoy each album she releases.

One of the most powerful performances that I have ever seen was her doing Me and a Gun live... it had me in tears. The emotion that was in that song was amazing... and knowing it was about her own rape put it over the top for me. I'll never forget that performance.
Old 10-22-07, 06:34 PM
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Early Tori stuff is simply brilliant. The newer stuff is abit to mainstream, while at the same time, she tries to have some kind of edge. It comes off extremely forced.
Old 10-22-07, 07:20 PM
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I still love Under The Pink. Although every time I listen to it I have to go and listen to The Dreaming right afterwards.
Old 10-22-07, 07:22 PM
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I walked in to a coworkers office to fix his computer and this blatterhing crap was coming from his CD-Player I mean it did not even sould like a song and here it was Tori Amos... I was not impressed.
Old 10-22-07, 08:04 PM
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was a big tori fan... but seriously, who listens to her nowadays anyway?
Old 10-22-07, 08:13 PM
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I would say she is a loopy genius who is very underrated. I bacame a big Tori fan about a little more than a year ago and have found her music to be completely amazing. Her new album is one of the best I've ever heard and am saddened that its not getting the recognition it deserves.
Old 10-22-07, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzzbox
(shut up, you Kate Bush fans)
Well, Kate is one huge reason Tori can never be called a creative genius. She's likeable, but not much more for me.
Old 10-22-07, 11:55 PM
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I'm a long time Tori fan since 92 when I caught Silent All These Years on MTV. Little Earthquakes is still one of my favorite albums ever. Part of her charm back then was her slight quirkiness and the fact that her b-sides were as good or better than her album tracks. After buying a few singles and finding gems like Flying Dutchman, Upside Down, Sugar, etc. I had to have everything she ever released.

This continued through her next 3 albums, yet with Choirgirl Hotel (my second favorite album of hers) her b-sides were fewer and not as good. Still, she was making amazing music. Though her "quirkiness" came more and more to the forefront during this time, and was tiring at times as the quotes in interviews got weirder.

Her next album, To Venus and Back, had an interesting pre-release history. Originally supposed to be a b-sides/live album, she wrote few too many new songs and instead put out a full album of slightly more experimental songs- the b-side disc was gone, but the live album from the original concept remained. Thus we got a cobbled collection of songs, not meant for an actual album packaged with a great live CD. Not going to win new fans, but enough to appease her current ones.

Next came the other curiosity- the cover/contractual obligation album, Strange Little Girls. Again interesting to Tori fans, not so much to anyone else.

Her next two albums, while hiding some gems, are long and not so interesting 75+ minute listens which leave nary a MB on the CD left over. Some good stuff, but mostly the magic is gone.

However, American Doll Posse (while overly long and containing a few clunkers- like "Yo George") is a great return to form. Some of her best work since Venus is on here. Hopefully, she'll eventually realize she doesn't need to fill every second of space on a CD, and give us a great album without filler.

As for the original question, I'd lean towards creative genius, but I realize that her music is not going to please everyone- though, the people who it does please are fairly diehard followers of her even through her ups and downs. So she must be doing something right.
Old 10-23-07, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by atlantamoi
Well, Kate is one huge reason Tori can never be called a creative genius. She's likeable, but not much more for me.
Because there can't POSSIBLY be two different people who have a similar sound and are BOTH geniuses...

-jason (just playing devil's advocate)
Old 10-23-07, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by fuzzbox
Because there can't POSSIBLY be two different people who have a similar sound and are BOTH geniuses...

-jason (just playing devil's advocate)
You are absolutely right though. There are plenty of bands out there that sound alike... and there will always be advocates for both bands, original fans protecting who was first, etc...

The real fact of the matter is that yes, Tori does sound like Kate Bush. I even made a Kate Bush tape for a friend who turned me on to Tori (Kate was my dad's music, not mine). But just because the sound is (or was) similar has nothing to do with the lyrics, and the actual structure of the songs... which to me are quite brilliant.
Old 10-23-07, 11:50 AM
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I've always considered myself a big fan, but compared to the die-hard fanbase that she has (that see 10+ shows on each tour, buy up every rare B-side, etc), I guess I'm merely just a fan.

I like the first 3 albums, but I really like Choirgirl, with the harder dance beats and rock feel of songs (e.g. Raspberry Swirl). I also liked Venus, especially Bliss. But that was almost 10 years ago? I've bought all of the albums since, but they don't draw me in at all.

Another problem with her having to play to her loyal fanbase, is that when I saw her in concert close to 10 years ago, I think I recognized maybe 4 or 5 songs out of the full set. She didn't play any of her big songs, maybe Precious Things, but no Cornflake Girl or Crucify, or other big hits.
Old 10-23-07, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by C-Mart
The real fact of the matter is that yes, Tori does sound like Kate Bush. I even made a Kate Bush tape for a friend who turned me on to Tori (Kate was my dad's music, not mine).
As someone pretty much unfamiliar with the bulk of Amos' work, nothing more that idle curiosity prompts me to ask.... what was the friend's response?
Old 10-23-07, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
I don't think she's popular enough to be overrated.
The two are frequently mutually exclusive. There's often a big difference between being a critic's darling and having massive popularity. For instance Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica is often lauded by critics yet it never sold many copies.

Last edited by cungar; 10-23-07 at 02:02 PM.
Old 10-23-07, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzzbox
Because there can't POSSIBLY be two different people who have a similar sound and are BOTH geniuses...

-jason (just playing devil's advocate)
I don't disagree with you (devil!), but I'm pretty sure a big reason I didn't like Tori right away was because of the similarities. It's not surprising someone would feel this way after years of watching someone like Kate be a bit obscure in the U.S. It's not really a big deal, though. Like I said, she's okay, just not one of my faves.
Old 10-23-07, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by benedict
As someone pretty much unfamiliar with the bulk of Amos' work, nothing more that idle curiosity prompts me to ask.... what was the friend's response?
I think I turned him on to Kate, just like he turned me on to Tori. I know that he liked the tape I made.
Old 10-23-07, 07:07 PM
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well, there's one thing this thread does prove:

tori amos & kate bush fans know how to argue their points of view peacefully.
Old 10-23-07, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by C-Mart
You are absolutely right though. There are plenty of bands out there that sound alike... and there will always be advocates for both bands, original fans protecting who was first, etc...

The real fact of the matter is that yes, Tori does sound like Kate Bush. I even made a Kate Bush tape for a friend who turned me on to Tori (Kate was my dad's music, not mine). But just because the sound is (or was) similar has nothing to do with the lyrics, and the actual structure of the songs... which to me are quite brilliant.
It's undeniable that while Tori sounds like Kate, she writes very different songs (although Cornflake Girl comes awfully close to something from Never For Ever). For me, though, I think Kate just dove into waters that Amos has never touched. Albums like The Dreaming and Hounds of Love sound completely unique, both artsy/experimental and yet also very melodious and accessible. In my mind, Amos never hit those heights. But she's certainly gone her own way.
Old 10-23-07, 08:49 PM
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She needs to get back on track and start cutting down the album lengths. It seems as if the last two albums are extremely long, just for the sake of being long. Honestly, I'm a huge Tori fan, but I can't even bring myself to listen to all of the BeeKeeper or American Girl Posse (Scarlets Walk also!).

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