Black - Dove
She's Your Cocaine
For 1998’s From the Choirgirl Hotel, Tori Amos confronts her rock n’ roll self. For her previous solo albums, she sat at her piano and concocted a shifting art-rock that spoke of grim tragedies, uncomfortable situations, and identity issues with a forthrightness often at odds with the soothing, exquisitely tailored music. Here, Amos cranks up the beats, allows the bass and drums to guide her, and lets out more than a cat’s meow when prodded. As if deciding that 1996’s Boys for Pele was too quiet in its defiance, Amos comes out swinging. “Spark” steps forth with a strong sense of purpose and leads directly into “Cruel,” a song driven by quaking beats and multi-tracked vocal takes that bounce off one another to moan in frustration. “Black-Dove (January)” uses orchestral backing and dynamics for a thrilling, ominous ride. “She’s Your Cocaine” minces few words with its bar room angst. “Playboy Mommy” uses a sultry groove to prove women interpret their motherhood roles differently. “Raspberry Swirl” and “Hotel” break for the dancefloor. It’s Amos’ most sonically ambitious album.