Here in 2011, on the release of her 12th studio album, Night of Hunters, it can be hard to remember a time when Tori Amos wasn’t a household name — practically an elder stateswoman of earnest, piano-driven music. But in the thrill of the Alternative Music era back in 1992, when Little Earthquakes was unleashed upon the unsuspecting, grunge-drenched music fans (and college radio DJs) of the world, it was something new and exciting. Or was it sloppy and reminiscent of Kate Bush? Leave it to our friends at the KCMU of yore to fully investigate this issue.
And hey, since this is the Year of Nevermind, here’s Tori Amos’s version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” released on a b-sides companion to Little Earthquakes (this was back before it was the done thing to cover relatively new cool songs the way everyone seems to be doing these days).
“Definitely talented – some nice songs + melodies + a lovely voice a little reminiscent of Kate Bush. But all these elements rarely come together on the same song and some of the arrangements are very sloppy.”
“Powerful — instinctive survivor music. Recommend ‘Winter,’ ‘Crucify,’ ‘Leather.'”
“I dig it. Provocative, hard-hitting lyrics set against melodic musical imagery.”
“Sorry — I can’t compare her to Kate Bush — the two are on different planes — Is survivor music, unlike Bush’s aimless art (at times) slop — direct, thorough, bites while nurturing/caressing – fave trax are ‘Crucify,’ ‘Girl,’ ‘Tear in Your Hand,’ ‘Me and a Gun,’ ‘Winter,’ ‘Precious Things,’ etc.”