Tori Amos is the first artist who’s music really touched the adolescent me. It genuinely blew my mind.
As a kid, I listened to whatever I could get my hands on. My parents had some good vinyls. When I was ten, they gave me my own radiocassette player and a few blank tapes. For years, I taped every good song I heard on the radio. It felt great, but it was still mostly commercial music or music I was too young to really appreciate.
One day, when I was 13 or 14 years old, I was attending a highschool talent show. I was amused, listening to these kids and their elaborate theatrics screaming their guts out. Then this girl dressed in white walked towards to the piano and performed Winter by Tori Amos. I was blown away. It was so different from what I had heard before.
It was the early 90’s. My friend’s older brother knew of Tori Amos and lended me a CD. The defining moment. It opened a door for me, opened up new dimensions. I became a true music lover. And I owe that to Tori, to her free spirit, her unique melodies, her emotional soothing vocals that elevate the soul, her strange and poetic personal imagery, and that amazing piano playing. What a unique artist.
I’m sure I got most of her lyrics wrong (everytime she explained what she was trying to say in a song during an interview, it was a mile away from what I had originally thought), but who cares. Tori’s music accompanied me for a decade, a very intense and formative decade. Then, for some reason, I lost touch with it. Little Earthquakes, Under the Pink, Boys for Pele, and Choir Girl Hotel I have listened to pretty much every day for those ten years. To Venus and Back, Strange Little Girls, Scarlet’s Walk, and Beekeeper I also have in my collection.
Listening to this right now is like opening a souvenirs’ box. Some performances still send chills up my spine.