From the Choirgirl Hotel
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From The Choir Girl Hotel is Tori Amos' brilliant fourth Atlantic solo album. Amos is poised to expand upon her ever growing audience. Tracks such as the hypnotically pop-tastic first single, Spark , as well as inventive, joyously indescribable songs like Raspberry Swirl or Liquid Diamonds, display a new rhythmic complexity and all-around musical expansiveness. Certified at 1 million units by the RIAA. (2/01)
For Tori Amos, sex can be a weapon, a spiritual offering, or an act of protest. It's certainly been the singer/pianist's big subject since her 1989 debut Little Earthquakes. But while her earliest compositions tried to punch every emotional hot button at once and came off sounding turgid and overblown, her new album packs a greater punch by toning down mock-symphonic excess in favour of stark, haunting tracks that contain veiled mysteries. Love cuts both ways on Choirgirl. Songs such as "She's Your Cocaine" and "Cruel" view relationships as vicious power plays, while the protagonists in "Playboy Mommy" and "Northern Lad" desperately seek salvation via emotional connection. Hypnotic, affecting, and frequently gorgeous, From the Choirgirl Hotel is Amos's most accomplished album to date. --Marc Weingarten
Top Customer Reviews
Spark:Who sings about Nicotine Patches? Yes that's Tori, again using metaphors to explain her current emotional turmoil! Wow; just a remarkable telling of the pain of having a miscarriage.....gruelling!
Cruel:Love all the percussion, drums & exaggerated instruments in this track; and her voice sounds so cool on this track!
Black Dove: I love this song so much; the Wurlitzer sounds so great and those wispy vocals are dynamic. Her songwriting is just impeccable!
Raspberry Swirl:This song will definetly get your heart pumping....raw, insightful and the vocal delivery on this track is awesome!
Jackie's Strength: This is a beautiful ballad song about Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and her strength and how that strength translated to her.
Iieee: I loved the rhymical use of the drums in this song...great tempo and her voice sounds so great!
Liquid Diamonds: This track is so uniquely done...loads of rhythm & her piano work in this piece is remarkable. All the additional instruments give this song a seductive nature.
She's Your Cocaine: Great song...has a rockier edge to it...cool song about the addictions of love!
Northern Lad: Still one of my favorite Tori songs; still have it on my favorite playlists. So beautifully written and luckily I got to see her live doing this song! It was momentus!
Playboy Mommy:What lyrics...!!! Love her keeping it real!Read more ›
In typical Tori Amos fashion, these songs are unique, evocative, mysterious, and varied in range and reach. While some pound with dance club beats, some soar with the ethereal melodies Amos is known for. Each and every song is breathtaking in its own way, and while those listening with an ear for lyrics may wonder what the poetry in Amos' songs "means" - those who love the ambience of a great song will appreciate how deftly Amos creates a mood in her music.
For women who are struggling with how to process the grief of miscarriage, this album is truly a gift. It makes bare the deep emotions women navigating this taboo grief feel, and are a reminder that we are not alone. The album is also an inspiration for women whose healing journey requires a creative, spiritual element. It is amazing to witness how an artist can make something truly beautiful out of an experience that is so dark, and so deeply affecting as Amos has with "from the choirgirl hotel".
-- Nicole Breit, author of I Can Make Life: Poems About Infertility and Miscarriage, Pregnancy and Birth (Tristan August Press, 2012)
The opening track "Spark" is, quite simply, an accomplishment of epic proportion; and by the time it reaches its climax of thundering piano, its greatness and terrible beauty are staggering. The secret, mournful "Black Dove," with its opening, antique-phonograph instrumentals that sound like snow very quietly falling, seems to fluctuate between uneasy passion and passionate defiance. "Jackie's Strength" is a lovely, wistful evocation of lost childhood and adolescence, among many other things; and "Hotel"...with its theme of the surrealism of the passing of time, the sadness of the same, and the incredulity of survival... has some of the best lyrics Amos has ever penned; it finally collapses, in an exhausted throes, at its own feet, with the final lines: " You were wild...where are you now?...You were wild...King Solomon's Mines...Exit 75...I'm still alive...I'm still alive....I'm still alive."
By contrast, the way too obscure, frequently cacophonous and often annoyingly grating "iieee" and "Liquid Diamonds" are not worth the time it takes to sit through them. "She's Your Cocaine"...in some ways a companion piece to Boys For Pele's "Professional Widow"... is a witty, thoroughly enjoyable exercise in vengeance that flat out rocks ("is it true that devils end up like you? Something safe for the picture frame?" Amos sneers at one point.) "Northern Lad" is as exquisite as anything Amos has ever done, as is "Playboy Mommy," her heartbreaking eulogy to the daughter she miscarried. "Choirgirl" is definitely not Tori's best album, as far as overall ambience goes, but it certainly a very good one. However, that it is largely an experiment is obvious. In some ways Amos might be better off staying with the muses that seem to serve and mentor her, rather than courting discordant harpies from other realms.
The sound. I've always loved the sound of Tori Amos, how she plays the piano and how she constructs her songs. The lyrics may not always be clear at first, but when you start to listen to what she is singing about, her phrases make more sense than if she would have stated the meaning clearly. One reason that I am such a big fan of this album is the song "Playboy Mommy". It is a song sung to the daughter which she miscarried (a theme that runs through the album), and it is so sad and bittersweet that it was hard for me to not resonate with it, even though I am a male. "Playboy Mommy" can speak to any loss, and it did for me. Other songs that have become favorites for me are "Liquid Diamonds" and "Raspberry Swirl". "Raspberry Swirl" could be a perfect dance song with its relentless, driving beat. It is not a song that one would typically think of with Tori, but it is one of her best. "Northern Lad" is another slower song, more piano based and it hints back at Tori's previous album ("Boys for Pele") with a line that feels like an admission of that albums imperfections "I guess you go too far when pianos try to be guitars". In the context of "Pele", the line makes sense, but it could also suggest that when you try to be something other than what you are, you are going too far and not being true to yourself.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Honestly, get it! It's so worth it, even if it were just for some lines that are sung. The music is overwhelming. Read morePublished on Nov. 20 2005 by Julia F. Göhner
"Blake Dooove. Blick Dob. You're not a Halley Comet..." (Listen to song #3 and you'll know what I'm talking about. Read morePublished on June 10 2004 by myxoplik
This album is no exception in Tori Amos's stellar lineup of music from the whole of her career.
It is undoubtably one of the best of 1998, and, despite its being a response to... Read more
This is probably my favourite Tori album. It's a little harder than her others but it does have some slow songs that will kill your heart. Read morePublished on March 22 2004 by Laura
There are too little words to describe this album. It was my first experience with the works of Amos, and it is truly magical, from the haunting 'iiee' to the sexy 'Raspberry... Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2004 by Aubree Hansen
From The Choirgirl Hotel is without a doubt my favorite Tori Amos album. I like the "plugged" sound of the songs. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2004 by B. K.
I love this album, almost every song (hence the 4 and 1/2). Tori's melodies are gorgeous, as always. Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2004
TORI AMOS - FROM THE CHOIRGIRL HOTEL
1. SPARK: The lead single of this record is absolutely breathtaking. Read more