- Audio CD (Feb. 25 1992)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: East-West America
- ASIN: B000002IT2
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 231 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,580 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1992 album includes "Crucify", "Silent All These Years" and "Winter"
Emotionally and musically intense, Little Earthquakes shows that the piano is as much a rock & roll instrument as the guitar. Tori Amos's debut (if one disregards Y Kant Tori Read, as one would be well advised to do) is at once listenable and challenging; she takes on every topic, from sex to gender to religion, in an uncompromising manner. Her music appears gentle at first but this appearance is deceiving, as one quickly learns upon listening to the wrenching "Crucify" or the almost violent "Precious Things". By the time the album gets around to "Me and a Gun", sung hauntingly by Amos without accompaniment from her piano, the juxtaposition of Amos's sweet voice and the emotional complexity of her lyrics is both familiar and shocking. Sandman fans should listen for a reference to author Neil Gaiman in "Tear in Your Hand". --Genevieve Williams
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Crucify . an excellent opening track, beautiful lyrics, I especially like 'I got a bowling ball in my stomach, got a desert in my mouth...' excellent vocals.
Girl . a different pace, the vocals are amazing, the chorus shows off some of Tori's higher range.
Silent All These Years . slow song, beautiful lyrically.
Precious Things . one of the best piano driven songs, the beginning is haunting with Tori's rasped hushes. A story like song.
Winter . a nice slow song, peaceful and very beautiful, a visual song, it takes you through a wintery scenery.
Happy Phantom . takes on a different pace, if you have 'Scarlet's Walk', this reminds me a lot of 'Wednesday' in a ghostly way.
China . slow almost tragic like, I absolutely adore the lyrics.
Leather . starts off with one note piano key then Tori's sad/sarcastic/drooping vocals come in, the opening line hooks you: 'look I'm standing naked before you ... don't you want more than my sex'
Mother . my favourite song by Tori, ever. BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT.
Tear In Your Hand . 'maybe she's just pieces of me you've never seen' - perfect song.
Me And A Gun . sad, tragic story about rape, acapella, this song could bring anyone down.
Little Earthquakes . a nice ending, a slower song, beautiful lyrically, vocally and musically.
In all, this is a perfect album.
"Crucify" is probably the most recognizable song on the album. Its message is one of freedom; too often people restrict themselves out of the fear of being laughed at or judged unfavorably; and Tori preaches that you don't have to wallow in your self-guilt and suffering in order to achieve happiness. "Silent All These Years" suggests a life spent with an abusive or insensitive partner and the self-imposed exile and voicelessness such a relationship can lead to. "Winter" deals with standing on one's own two feet, believing in oneself, and bravely striking out in a world without your father's constant protection. "Mother" strikes a similar theme, evoking images of a caring mother pushing her child out of the nest and helping it begin a new life of its own. "Tear In Your Hand" is an anthem of self-discovery in which Tori tells the man who is leaving her for another woman that she is more fascinating and powerful than he has ever taken the time to realize. In "Little Earthquakes," Tori cries out for both life and pain, realizing that a full life by necessity includes both the good and the bad. "Girl" carries the message that you must be true to yourself, that if you live your whole life trying to please others and ignoring your own desires, you will go crazy. "China" explains how two people can gradually grow apart over time. "Happy Phantom" is a fun little jaunt in which Tori looks forward to forgetting her earthly troubles and becoming a ghost, but it ends on a more serious note about the limited lifespan of memory. The real prize of this CD is "Precious Things," an intensely emotional song hearkening back to days of unrequited crushes, cruel individuals, and adolescent pain; the message is that you must forget the painful memories of your past in order to become your true and ultimate self.
These songs may mean different things to other people, and it is almost impossible not to discover new hidden insights each time you listen to them. Tori Amos truly bears her soul for all to see on this CD, and we can all benefit ourselves as a result of her efforts. Tori Amos is a unique musician, and her music will not appeal to everyone, but this album is much more accessible, particularly lyrics-wise, than her later releases. As far as I am concerned, this is the greatest CD ever produced by any musician.
But if she was so young, all the more credit to her for the powerful, innovative, and very, very beautiful music she created. My favorite track is "Girl". The first ten seconds will hook you. The rhythmic descending chords on the piano and boom of the drum cast a haunting chill, and it only gets better from there. The string arrangement is gorgeous, only adding to the intense rhythmic pulse of this incredible song. "These Precious Things", is eerie, spooky, petulant and utterly captivating. Again, Tori's musical sense - her absolutely innovative arrangements are pleasurable even when her words repulse. "Winter" is more conventional, but is the most beautiful song on the CD, and her vocal delivery is searing, and heartbreakingly sincere. Fellow grown men, this one can make you cry. "Happy Phantom" is a delightful antidote - it's nice to hear Tori happy for a change. "Mother" sounds like early Joni Mitchell, but more rambling, less controlled (and that's OK). "Crucify", "Silent All These Years" and "China" are also good. The quality of the songs tails off in the last three tracks, though.
Tori writes, plays piano and sings, and for a debut it is an unusually impressive production that fascinates long after the first listen. If she ever did anything this good again, somebody please tell me because I haven't yet heard it.
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