on 16 October 2002
The pop sound of Little Earthquakes, and the big-selling singles, cast Tori Amos as a slightly unbalanced, fragile woman in an evil man's world. Under The Pink sees Tori regrouping and pushing ahead with a quirkier, more unique sound that owes less to conventional verse-chorus songwriting and the exorcism of her personal demons than her debut. Here, we get Tori the storyteller, leading us through tales of murder (Past The Mission), lost love (Baker Baker), female jealousy (The Waitress), and a number of quirky, off-beat songs that appear to owe nothing to anything other than Tori's vivid imagination.
Fortunately, this vivid imagination also extends to the songwriting, and in terms of musical invention, I think this is Tori's finest album. No need to play with keyboard effects and synthesisers like her later albums - this is pretty much Grand Piano only, with a band and string section backing her up through all except the haunting 'Bells For Her'. And although you can conceivably criticise Tori Amos for her lyrical "kookiness", you cannot fault anyone that makes playing piano so well sound so effortless. Although the album's key song (and hit single) was 'Cornflake Girl', this isn't where you find the long-lasting and haunting music. The range of musical expression across the closing four tracks, from Icicle to the classical-pop of Yes Anastasia, are worth the asking price alone and give more of an insight into the dark but beautiful world inside the head of the remarkable Tori Amos.
I admit, when Tori was around in the early 90s, I was amongst those who just saw her as an inaccessable, slightly strange American. I think part of that analysis was due to me not being mature enough to appreciate her music and her creativity (I was only appraoching my early teens, so I was more at home with boy band music). My attitude towards Tori and her music took a dramatic turn when I heard her album SCARLET'S WALK, when I was in my early twenties. Now I love her and her music, she has gone from being a kooky redhead to a goddess, in my opinion. In my world, she is easily the most talented artist that I can think of.
UNDER THE PINK was Tori's second release after LITTLE EARTHQUAKES. In many ways, you can easily find the similarities between the two. In songs such as "God", she once again brings aspects of religion into her music. Even though she challenges God - "God sometimes you just don't come through" - it is done in an intelligent way, a way in which I am sure many people can relate to, whether they have faith or not.
"Past the Mission" sees a guest appearance from Trent Reznor. As on LITTLE EARTHQUAKES which had some songs sampling a male voice aswell as Tori's, the addition of Trent's voice gives the track something more. A depth, perhaps, certainly another layer.
"Baker Baker" is my favourite song from the album. Tori's voice is amazing, as usual, but there is fragility here, almost so much so that ther song could be described as tragic. I read in Jay S. Jacob's biography, "Pretty Good Years", that this song was about the coming undone of her relationship with Eric Rosse. Looking at the lyrics to the song, it seems as though Tori shoulders a lot of the 'blame' herslef:-
"he says that behind my eyes I'm hiding and he tells me I pushed him away that my hearts been hard to find".
It is truly a beautiful song.
The album also examines how women betray other women. Three of the songs are specifically made up of this theme - "Cornflake Girl", "Bells for Her" and "The Waitress". The latter of these being a mix of subdued piano playing, which then builds into a crescendo, almost a mad frenzy, for the chorus.
Although UNDER THE PINK has echoes of LITTLE EARTHQUAKES, there is a definite change between the two. As always, Tori's piano playing is fantastic, absolutely top notch. Personally I think one difference is that UNDER THE PINK has songs which may not be as easily accessible as LITTLE EARTHQUAKES. You may have to listen a few times to some before you get the 'meaning' behind them. This aspect of her music is one I have come to appreciate and love above all else. I like having the pieces with me, taking time over them, getting to know them and seeing different things in them depending on how I feel when I listen to them.
While some people may still see Tori as a strange, kooky redhead, to me she is much more than this. Strangeness, in relation to Tori, translates as genius in my world.
on 28 February 2007
I am so glad that people below like this CD.
When I bought this CD back in 1994, people used to say her previous 'Little Earthquakes' was far better and this new CD was not as good, which spoiled my excitement to have met this great CD (well, I was 23 and fresh from Tokyo. I just thought I didn't comprehend foreign (to me) music).
After 13 years on, I still listen to 'Under the Pink'. When I play "Pretty Good year" "God" "Bells for her" and "Baker Baker", I feel there are no other songs resemble those songs. What an amazing originality. Most of pop songs sound out of date after a half year, but her songs will never go out of fashion - so I think.
"God sometimes you just don't come through .... Do you need a woman to look after you?"
on 11 August 2007
Under the pink is an album packed with great songs that is quite similar in sound to little earthquakes.
1.Pretty good year-This is an amazing piano ballad that changes into a rock tune halfway through and then turns back into a ballad again!Only Tori could pull that off!
2.God-This is a song questioning religion(Something Tori is well known for)in a funk style,combining a ska guitar and a funk bass with Tori's great vocals and piano skills.
3.Bells for her-This is a song that like the name points out is played on a piano that makes bell noises.This song is so hauntingly beautiful with an extremely sad story about sexual abuse-it creeped me out the first time I heard it!
4.Past the mission-My favourite song on the album is this song which is all about feminism in the christian church and it is a really beautiful pop/rock song.
5.Baker baker-A sad piano based song that once gotten into is beautiful.
6.The wrong band-This is a stange song that may also take a while to get into but I'm glad I did now.
7.The waitress-This song starts off in a slow jazz theme,before rushing into a heavy rock chorus.
8.Cornflake girl-The song everyone knows is a country song played with an amazing piano part and amazing vocal attitude from Tori.
9.Icicle is a piano based song that may also take a while to get into as its to more of a classical vein.
10.Cloud on my tongue-This is a wistful ballad that must be heard.
11.Space dog-A jazzy song with a funky bass and piano parts that runs into a ballady piano part-Beautiful.
12.Yes,Anastacia-Another song with a classical bend but that changes styles so much.This song really shows off Tori's talent at singing and playing piano.
The second of Tori Amos' first set of reissues, features the album's 12 original songs, adding 8 B-Sides, and 7 live tracks on an extra disc, all remastered for this new "Under the pink" deluxe edition. Presented in a gorgeous gatefold digipack, Tori completists will treasure this, even though many will complain about some songs missing from here. Apparently, she chose to include just her own B-Side songs, although she did an exception with the inclusion of her cover of Nirvana's "Smells like teen spirit" on the "Little earthquakes" reissue. Also, a B-Side track recorded during the Pink sessions does not make an appearance on here ("Peeping Tommi", which can be found oh her "A piano: The collection" box set).
Even with these minor omissions, it is a precious collection absolutely worth purchasing (especially by those unable to obtain rare and out-of-print material, 20 years on), compiled with thought and detail. Extensive artwork (faithful to the exquisite minimalism of the original), liner notes, fantastic sound (some drowned vocals on "The wrong band" and "The waitress" are distracting, but overall the quality has been significantly improved, the softer parts, especially, are transformed by the new dynamics), and beautiful design (the red-coloured discs make a nice contrast to the grey-coloured layout, but cannot help but wonder why couldn't they have been fittingly pink?), this is a pure delight to the eyes and ears.
Quiet, cryptic, complex and captivating, "Under the pink" naturally has echoes of Tori Amos' sublime and hugely influential debut, despite clearly being not as easily accessible as its predecessor. Her haunting melodies, and controversial lyrics, combined with some incredible piano-playing, and amazingly powerful vocals, make this her most remarkable and accomplished album in terms of artistic vision, and perhaps the most representative of her writing and performing style in the '90s, since she subsequently became a lot more diverse in style. "Pink" may require more listens before one realizes and appreciates the multiple meanings behind the songs, but proves a most rewarding and unforgettable listening treat.
This is one of those rare occasions where the term "life-changing" perfectly describes a record. Tori's unusual songwriting becomes even more fascinating on "Pink", thanks to her intentional, altering pronounciation of words which enhances the poetic and ambiguous nature of her lyrics, further contributing to its allure. For all her lyrical and vocal eccentricities, though, one cannot fault her unorthodox musical invention, in choosing to base the better part of the album's 57 minutes around only a piano, and effortlessly succeed in sounding totally compelling. Seeing TA at her most delicately raw, "Pink" gloriously exhibits her creative genius, while producing a whirlwind of emotions that remains unmatched ever since by any other artist, including Tori herself.
Note: "Pink" holds a special place in this tough guy's fragile heart. So special, in fact, that it is because of this record that pink became my favourite colour. The booklet photos depicting Tori standing on her home planet, clearly reminiscent of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "The little prince" most well-known illustration, always felt to me as if she was paying homage to the book. Which made me love her more for doing that, and this particular album to stand out a little more than any other of hers (a look at my amazon profile info will tell all). My name is Greg ("PGY" coincidence), and I confess that I've written this piece about the "Pink" album wearing my favourite pink hoodie, in order to honour this outstanding release!
on 14 April 2015
This would have been almost perfect if it wasn't for the terrible remastering. Tori's vocal drops out of one of the channels mid-word, part-way through 'The Wrong Band', becoming drowned out somewhat by the backing and continues through 'The Waitress', becoming fully restored in 'Cornflake Girl'. This, coupled with the fact that the live version of 'Upside Down' is NOT the 1994 performance as stated, taken from the Past The Mission single, but the 1998 performance from the Bliss single (which has even been edited to remove the banter at the beginning!), makes this re-release feel less than deluxe, given that the original album itself as presented here is rendered unlistenable. It has been confirmed that these errors are present on the CD, vinyl and download versions, so we can only hope Rhino recall the physical formats and issue a repress.
on 9 May 2015
A great Tori Amos album which has stood the test of time since I first bought it back in '94! The new 2cd version contains a lot of b sides and live versions from the various cd singles available from that album
The quality of the b sides are very high and tori still plays some of these tracks live.
Let's hope she plans to release deluxe editions of boys for pele and choirgirl hotel , both superb albums with lots of bonus material. I believe after then the demise of cd singles resulted in lesser bonus material for her subsequent albums
on 3 May 2015
I've bought this LP twice now and been disappointed to no end. This is one of my favourite Tori albums and by no means deserves one star but the vinyl remaster is just shocking!
Side a starts to buzz a couple of tracks in right to the end and then there is a hideous dragging sound right at the end of Yes Anastacia on side b that shouldn't be there... maybe a little more care should have been taken during this remaster....
on 17 September 2004
This is the second album of this artist and yet another miracle she popped out of her bag. This album is an art piece since very beat has its place, ever word is carefully chosen, and her voice just hits you. She's grown from Little Earthquakes into a opinioned artist who still has lots to say.
Pretty Good Year~This songs starts really peacufully, telling you "Don't worry, this is the Tori we know." And then, during the last minute it picks up the powerful, if not viloent beat that slips you off your feet. You've never heard a song like this.
God~Gotta love those guitars. Very alternative. Reference to the Bible is fantastic and lyrics we can all relate to.
Bells For Her~Don't get me wrong, I like this song....live. Though the live performance doesn't have this sound of the piano. It has a sound of a ticking clock...very eerie. I think they used stirpore with the piano on this. Very inovative.
Past The Mission~How can the part "I once knew a hot girl" not break your heart? And also Trent Reznor is a guest on this song.
Baker Baker~This is absloutely the best ballad of Ms Amos ever written! Most moving song. How can you not be enchanted by this song. So simple and yet says a lot. It's an admission that sometimes we, ourseleves, can be the guilty ones in a relationship, the ones that just can't give emotionally at that moment. The other person is not always the bad guy, it's time to admit that.
The Wrong Band~I think all of Toriphiles will agree that he song Honey should be on this place instead (That song is on the Cornflake Girl single). It's a quirky song but nothing really special.
The Waitress~This song is absolutely hillarious and a must have! Have you ever hated someone for what seemed a good reason? Been engrosed in hatred? The song is very honest and when sang live even violent. The new Tori.
The Cornflake Girl~ding a ling ding....The tune will be in your head for months. Amazing piano plane and so catchy. Also has a very good message: Why do the girls not support each other more? You should really find the background to this song and read it. This very well could be her best piano arrangement ever. Also, the mandolin is so cool!
Icicle~A slower song, about her childhood..just piano and Tori. Poetry as we all know it. I'll let you find out what this song is about. You'll be pretty surpsirsed.
Cloud On My Tongue~Although Tori said this is not her favourite relationship song, I really couldn't stop playing this song over and over. Unusual lurics and yet so honest.
Space Dog~OK, this song is so quirky and strange, you really won't undertand what is she singing here. What mumbo jumbo is this? Well, if you do a little research and open your mind a bit, you'll find this song has a very strong message. Also this song has the quality of making people sing it while it's played. You just can't help it.
Yes Anastacia~And we come to the last song. It lasts for 9 minutes and yet not for a moment will you feel bored. I never thought I'd be able to have patience and listen to such long songs. And yet the song is very moving, powerful and changes beat in every minute. Too bad she doesn't play it live that much. Truly a work of art.
And that's UTP for you. Poetry at its best. Do not have second thoughts about buying this album. Be open minded and try something new. Something that has a message in it, songs that talk to you and make you listen. It's time we forget the sweet pop and start appreciating the real artists around here.
on 5 October 2003
Oh My God!!!! if you don't own this album already what are you thinking. After being introduced to the wonder's of Tori Amos through her magnificent Scarlet's Walk album, i thought it couldn't get any better. I was wrong. I successively bought all of her albums and this is the overall gem...Starting out with the magnificent Pretty Good Year, sending out a vibe of 'well it's been a crap year but lets look on the positive side', it draws you in immediately, escpecially when Tori's beautiful piano tinkling turns into all out rawk for a mid song interlude-my personal favourite part of the whole album, though there's many contenders. Second track God secures the promise that this is an unmissable album. Bells for Her doesn't see Tori's vocal range stretch once during it's five minute duration, which is unusual for her, though it is captivatingly brilliant all the same. Tori Amos is my all time favourite song writer, and these songs are very well thought out as usual. Past The Mission, perhaps the best single from the album, sees her burst in to song immediately after the gentle notes of it's predesessor end, almost shockingly and abruptly. Baker Baker is a low point of the album, good, but isn't really that deep lyric wise and i tend to get lost in it's dullness a bit. Back on top form though, Tori exceeds the talent of all her peers with The Wrong Band and Waitress followed by the one that everyone knows, Cornflake Girl.
Tori leads us to think that the next track is an instrumental-what a waste i think, until her silvery vocals slide into the beautiful piano backdrop of Icicle. Cloud on my Tongue and Space Dog follow and still have that addictiveness about them that makes you want to finish the album and listen to it all over again.
10 minute epic Yes, Anastasia ends the album on tip top form, the track could easily be extended to 20 minutes and still captivate. That's it, it's finished, so press repeat and listen all over again.
So the overall question is: Is this album truly as spectacular as this review says?
Excuse the pun but:; You bet your life it is!!!!!!!!!