Customer Reviews


31 Reviews
5 star:
 (23)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it time and be rewarded
This is a masterpiece. For so long, it was the only Tori album that I couldn't connect with. In fact, I never used to get more than half way with it. But one day, it just clicked with me, and now it's one of my favourite albums ever. It has touches of genius throughout, and although it may not be everyone's cup of tea, I fail to see how you couldn't love the beautiful...
Published on 17 April 2003

versus
56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No! Do NOT get this version!
"Extra Tracks" is not true - it's actually REPLACEMENT track. And it's the worst possible replacement. Some marketing fool thought that the remix version of Professional Widow should be added after this was a dance hit. It's totally at odds with the rest of the album. Worse still, they removed In the Springtime of His Voodoo to fit the PW remix on.
This is a...
Published on 18 April 2003 by T. Mobbs


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it time and be rewarded, 17 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Boys for Pele (Audio CD)
This is a masterpiece. For so long, it was the only Tori album that I couldn't connect with. In fact, I never used to get more than half way with it. But one day, it just clicked with me, and now it's one of my favourite albums ever. It has touches of genius throughout, and although it may not be everyone's cup of tea, I fail to see how you couldn't love the beautiful Putting the Damage On or Marianne, or my favourite Doughnut Song.
Tori plays the harspichord with brilliance and emotion, which, believe me, is extremely hard. The experimentation with the harpsichord and also with a brass band on Putting the Damage On, work a dream.
If you have never heard Tori's work before, I wouldn't recommend this as a starting point. Her other albums are nothing like this, and it may put you off. The other danger is that you may go into this thinking that the dreadful remix of Professional Widow is the album version. Thank God this isn't the case. I think about 2 phrases of the original version were used in the remix. I don't know what possessed Tori to allow it (money I suppose!!).
Don't believe the people who say that this is a difficult album. It's genius, and well worth every hour you invest in it. It pays dividends!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No! Do NOT get this version!, 18 April 2003
By 
T. Mobbs - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Boys for Pele (Audio CD)
"Extra Tracks" is not true - it's actually REPLACEMENT track. And it's the worst possible replacement. Some marketing fool thought that the remix version of Professional Widow should be added after this was a dance hit. It's totally at odds with the rest of the album. Worse still, they removed In the Springtime of His Voodoo to fit the PW remix on.
This is a wonderful, 5-star album, but don't waste your money on this particular version of it. Get the real thing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bold, complex, eclectic work of musical genius, 28 Nov 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
It is very difficult to write a review for this album. It is so dark, mysterious, and complicated that I can't pretend to understand all of the songs, but I have no problem hailing it as an original work of musical genius. Tori opens up her heart in so many ways that you can gain new insights each time you listen. This is, for the most part, a somber collection of songs. While I, as a man, love this CD, there are some places in which Tori seems to release some negativity toward men and failed relationships. I believe there is a strong female empowerment theme in these songs; even the unusual cover portrays a woman more than capable to rise above any man who approaches. More universally, though, Tori encourages every individual to strengthen himself/herself.
This album starts out slowly and quietly, as "Beauty Queen" begins with one note on the piano repeating itself; the song soon melds into "Horses," a more intensive yet relatively quiet song. Then the waves crash on the heavy, harpsichord-accompanied "Blood Roses," which seems to echo the bad end of a relationship and categorizes at least some men as "nothing but meat." "Father Lucifer" has a slow, easy melody that climaxes with a slight pandemonium of lyrics. Tori rocks the harpsichord with "Professional Widow," in which soft, lilting lines bridge emotional, intensive lyrical episodes. I love this song, but I imagine the message better relates to women than it does men. "Mr. Zebra" is a short track marking a transition back to soft, lilting music. "Marianne" is a somber song that seems to deal with the suicide of a friend. With "Caught A Lite Sneeze," Tori makes her own hate machine from memories of a failed relationship; this first single from the album is an infectious, masterful song. "Hey Jupiter" is a very slow, serious song which must be listened to closely in order to be truly appreciated--this one really hits you and grows on you over time. I was a little surprised when it was released as a single because it is so serious and slow, but there is no denying the song is incredible. "Talula" rocks, but it is slightly different from the version on the "Twister" movie soundtrack. The second half of the album is filled with slow, delicate singing and minimal accompaniment. Wondrous songs such as "Not the Red Baron," "Doughnut Song," and "Twinkle" do not tend to stay in my head too well because of their fragile composition, but they are more than worthy of a listen. "In the Springtime of His Voodoo" and "Putting the Damage On" form a nice yet sympathetic contrast to their more ethereal immediate counterparts.
This is indisputably a unique, eclectic album with almost 70 minutes of music. The real gems are "Caught A Lite Sneeze," "Talula," and "Hey Jupiter." The first two of these songs have a strong beat and a rock feel to them, but the beat-driven songs on here make up a significant minority. While much of the music is piano-based, Tori brings in all sorts of unusual instruments to her songs--the harpsichord and Bosendorfer piano are used extensively, whereas bass and drums make a forceful impression on select tracks such as "Talula" and "Merry Widow." This album is so unique and unusual that I can understand some people, maybe even a few Tori Amos fans, disliking it. This isn't music to pop in the stereo and start dancing to. Tori puts a lot into these songs, and she demands a lot from her audience in return because only the listener's attention can secure his/her comprehension and enjoyment. Finally, I will just say that you should not toss this CD aside if you do not like it initially; I myself had to listen to it several times before its magic really became clear to me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Boys For Pele' is just fabulous. Buy it., 7 Sep 2002
By A Customer
I have listened to all of Tori Amos' albums (bar 'Y Kant Tori Read' and the forthcoming 'Scarlet's Walk') and 1996's 'Boys For Pele' was the third Tori album I encountered.
Well, yes, it does take a bit of getting used to after her 1992 debut 'Little Earthquakes' was so accessible and 1994's 'Under The Pink' so mysterious it drew you in. 'Boys For Pele' is unlike anything we have heard before from anyone. Truly original and in places breathtakingly beautiful, the album very much represents the fire in the creator's personality.
I first heard the album at the beginning of 2002 and eight months later it may well be better on my ears than in January. Kicking off with "Beauty Queen" and the delightful ballad "Horses", the album begins rather quietly and mysteriously. When it kicks into the sublime "Blood Roses", an energetic rant, you are completely gobsmacked. Tori includes harpsichord here and on many of the other tracks including several hits.
The lyrical side to Miss Amos travels down unexplored avenues for madness! Her lyrics can be hard to penetrate, but the music more than makes up for it. Tori includes church bells, harpsichord, bagpipes, brass bands - the lot. And to great effect.
'Boys For Pele' is also Tori's first self-produced affair and this is another factor to its brilliance. The odd "Professional Widow" was made into a chart-topping club hit in 1997, but the original is without doubt the better, making for possibly the most raw sounding song on the album.
'Boys For Pele' is quirky, gorgeous, odd, extreme, eccentric, beautiful, head-turning and magical all at once. It is so far Tori's most challenging and ambitious listen, but with a few good plays it will become a favourite.
"Cooling", a song meant to have been on this album, would have made 'Boys For Pele' even better but it is so special that maybe it is better left played live. You can hear that song on the live disc of 1999's 'To Venus And Back' album.
Tori would expand her muse on later albums, but 'Boys For Pele' is just fabulous. Buy it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give me peace, Give me love and a H-----, 18 Jan 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This album endlessly amazes me. I've had it for a number of years now and overplayed it dreadfully, but everytime I listen I hear something new. Tori goes from the sublime to the profane, from nightmarescapes to dreamscapes, effortlessly. The poems start off slowly, softly, gradually getting faster as we are led into the dark world of pele by the horses of the title. Pele is difficult to describe as it's such a mix of styles and styles that it sounds almost primeval. Tori herself says it was a musical journey to the 'dark place' and a way of battling a lot of her demons. It was recorded in an old church in Ireland and there is no doubt the sense of history and 'otherworldliness' comes shining through throughout the album. Don't expect it to instantly click with you, because it won't. I didn't like it when I first heard it but I perservered, and now its one of my favourite albums of all time. This is music when it become more than music and becomes an art form.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different, harpsichordy, but still undoubtedly Tori, 26 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Boys for Pele (Audio CD)
I had heard that Boys For Pele was Tori's "difficult" album, however it was quite easy for me to get into it. Admittedly, it did lack the excellence of Little Earthquakes and Under The Pink at first hearing, but as you listen to it more and more (I listened to it four times in one day) it grows on you. The mixture of genres and musical instruments marks the beginning of Tori's experimental period. For example, there is brass on the ballad Putting The Damage On, a gospel choir on Way Down and church bells on Blood Roses. The album is certainly eclectic, but also contains some of Tori's best work. The short Mr Zebra is still one of the best things she's done, as are many of the tracks. There are no bad tracks, but Agent Orange and Twinkle are two that are not that memorable. Caught A Lite Sneeze, on the other hand, is the most memorable track on Boys For Pele and uses harpsichord to effect. In fact, harpsichord is a main factor in the music of Boys For Pele, featured on the hits Caught A Lite Sneeze, Talula and Professional Widow. There are still, however, the Tori ballads of old (Marianne) and the weird lyrics ("In the springtime of his voodoo he was going to show me spring"). But the album takes on a different persona to the others. The music is largely different, her vocals are very breathy and her lyrics are stranger than ever. But that just makes Boys For Pele one of the best albums of the 1990s.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amos' baroque epic: intense, fiery, and challenging, 12 April 2007
By 
This review is from: Boys for Pele (Audio CD)
After a dramatic entrance with the hugely accessible and impacting Little Earthquakes in 1992, followed by the more classical-influenced and enigmatic Under the Pink two years later, Tori Amos pushed her solo, acoustic performer persona to the limit on her third opus, the epic Boys for Pele, before going on to experiment with rhythms and effects on subsequent records.

Pele, recorded during 1995 in an Irish church in County Wicklow, with further work done at a Georgian house, is suitably baroque and takes Amos' penchant for twisting, unconventional melodies and vivid metaphor to new extremes for the most intense and bloodletting of her records. That's not to say that it's a loud and raucous listen, although it is full of some of her more freeform singing, but the passionate emotion is palpable through her inspired lyrics and loose performances. This is not a staged, rehearsed record, and you get the feeling that there are plenty of first-takes here, such is its raw intensity.

It's the most diverse but impenetrable of her "holy trinity" of largely solo works, and has its own very distinctive intense atmosphere throughout. If you were to hear these songs stand alone, you would definitely be able to tell that it was Pele-era. Vocally, Amos is breathy and loose throughout, and often improvises. Her keyboard playing is superb, as on the predecessor Under the Pink, and she introduces harmonium and clavichord (briefly) to her repertoire, but the main new addition is the harpsichord, which is part of what lends Pele its distinctive baroque flavour. Her harpsichord melodies could come straight from the 18th century, and particularly on the utterly spellbinding burst of fire and fury that is Blood Roses, she sounds world-class.

As ever, the lyrics are alternately emotional, sexy, and funny, and there's a heavy dose of unusual metaphor here too. Amos is not a standard lyricist, and her lyrics do require a deal of mining to understand them. But her lyrics are conveyed with such emotion, passion, and conviction that you can get the gist of what she means by her tone and her delivery. A big theme of the record is the empowerment of women, but another is the break-up from her producer boyfriend Eric Rosse after eight years; she takes on sole production duties here.

Pele features a trove of killer, emotional ballads that feature gorgeous string arrangements ("Marianne") and mournful brass ("Putting the Damage On"), and there are also some semi-improvised interludes like the whimsical "Agent Orange," the gospel choir-fuelled "Way Down," and the jaunty highlight "Mr. Zebra." Then there's her quota of bewitching piano epics, of which "Horses" is the beautiful highlight, and then her 'pop' songs - but "Talula" and "Caught a Lite Sneeze" are not conventional pop, with their harpsichord riffs, unusual arrangements, and unconventional structures. Still, the melodies are memorable and take surprising twists and turns.

Pele also features more of a bluesy, Southern sound than before, particularly on the dark and sinister "Little Amsterdam" and strange, wide-eyed concoction "In the Springtime of His Voodoo," unfortunately ommitted from later pressings in favour of a dance remix of the sordid baroque "Professional Widow." Musically, Amos uses her piano and harpsichord here both as singer/songwriter and rock/blues tools, showing her versatility as a keyboardist. The array of musical styles and textures is hugely impressive, and arrangement-wise, Amos brings in an odd soundworld of gospel choirs, brass band, bagpipes, and drum effects to colour her imaginative, evocative songs.

Boys for Pele is perhaps not the best entry into the Tori Amos canon, but it features a substantial quota of her best-loved and most original, innovative material. There's a strong case for this as one of the most important albums of the singer-songwriter idiom, but because of its intensity, adventurous arrangements and performances, and unconventional sound, it's often maligned as 'weird' or 'unfocused.' The passion and intent, though, is unmistakable, and Amos herself has said that she finds it difficult to listen to but it was vital to her development as an artist and as a woman. Don't just listen to it once - as with all Amos albums, they need repeated listening and then they will become a friend for life.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remember reviewers, this is Tori's first self production, 22 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Boys for Pele (Audio CD)
Well, I like this album becasue of its very odd approach. It is very self indulgent, and some of it doesn't quite work, but the treatments are diverse and quirky, and it's an enjoyable album because you don't quite know where it's coming from. If you are not a Tori fan, this isn't the record to start with; if you want imagination and a demonstration of her finding a way to find a new way to present her material, then this is a turning point.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT get THIS VERSION, 5 Aug 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Boys for Pele (Audio CD)
this message couldn't be stressed enough: get the regular version. this so-called "extra tracks" version replaces the wonderful, funky "In the Springtime of His Voodoo" with the atrocious dance remix of "Professional Widow"... you've heard it.
if you liked that remix, don't get this album. get the remix single. this album is musically sparse, lyrically abstract, dark, impressionistic pop.
the remix here sticks out like a heap of fresh elephant dung in a field of beautiful poppies.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A complex album - give it the time it deserves, 15 July 2007
By 
Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been a fan of Tori for years now, but this album I put off buying for ages. I was unsure because I had read that BOYS FOR PELE was a really hard album to get into; that perhaps her concept had run away with her and taken some of the quality with it. In the end, I decided to bo ahead and buy it, leaving judgement until I had heard it for myself. What I discovered is that, yes, this album does need perhaps more time than her others to be given to it before it will relinquish the genius that resides within.
Something that I didn't know at the time of buying the album was that there are twon versions - one with "In the Springtime of his Voodoo" and one that has the original version of "Professional Widow" aswell as the Armand's Star Trunk Funkin' Mix of Professional Widow. I have the latter version, but would much prefer the one that includes "In the Springtime of his Voodoo" as I cannot stand the mix of Professional Widow, so why it was included is beyond me. I believe that a few other fans feel the same way too. So, something to think about if you decide to buy this album.

My favourites from this album include "Caught a Lite Sneeze" (the video for which is also brilliant), "Hey Jupiter" which is incredibly sad, "Way Down" which features gospel singers aswell as Tori and "Twinkle". But every time I listen to this labum, I do discover something new, and depending on what sort of mood I'm in, I take delight in different tracks.

The mixed reviews from this album are probably due to BOYS FOR PELE being the first really experimental album. Harpsicord makes an appearance on some trcaks, such as "Blood Roses", which gives the songs a whole different personality. BOYS FOR PELE is experimental, mysterious, strange, dark and at times shocking. But, it is for these very reasons, that it is also an odd masterpiece.
I have only given 4 stars as my version does not include the single, "In the Sprintime of his Voodoo" - if only I had known before!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Boys for Pele
Boys for Pele by Tori Amos (Audio CD - 1997)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews