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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 15 July 2007
While BOYS FOR PELE is a strange, difficult album to get into, FROM THE CHOIRGIRL HOTEL is perhaps one of her saddest releases. As fans will know, Tori had suffered miscarriages before the release of this album, and this sadness is something that she certainly faces through her music. But, although the songs may be sad, they remain to be beautiful.

"Spark" is probably the best known single from this album. I bought it when it originally came out, even though I didn't buy anything else by Tori afterwards.
"Cruel" is perhaps my favourite track. Tori's voice is amazing and the music is brilliant. Strange and yet compelling, there is a real dark essence to this track. And her line, "I can be cruel, I don't know why" is just fantastic - when you put it with the music, it turns into something that you won't easily forget.
"Black Dove (January)" is a great track. Another great example of her ability to throw out some amazing ballads.
"Northern Lad" almost takes us back to her debut, LITTLE EARTHQUAKES. The song sounds more stripped down than the others, not so dark as some others here.

In my opinion, this album shows that Tori is a great singer / songwriter. She has heaps of originality, not afraid to experiment and explore deep, difficult personal issues. Any lover of true music should enjoy this.
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on 5 April 2002
This emotive album is one of Tori's best offerings. It's packed full of absolute gems, from the heart-rendering Northern Lad to the upbeat Raspberry Swirl. Tori's entered new territory and has conquered it. With ease.
Elements of Tori's original style are still present in tracks such as Playboy Mommy, Northern Lad and Pandora's Aquarium, whereas Cruel, Hotel and Raspberry Swirl explore a new upbeat and dancey style.
To summarise, this album is glittery, fully-glossed and totally beautiful, different from Earthquakes, Pink and Pele but a lovely new chapter to the Tori stori. A must for anyone music fan.
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on 9 February 2016
Superb fourth album from Tori Amos.

An undisputed five star must buy masterpiece.
Simply Stunning.
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on 24 March 2016
Super CD
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on 4 January 2014
This album is of Tori`s best ones. If you like Tori Amos, you love this one, and if you have no album of Tori, buy this.
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on 24 April 2016
Excellent
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on 1 August 2016
Excellent album with lots of great tracks
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on 18 December 2006
Tori Amos looks like soft clay. The music is often like a hotel with green walls and a yellow light with rust coloured blood here and there. In fact "rust" sums most of the album up. I didn't especially catch the lyrics but the music is about being stabbed with rusty nails sometimes and about being in love at others. This is interesting and creative music, rather like The Dreaming by Kate Bush but not as good as that. My biggest criticism is the similar tone and colour to all of the tracks (and the lack of numbers on the track listing which I always find annoying).
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on 3 September 2012
My fave Tori album.

There is an important line in Northern Lad "I guess you go to far when piano's try to be guitars". Tori produced her first few albums during a time when alterntive rock reigned supreme. Tori competed in battle with their angst ridden guitars tunes with highly emotional, personal songs wrapped up in metaphors and replacing the loud guitar with a piano instead.

I get the feeling that here Tori has given up trying to 'compete' as such and concentrated on writing some beautiful lyrics and music.

on this album their much more of band feel rather than a lead paino with accompaniment. A lot more is made of the instrumentation creating a fuller sound on the songs and much more variety to the album as a whole. Her lyrics have mellowed out a little and whilst they have lost the sting of the venom that made her early works so noteworthy and interesting, it has created a settled and mature sound. Her lyrics are still personal and highly entwined in metaphor and to me Tori sounds so much more confident and at ease in her performance in this collection than any others.

The band sound I mentioned earlier is realised straight away on the opener Spark and Playboy Mommy, the inclusion of some soft electronic sounds is welcomed on tracks like Lieee & Liquid Diamonds where Tori restraint and control of the composition reveals a new side to her - Liquid Diamonds is almost even a sexy song - sassy, demure and entrancing. A song like this wouldnt have been found on the earlier albums, where spiky piano and occasionally off kilter vocals took precedence.

Raspberry Swirl's pounding electronic beat and the blimps and glitches of Hotel (which actually sounds like a medley of 4 different songs), can be seen in many ways - either as a throw in for those hoping for more of the Professional widow remix - as an 'interesting' foray into a more electronic sound or finally a simple mishap on an otherwise fine album.

Those looking for more of just Tori and her piano will be entertained by Jackies Strength, Northern Lad, Pandoras Aquarium and Black Dove.

Shes your cocaine has an almost 70's glam stomp to it and Cruel has some interesting scuzzy bass notes thrown into the mix.

As mentioned earlier this is a softer and mellower album than others and whilst it doesnt have as many immediately
cathcy songs as others I believe it contains some of her finest and is a good starting point for anyone checking her music out for the first time as if you like her spiker piano moment - go for her ealier albums - but if you prefer the more 'produced' sound then try her later ones.

The best songs are Spark, Liquid Diamonds, Northern Lads wonderful vocal at the end, the beautiful inclusion of a mellotron and brushed drums in Playboy Mommy and the amazing closer Pandoras Aquarium, which takes every cliche of her earlier works, blends them up and turns into something distinctively Tori but more than the some of her trademarks.
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on 31 May 2017
What do I look for in a Tori Amos album? Basically I am looking for songs as good as ‘Crucify’, ‘Silent all these years’ and ‘Winter’. I am NOT looking for ‘Me and a gun’, ‘Professional Widow’ (remix) or cover versions.

The closest the ‘Choirgirl Hotel’ (1998) comes to the above favourites is the single ‘Spark’ and ‘Jackie’s strength’. The CD single of ‘Spark’ featured the B sides ‘Purple people’, ‘Batchelorette’ and a cover of ‘Have yourself a merry little christmas’. In ‘Jackie’s strength’ Tori sings that she once ‘mooned’ the 70s teen idol David Cassidy! Both ‘Spark’ and ‘Jackie’s strength’ were compiled on the CD ‘Tales of a Librarian’ in 2003, along with ‘Playboy Mommy’. The track ‘Cruel’ was released as a single in the USA, but this dark soundscape with a heavy drumbeat seems like an unlikely choice for a single release.

I must admit I find most of the songs here quite baffling, and sometimes boring; I cannot define each title as ‘the blues’ or ‘rock & roll’ or a ‘waltz’ for instance, because there are few reference points applicable, other than ‘Kate Bush’s more unhinged younger sister’. Most songs lack melody, some are too long, and the album itself is too long (54:12). The vocal performances are eccentric, rambling, and ‘kooky’. A track such as ‘Raspberry swirl’ is incomprehensible, and so are several others.

Some reviewers have stated that this is the ‘greatest album ever made’. Will they still feel that way when they are older? I have lived for over 5 decades, and I can safely say IT IS NOT.
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