Best Tori Album,
This review is from: From The Choirgirl Hotel (Audio CD)
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.