She’s My Cocaine

I am occa­sion­al­ly remind­ed more or less forcibly why I can nev­er be a crit­ic. I like things. I can be a fan, a gushy fan even. But I can’t quib­ble the way that seems to be the bread and but­ter of the crit­ic. I can only enthuse.

And now I must enthuse a bit. I have long con­sid­ered myself a fan of Tori Amos. I enjoy the pas­sion­ate hon­esty of her song­writ­ing, the near­ly-fey aban­don of her musi­cal­i­ty, the unfet­tered dra­ma of her voice. I con­fess my inter­est began to dwin­dle fol­low­ing her 2002 album Scar­let’s Walk. It is not a bad album, but even after five years’ of lis­ten­ing I have tremen­dous dif­fi­cul­ty in dis­tin­guish­ing one song from anoth­er on the disc; they are sim­ply all so sim­i­lar, so homoge­nous. I have not picked up any of her sub­se­quent releas­es, though I con­tin­ue to enjoy the ear­li­er albums in my collection.

This week I checked out From The Choir­girl Hotel (1998) from the pub­lic library. To bor­row a phrase from one of my favourite blog­gers, this album is rock-pants awe­some. I have been spin­ning it non-stop for three days now, some­thing I have not felt com­pelled to do with an album for a long time now. There is only one ‘hit’ — “Spark” — which opens the album with the unfor­get­table line “She’s addict­ed to nico­tine patch­es.” But the thing just keeps explod­ing from there. By the time we get to tracks like “She’s Your Cocaine” and “North­ern Lad” I am exhaust­ed by the vis­cer­al musi­cal ener­gy, the pro­duc­tion val­ue, the sheer won­der of it all. I can’t believe I don’t own this album! I would write more, but I just have to keep lis­ten­ing to this disc…


  1. I woke up this morn­ing with that song caught in my head. I’m a lit­tle freaked out right now. Clear­ly Tori Amos is try­ing to send me some hid­den mes­sage. In the mean­time, I’ll make a copy of that CD for you if you wish. Then I’ll slap you for not already own­ing it.

  2. Yeah, I deserve slap­ping; I am such a com­pletist that I own all five Stone Tem­ple Pilots albums, so you would think I would have filled out the Tori shelf before now. I just had no idea what I was missing.

    And that would be love­ly of you. Thanks!

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