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Abnormal Attraction To Sin
by Brian Yandle

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To date, I've seen more Tori shows than any other artist making music.

To date, I've seen more Tori shows than any other artist making music.
Is Tori Amos an actress? A screenplay writer? Or what position does she currently hold behind the infamous camera lens? Although I'd gladly patronize any film with the flaming red-haired Goddess, she doesn't make her claim right now in the beloved world of cinema & may not have any immediate plans to do so but movie lovers everywhere have probably seen her name or heard her music in one of their favorite films.

So who is Tori Amos & why does she deserve a spot in my bi-weekly column? Fair enough, I suppose. For the uninitiated, Tori Amos is a singer-songwriter whose primary instrument of focus would be the underrated piano.

Although 2009 was indeed a year of great changes & modifications for most of us, I would be willing to be that very few artists were quite as busy as Ms. Amos & fewer could manage to drop two full-length albums as well as grant their fans a world tour.

As I'm getting a tad bit ahead of myself, I think it would suffice to give you a bit of background history before I throw out the most recent achievements here.

In the late eighties or early ninties, it was unheard of for a woman to record any style of music outside the cookie cutter formulas but even more rare if she could actually play piano as if her life depended on it. Sadly, most females who played the piano were subject to playing the local bar scene for an eternity or until they would learn to pick up the male-dominated guitar. That's not to
Not only is Tori an amazingly talented woman but she's beautiful also.

Not only is Tori an amazingly talented woman but she's beautiful also.
say there has never been a female musician who didn't tackle or tickled the ivories per se but very few known musicians were found on a piano stool around that time.

So what does her music sound like & how can we differentiate between her & legions of other female artists that are now on the music front? Imagine for a moment that you are listening to a female Elton John or a madwoman on the water perhaps. Although we could easily throw musical comparisons at Tori like french fries, it's best if we examine her work on it's own merits as the signature Tori sound really doesn't mirror in most respects anyone currently making great sounds in the studio nor any phenomenal artists that came before her.

While music aficianados worldwide have always compared Tori to established greats like Joni Mitchell or the avantgarde Kate Bush, the comparions do have a degree of validity but Tori has proven time & again that she can definitely hold her own. To date, Tori has released 9 studio albums throughout her solo career, seven of which were self-produced. Additionally, Amos has released over 30 singles, over 60 B-sides, and has contributed to nine film soundtracks, including Higher Learning (1995), Great Expectations (1998) and Mission: Impossible II (2000) among others. Probability suggests there is just no slowing her down nor stopping her when it comes to creating wonderful music & touching the hearts of people everywhere around the world.
We all know Tori can be a nurturing creature by nature but this is wild!

We all know Tori can be a nurturing creature by nature but this is wild!
Indeed, the sky is the limit for Amos.

Tori Amos is perhaps one of the most influential if not prolific artists that I can name off the top of my head. Had Tori not made her bold entrance into the music industry, many of the solo female artists we've come to love throughout the past 15 years probably wouldn't have been fortunate with their personal endeavors. Tori not only knocked hard on the doors of the male dominated industry but I'd take it a step further & say she kicked the door down to pave a way for many women who dare to pursue a career in the recording arts. Even more impressive, most of the acts that followed in her footsteps aren't nearly as prolific & many of them rarely ever record albums anymore. Tori, on the other hand, is constantly re-inventing herself by writing new material & it's inevitable we can expect new full-length albums or projects every 1-2 years. It's no wonder that she has received numerous Grammy nominations since the release of her solo album Little Earthquakes in 1991.

When it comes to writing great lyrics that are often construed as confessional or even a bit idiosyncratic, Tori always comes to my mind. Over the span of over 20 years, Tori has covered a diverse range of topics in her lyrics & often you'd swear she's been reading our journals as the lyrics usually touch upon a lot of the issues most of us have gone through at some point in our lives or perhaps still struggle with.* Tori has
A great album cover & an even better EP.

A great album cover & an even better EP.
been known to address subjects which could borderline "taboo" in some circles or groups such as world religions, blatant feminism, & sexuality I can honestly say that no other artist has managed to come even remotely close to examining the deeper aspects of my soul through music which is saying quite a lot considering Tori is classified as being a pop artist generally speaking.

*Fans of the TV series Sex & The City would be well advised to read some Tori lyrics as she more of an authority on the topic of female sexuality than Carrie Bradshaw could ever hope to be.

I could easily continue to sing praises here but I feel it's better for you to seek out her work on your own terms. To get the full experience, I suggest that you take in one of her live shows & catch Tori in all her glory as the stage surely welcomes her with open arms. All kidding aside, her shows are nothing less than phenomenal & I've been to about 9 of them in my life. Each SHOW is just as impressive as the last one. Needless to say, Tori Amos never fails to amaze me & I can hardly wait for each new release to hit the local stores.

Oh, back to the most recent releases lest I should forget. If you haven't already scooped them up by now, check out Abnormally Attracted To Sin which was released in May of last year or Midwinters Graces that hit record stores everywhere last November. Wishing you all a very happy listen. Your eyes & golden ears are much appreciated.

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Sinema Infatuated Junkie
Every other Saturday

Dissecting artwork be it trash cinema or tomorrow's cult classic wannabes & spreading the knowledge on how to distinguish the real from the reels. Exploring unchartered territories throughout history of film-making which have been overlooked & simply deserve a second chance.

Other Columns
Other columns by Brian Yandle:

Interview With Lucifer Valentine

Interview with Filmmaker Toby Ross

Zombies Will Eat Us

100 Movies to See Before You Die Pt. 2

100 Movies to See Before You Die Pt. 1

All Columns

Brian Yandle
If Pan met Apollo down with the sin, I would be amongst the angels who descended to Earth with great mission to seek newfound meaning & to explore great sinema. Brian was born in 1974 ofcourse on the NC/VA border & has been watching movies for as far back as he can remember. One should never forget a great movie nor pass up the chance to spread the word on a bad one.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Brian Yandle by clicking here.

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