Tori Amos Under the Pink
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- Released: 1994
- Originally Released: 1994
- Label: Atlantic
Rolling Stone4 stars out of 5 -- "[O]verall, Amos' messages ring out as powerfully as ever."
Rolling Stone - 5/13/99, p.54Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone - 2/24/94, p.593.5 stars - Good Plus - "...The album is focused, the lyrics quirky and personable, the melodies eccentric enough to entice and simple enough to be catchy. These qualities--and her emotional fearlessness--make Tori Amos a musical find to treasure...."
Musician - 2/94, p.71"...Hardly in the last 20 years has any artist of any real nerve conspired to create an album quite so edgily designed around pianoforte and sotto voce as [UNDER THE PINK]....throwing in a sensationalist lyric or weird chord change that suddenly incarnates the emotional undercurrent of the song as it removes it from easy mainstream listening...."
Village Voice (3/94, p.5) - Ranked #2 in the Village Voice's 1993 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
NME (Magazine) - 2/5/94, p.406 - Good.
- 1.Pretty Good Year
- 3.Bells for Her
- 4.Past the Mission
- 5.Baker Baker
- 6.The Wrong Band
- 7.The Waitress
- 8.Cornflake Girl
- 10.Cloud on My Tongue
- 11.Space Dog
- 12.Yes, Anastasia
Personnel: Tori Amos (piano, vocals, organ); Trent Reznor, Merry Clayton (vocals); Steve Caton (guitar), Steve Clayton (guitar, mandolin); John Philip Shenale (organ, keyboards); George Porter Jr. (bass); Carlo Nuccio (drums); Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Eric Rosse, Paul McKenna (programming).
String personnel: Ezra Klinger, Nancy Roth, John Wittenberg, Francine Walsh, Michael Harrison, Chris Reutinger (violins), Jimbo Ross, Cynthia Morrow, John Acevedo (violas), Nancy Stein-Ross, Dane Little, Melissa Hasin (cellos), Dominique Genova (bass).
Engineers: Paul McKenna, John Beverly Jones, Eric Rosse.
Recorded at The Fishhouse, New Mexico and Westlake Studios, Los Angeles, California.
UNDER THE PINK was nominated for Best Alternative Music Performance in the 37th Annual Grammy Awards.
Personnel: Tori Amos (vocals, piano); Trent Reznor (vocals); Steve Caton (guitar); John Wittenberg, Chris Reutinger, Ezra Killinger, Francine Walsh, Michael Allen Harrison, Nancy Roth (violin); Cynthia Morrow, John Acevedo, Jimbo Ross (viola); Nancy Stein-Ross, Melissa "Missy" Hasin, Dane Little (cello); John Philip Shenale (strings); Carlo Nuccio (drums); Paulinho Da Costa (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Kevin Killen; Ross Cullum.
Recording information: Fishhouse, NM; WEstlake STudios, L.A., CA.
Photographer: Cindy Palmano.
Tori Amos'second full-length solo effort has often been considered a transitional album, a building on the success of Little Earthquakes that enabled her to pursue increasingly more adventurous releases in later years. As such, it has been unfairly neglected when in fact it has as good a claim as any to be one of the strongest, and maybe even the strongest, record she has put out. Able to appeal to a mass audience without being shoehorned into the incipient "adult album alternative" format that sprang to life in the mid-1990s, Amos combines some of her strongest melodies and lyrics with especially haunting and powerful arrangements to create an artistic success that stands on its own two feet. The best-known tracks are the two contemporaneous singles "God," a wicked critique of the deity armed with a stiff, heavy funk-rock arrangement, and "Cornflake Girl," a waltz-paced number with an unnerving whistle and stuttering vocal hook. While both memorable, they're actually among the weaker tracks when compared to some of the great numbers elsewhere on Under the Pink (other numbers that more openly misfire are "The Waitress," a strident and slightly bizarre rant at such a figure, and "Yes, Anastasia," which starts off nicely but runs a little too long). Opening number "Pretty Good Year" captures nostalgia and drama perfectly, a simple piano with light strings suddenly exploding into full orchestration before calming again. "Bells for Her" and "Icicle" both showcase what Amos can do with prepared piano, and "Past the Mission," with Trent Reznor guesting on gentle, affecting backing vocals, shifts between loping country and a beautifully arranged chorus. The secret winner, though, would have to be "Baker Baker," just Amos and piano, detailing the story of a departed love and working its cooking metaphor in just the right way. ~ Ned Raggett
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