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North Hills News Record (US)
Warrendale, Pennsylvania
Thursday, March 24, 1994

Amos' Under the Pink about empowerment

By Rex Rutkoski

Her strengths? "Are you talking musically or like my cooking skills?" quips Tori Amos.

This North Carolina born singer-songwriter-pianist is one of music's new breed of strong artists who can probe the depths of the human condition without losing a sense of humor.

With the release of her third album, "Under the Pink," Amos, 30, seems on the brink of moving out of the "intriguing, but little known" realm of the industry pecking order.

Rolling Stone magazine named her "best new female artist" of 1992.

Her record company, Atlantic, has big things planned for her. The Big Push is underway from the executive floor to take Under the Pink beyond the gold-selling status of her 1992 Little Earthquakes album.

Vogue magazine suggests that in using victimization as impetus for empowerment, "Amos has rescued women's pop from decades' worth of weepy, introspective types."

One national writer observed that "People don't just discover Tori Amos, they become obsessed."

More than anything, her new album is about empowerment, says Amos, "not judging stuff."

"There is a lot of betrayal of women against women here," she adds. "(In the past) I always go after the guys. I'm not pointing fingers. Now I'm saying, 'Hey, I'm part in all of this. I helped create feeling the way I'm feeling,"

Under the Pink is about self-empowerment, she says, "whether it's women acknowledging the violence in themselves or people coming to terms with the loss of hope.

"It's about the refusal to see yourself as a victim and how to have passion in your life without equating it with violence."

Amos believes that many people may be afraid of what she talks about in her songs.

"They have to take responsibility for their part in what they co- created," she says.

A rape victim (which she dealt with in the song "Me and a Gun" on her last album). Amos says that music is her way to find out "what is really real."

She believes music "can change the molecular structure of the being. I know my being has changed. I'll just not understand what is happening around me and then I put some music on and it centers me.

"I can breathe and acknowledge stuff that maybe I don't want to look at."

Ultimately, this daughter of a minister says she writes to heal.

"My life is committed to healing," she says. "I don't wake up and say I love myself and the world and everything about love.

"It's a very inspiring thought, but I think my gift is I'm good with the little tool box. I can say for me to really love myself I have to hold hands with hate and understand why I hate. Then I will understand hurt and also understand anger and giggles and joy and compassion and boundaries. Then I'll respect myself."

Rex Rutkoski covers music for Go!

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