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Billboard (US)
February 10, 1996

Modern Age

by Bradley Bambarger

For Atlantic recording artist Tori Amos, her new album, "Boys for Pele," was a reclamation of things feminine and forgotten.

"I had to go back into the bloodline of womanhood to reclaim parts of me, so I went back into the bloodline of the piano to the harpsichord," Amos explains. "I wanted to break free with an instrument that hadn't been freed."

"I wanted to get to know the harpsichord -- where it's been and what it can say," Amos continues. "Then I wanted to take it farther, you know, like, 'Come on, baby, put on a red dress and let's roll.'"

The percussive sounds of the harpsichord help set the tone for the rhythms on such tracks as the galloping "Caught a Lite Sneeze," which is at No. 22 on Modern Rock Tracks this week. The song marks Amos' fifth appearance on the chart. "God," from her 1994 album "Under the Pink," hit No. 1, and the follow-up single, "Cornflake Girl," peaked at No. 12. From her '92 Atlantic debut album, "Little Earthquakes," Amos charted with "Silent All These Years" and "Crucify."

Amos says "Boys for Pele" traces a young woman's realization that she can't seek affirmationof her femininity from men. "After drinking enough boy blood, you realize that you need to get validation of yourself within yourself," she says.

"In 'Sneeze,' that character realizes that her romantic relationship isn't butter, it's only margarine," Amos adds, "So she knows it's over, but she can't give it up -- she's addicted. She's still crawling on the floor, waiting for the phone to ring."

"I've been playing music since I was 2 years old, and there have been times when the musician in me was beyond the woman. But I've been catching up. The process has been like a little camping trip I've taken on my own. It's not anything anyone can do for me."

original article

[scan by Martin Maderna]

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