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Thursday, September 30, 1999
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Volume 65, Issue 28


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Tori Amos travels great distance for new album

To Venus and Back

Tori Amos

Atlantic Records

11 songs 47:50 min

Grade: A

By Isabella So
Daily Cougar Staff 

Tori Amos is back From the Choirgirl Hotel, with a new two-album set, titled To Venus and Back, which consists of new songs and a gathering of songs from her recent 1998 "Plugged" world tour.

In Amos' own words, To Venus and Back was a surprise and an adventure "around Venus' heart."

"You have to keep taking adventures and exposing yourself," said Amos. And that is exactly what Amos did.


Tori Amos returns with a sultry, introspective two-CD set titles To Venus and Back.

Francesca Sorrenti/ Atlantic Records

The album reveals more of her and how much she has evolved from her debut album Little Earthquakes.

The original plan for the new album was for it to be a collection of odds-and-ends of B-sides and rarities. Instead, Amos found herself at the piano and new songs began to flow.

"It became quite exciting, we had no idea we were cutting a new record. It just grabbed me by the throat, really."

The first of the two-set album is named Venus Orbiting, which contains all her new works and is more heavily-laced with bass beats compared to her 1998 release From the Choirgirl Hotel.

The turbulent "Bliss" starts the album with a dark beat and speaks of the complexities within a father-daughter relationship, which is quite different from the liquid synths of "1,000 Oceans," a beautiful love song.

Having had to deal with rape in her past, Amos has been an avid supporter of RAINN, an organization that helps women overcome rape, incest and/or abuse.

She felt a psychic pull to Texas after reading an article in The Guardian about the infamous Mexican border town where hundreds of women have been raped and murdered in the past decade. "The voices were loud and clear," Amos recalls, and this brought on the angry, lyrical "Juarez."

Other songs include "Riot Poof," "a gift that I leave as the tooth fairy under pillows of (the) homophobic," is how Amos describes the song.

The lyrics speak for themselves of this homophobic, "The sun is warming, my man is moistening/On the bomb on the bond on the bomb."

A personal favorite is "Concertina," a lively song with smooth beats that is accompanied by the Bosendorfer piano, and "Glory of the 80's" takes Amos back to a time of big hair and professionally ripped jeans. It's a mix of dark underlying beats with synthetic sounds.

Let's not forget the second disc, Venus Live. Still Orbiting. This is a collection of special musical moments from her acclaimed world tour "Plugged," Tori's first-ever with a full band.

The second half includes favorites such as "Precious Things," "Cruel," "Cornflake Girl," "Mr. Zebra" and many more.

Speaking of tours, Amos and her band have set out on another tour and are due to play in Houston on Thursday at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

To Venus and Back is well worth the price and missing Amos in concert would be your biggest sin.
 

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