#tbt Tori Amos / Little Earthquakes (1991)
I had some trepidation about writing a #tbt review of this album since it doesn’t really fit the indie M.O. of this column, but to me it has always been an indie record, possibly because it was so different from everything else that was coming out at that time.
If you are familiar with the lyrics on Little Earthquakes, it is clear that Tori Amos was brought up by overtly religious parents, which is a theme she rebels against throughout the record. Poignantly nostalgic lyrics populate every song, with haunting piano and string arrangements that illustrates that nostalgia perfectly. This is a recording of a person coming into their own and really finding their identity as a musician.(And that struggle was clear if you have ever laid eyes upon Tori’s first record, Y Kant Tori Read). You can almost hear the Led Zeppelin influence in the production on the record (she’s a huge Zep fan), especially in her voice. It makes me wonder about the decisions that were made in the studio while she was recording.
Tori ruminates in way that would make Joni Mitchell proud, and her songwriting skills on piano and masterful control of her own voice is nothing short of impressive. The content of the songs are incredibly personal without sounding overly sentimental. That’s one of the great things about Little Earthquakes, it can reach you in places you won’t dare venture to go alone. Check out the track ‘Girl’ below, which is one of my favorites off the album.