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Hello the nobody who reads my blog, Well wait, there is one person (hey Diamond). And welcome to another Not so Cynical album review. This is a part of my blog where I like to talk about music that may or may not be so bad. Or being the operative word here. So today, let’s look at one of my favorite Indie-Pop acts: Ingrid Michaelson. Today I be looking at her latest album Human Again. But first, a little history on her.

 

With her piano-fueled songwriting, witty wordplay, and slight vocal vibrato, Ingrid Michaelson carries the tradition of the female singer/songwriter into the 21st century. Befitting a musician of the digital age, Michaelson first gained wide exposure through spots on TV soundtracks, including Grey’s Anatomy and One Tree Hill.

So let’s begin with our review of Human Again.

Human Again

The album opens with the very epic sounding Fire. This is supposed to be a nice introduction to new sound, at least in theory. Here’s the problem I have with this track: during the verses the grander nature of the track works, with it’s heavy use of violins. My problem, lies in the chorus. It is a little to fast of a pace when compared to the verses. On the plus side, the Ingrid Michaelson signature witty writing is heard throughout this track/

The second track, This is War,production wise is an improvement over the disappointing first track. The Problem I have with this track is the writing. The quite witty nature of her writing isn’t shown here and plus there is simply not enough lyrical content here to hold my attention. So, while a decent track, it’s hardly memorable and stinks of filler

Do it now, sounds musically a lot like This is war only done a LOT better. First off, the writing is SO much better. While the message of getting off your ass and not wallowing in grief has been done by others, Ingrid manages to bring a freshness to it. The writing is really sharp here and the production actually plays up to Ingrid’s strengths. The string instruments are here in full force but are used to so much better effect here.

Fourth is our first balled of the album, I’m Through. While this track is nothing to write home about, it’s nice to here something slower. The writing here is a mixed bag as far as quality goes. The verses are really heart felt and rich of decent metaphors to really reflect what one goes through after experiencing an heart ache. But the chorus, maybe it’s just me, but they are lacking a little bit. I know the entire point of the chorus is supposed to sum up the entirety of the song but she could say more then “I’m through with you”? Either way this track is good if nothing special. It just graces pass being filler because of the mostly decent writing and starkly different stripped down production.

Blood Brothers is the second single from the album and is easily one of the best tracks of the albums. Ingrid has the gift of preaching without being preachy. In this call for people to look pass their own differences to see how similar they really are, the listener feels how honest Ingrid is being here. The lyrics are just as strong as ever and the large feeling of the music works great here. 

Black and Blue is another well written song. The writing is just strong as the previous track full of those inventive metaphors Ingrid is known for. What brings this track down for me is the boring production. I don’t know but the production is a bit to happy for a track so saddening. It’s a person comparing a broken heart to being punched in the face. Not only that, but the music makes this track forgettable as ever. I seriously listened to this track before writing about it and I still had trouble remembering what it was even about. Sadly we have more filler.

Ribbons picks this album up and actually sounds like a more conventional Ingrid Michaelson song save for the chorus. Stripped down with this catchy verses and witty lyrics that is until the chorus picks up. And when it does, it works to surprisingly great effect. It’s the perfect transition from the acoustic feel of the verses to the more conventional pop feel of the choruses. In short this track works really well.

The eighth track, How we love strips this production down even more so then verses in Ribbons. Accompanied only by her ukulele, the writing is the best we’ve heard since Black and Blue, I actually think it’s even better with it’s use of very clever metaphors. It feels like something of her first LP Boys and Girls which is a very good thing. This is again a favorite for me and I think it shows that she doesn’t need large instrumentation to carry her.

I loved Palm of your hand starting the first moment I heard it. It’s so very different from anything, musically, Ingrid has ever done. It is a very conventional pop-rock song. This is something totally new and it really works. The chorus is catchy enough to be memorable but to simplistic to be insulting. The writing is well down, but nothing that really stands out. What really stands out is the passion she has in her voice, something I’ve never really noticed until now. I would be surprised if this isn’t the third single from the album.

Ghost is my favorite track off the album hands down. The writing is at it’s peak here and is very mature for Ingrid. I’ve never heard her write something so very dark and even in heart break she usually goes toward the lighter side of things. The production is enough to give the song a very conventional pop feel but not overblown as heard on other tracks. Ghost was the first single released from the album and I wish it was the album’s opening track. This best represents the change in musical tone Ingrid was going for. 

In the sea is an alright track. Going after the best track on the album it is already going to be a hard follow up but this made even worse by the fact that this track is forgettable  The writing is about as good as it was on Ribbons, so it’s okay but nothing really special. The real problem is the production, it’s so conventional that is downright boring. I actually had to listen to this track twice to have anything to say, so unsurprisingly this is filler.

Keep Warm is a cute if forgettable little ditty. It feels much closer to her Girls and Boys days and the writing is okay. I can’t say it’s worth a repeat listen but it’s not bad. It maybe be filler but it’s filler that at the very least doesn’t make you feel disappointed.

The album ends on the great rack End of The World. This feels like what Ingrid was attempting to do with the first few tracks of the album but much MUCH better done. The writing is really well done and the production is grand yet it fits the mood of the song. At first the production felt like a bit to much but after listening again, I can see that it actually works well. After all, look at the title of the song. It’s a great way to end the album and you leave it feeling really good.

 

So in conclusion Ingrid Michaelson stated she wanted to leave behind her, cutesy and quite indie-pop sound for something more conventional. For about half of these tracks, it works to great effect for the other half however, it’s simply disappointing  But, not bad, I feel that this is something that needs to stress. This album is FAR from bad it’s actually an enjoyable listen. The problem with this album is it’s use of filler. It’s almost like she had a concept for a great sounding songs, but her producer didn’t really fully understand her vision. For a good chunk of the album he was on board but for other chunk, I feel like he just some left over songs that other artist didn’t want.

If you’ve never heard Ingrid Michaelson before, it is a decent introduction but not the best. Your probably enjoy it a lot more then fans of her previous works.  For fans, like myself, this album has good a enough about it to merit repeat listens but it’s not her best work. In her pursue of maturing she has left behind what made her a joy to listen to in the first place. And that is my problem with Human Again

3.5/5

First off, what the fuck? Who the hell names their first single off of themselves? How unmemorable are you trying make yourself? Are you just trying to make yourself a one hit wonder? I know rappers like Nas have songs like Nas is like… but, their not the fucking same. That was a clever play on words full of interesting metaphors. This piece of hot garbage is just a random assortment of drug references. Poorly made ones at that.

I usually would give a mini biography on the artist at this point, but after this single I doubt anyone will give two shits who this guy is.

What a douche bag!

Okay  before I rip this song a new one, I want you to look up this song on youtube. Just listen to it for a couple of seconds. Can you understand anything this twat is saying? It sounds like he has two tongues in his mouth that are both fighting to be the dominant tongue. Trust me when I say, you aren’t missing out on anything. Let’s start digging through this pile of shit…..(Bring some gloves)

Cool
36 o’s so’I’m ridin’ ’round with that nina,
Ridin’ with a hoe named Kesha, smokin’ on Kesha…
My diamonds talk for me they say hi can I met you?
She fly high, high in the sky, hoe I can’t see you
Got a condo on my wrist girl, I’m cashing out
Got a condo around my neck girl, I’m cashing out
36 o’s so’I’m ridin round with that nina
My diamonds talk for me they say hey can I meet ya?

Okay, why the hell are we starting with the word, Cool? What the hell are you conforming? Nina, according to my friend, is a reference to a gun and Kesha is a type of marijuana. Not sure why he couldn’t just say, “i’m riding with a nine millimeter and have a lot of weed on me.” Then he “creatively'” refers to a prostitute named Kesha. Did you catch that? He has one the most uncreative uses of personification in a song as well. So whats really confusing is, what the fuck does Cashing out refer to? As in he’s cashing out his money for something new? Is he talking about a fucking debt card?

I got versace all on my back, these hoes all on my back
Plus these plugs all on my back, cause they know I’m moving that pack
These Louies all in my face, 4/5 feel stay up on my waist
Plus it ain’t on me for nothin so please don’t make me catch a case
Cause bitch I’m bout it, me walking round with no check on me,
Psss, yeah I doubt it
Your girl ain’t finna leave with me, pss, yeah I doubt it
And I’m like, what the hell they talkin’ bout?
And if I got it I bought it, cause boy you know I’m cashing out, cool

Okay why are hookers on your back? Is this some sort of strange sex act i’m unaware of? What the fuck are Louies? Like Louis Vuitton? But, if Louies be “all in his face” why doesn’t he carry a “check” around if he’s so rich? We also have modern rap stereotype #2 aka the “Mr. Steal your girl” effect. Why in modern rap music is stealing someone’s girlfriend an admirable quality, instead of making them look like an asshole? Also, I like how he ask, “What the hell they talkin’ bout?” as if we can understand what the hell he is trying to say.

Ok, I drop the top, hop in
Hoes they coming by flocks in
Birds they coming by flocks in
Pass them birds like stockton
Play with my money I’m poppin
No acting, but it’s a movie
Got Spinz on da beat so we ain’t loosing
Don’t act like yo hoe ain’t choosin
I’m blowed up, yeah I’m da bomb
Ridin roun blowin on stank bombs
Pussy so good you should thank moms
Top flo’ suite chillin at the palms
We want the whole loaf leave ya’ll the crumbs
Til then I’m runnin my check up
And it’s fuck a bugatti I’m callin my jet up

I just have to say this, did this guy just rhyme in with fucking in? Not only that but he just changed the words from “hoes” to “birds” and kept the sentence the same. That is beyond fucking lazy that’s just….ugh!!!

There is another verse but, it’s the same shit. This song is horrendous! It’s horribly produced with it’s half assed techno beat, the writing is full of bad metaphors, slang that makes no sense and poor grammar. I feel stupid having just heard this song.

Thanks for reading.

Jesus and the Unicorns

Please just make the fire higher
I’m not asking for much
Just a little more taste of desire
A burning of torch
Watch me walk this world
With you by my side
I can see the rainbow girls
Waiting at the great divide

Pour the water into
This sleeping room
I think it’s time to flood
Maybe we can flood
This place

“Please don’t cry anymore”, I say
I’m already so torn
While Jesus and his purple unicorns
Prick needles in their skin
I think they think that the hole stop them from drowning
In the water
Oh to be like Jesus
But we already have our own holes

Watch the rain come down
And the floor level rise up
I think it’s time to flood
I think it’s time to flood

Oh, Noah
Please bring us a big cardboard boat
So we can float away
Noah pretty baby
I know this isn’t the way
We said it would be
While bring three of every animal
Just to be safe
Where Jesus and his purple unicorns?
Never mind, I don’t think they can be saved

In this flood
In this flood

 

In this very ancient room
I can hear the whisper
of the ghost as they do
Their best to scream out loud
But I pay them no mind
And as I watch the clocks count time
I look up at the Russian windows
And I see something so brand new
But somehow so familiar
It’s you but it’s different
There are darker undertones hidden
Behind that angelic disguise
I now can see a monster lie

Hey, sea bear
You may have tricked my heart today
But eyes can now see it in the right way
(Please take this)
Binding off and branding right now
Because somehow, because somehow
You’re shadows shining through

And as the sun leaps
Bounds over the moon
The sky is turning an odd shade gray
And as you smile I can see your fangs
And the “US” starting to decay
So jump back into the ocean
From where you came
And swim to another’s pond
Because I felt I caught the greatest one
But I guess I was all wrong

Hey jumping fish
You may have tricked my heart today
But eyes can now see it in the right way
(Please take this)
Binding off and branding right now
Because somehow, because somehow
You’re shadows shining through

Weeping willows and silly girls
Always fall for the worst ones
And never try to get up
But I’m neither, not anymore
I’m using a knife to
Cut through every stone door

Hey sea bear
You may have tricked my heart today
But eyes can now see it in the right way
(Please take this)
Binding off and branding right now
Because somehow, because somehow
You’re shadows shining through
And it’s more you then I ever knew

I don’t understand how he thinks
He’s a king
When all his treasures have been lost
So he has nothing to bring
When he’s called for court
But he still things he’s King

I don’t understand this man
And how he can take me into the
Palm of his hand
And melt me down
When his golden crown
Has cracked on the palace floor
With every ivory jewel
Lost behind the bedroom door
But he seems to have a magic
Over every part of me
He uses tender fingers to
Break me into a small piece

With all this power over me
It’s no wonder that he thinks he’s King

Yet I still cannot see how
He can think he’s a King
When he owns less and less each day
But he moves me in every way
And he thinks he’s a king
And he thinks he’s a king
And he thinks he’s a king

I can swear I do not see
What he sees when looks in his
Empty house
He says
“it’s a paradise and palace walls with
Satin curtains and rugs of silk”
While he buries me down
Under the very floor boards
And then picks up right out
Raps in lace and love
Then I fall down while
Losing all control

With the grace he has with words
It’s no wonder that he’s never heard
That he’s really no King

Yet I still cannot see how
He can think he’s a King
When he owns less and less each day
But he moves me in every way
And he thinks he’s a king
And he thinks he’s a king
And he thinks he’s a king

Bring in the knight
And cut these binds
He has over me
I cannot take it all in stride
Anymore
My poker face has now been worn
But he’ll use the wind to call be back
And I know he’ll have anything he thinks

Because he thinks he is a King

 

 

Honey bee in this flower bed
You picked me out every one you saw
So pretty they all where but you still choose
To get nectar from me
Then one day a rose grew in my place
I thought you would never stray
But once again, I prove how wrong I always am
Then we divided our things in to two
And broke every bond that we knew

Now that it’s over
You got the rest of it
You got the rest of it
But all that doesn’t matter because
I got the best of it
I got the best of it

I know she probably taste sweeter than me
And I know she pays care to all your buzzing
But one day all her red will fade
And her roots will die
All of her honey will dry
While her stem withers brown
Then we’ll see who will be the one who cries
Because I’ll be standing tall and strong
While you slowly fly away
to your honeycomb

It’s appears you’ve got more than me
Because you’ve got the rest of it
You own the rest of it
But my little is so much better
‘cause I got the best of it

The balled of the Raisin Girl

Down by fifth and nine avenue
There was this raisin girl that I knew
No one ever said word
To the raisin girl

She was born from a golden vine
With bronze leaves
The ripest of grapes
She was strong but she couldn’t see
Father time checking her out
Waiting to take away his gift

What happened ever to the Raisin girl?
She used to come around the park
And talk about the birds
She’d just walk across the grass
No one ever asked
About her

Then her smooth green skin
Started to wrinkle
And turned to an odd shade of purple
All her beauty started to fade
She would call up the cornflake boys
And cinnamon men
Chasing them down with
Sticky hands
Hoping to catch one of her own
Just have someone to call on
But ever since she changed
All the pink things
Have frayed away

What happened ever to the Raisin girl?
She used to come around the park
And talk about the birds
She’d just walk across the grass
No one ever asked
About her

She so went to the store
And I saw her buy the milk
I don’t watch her walk home
But I swear that later that night
I heard her say,
“I can breathe again”
She said,
“I can take this world within”
Then I watched 72 spoons bend

What happened ever to the Raisin girl?
She used to come around the park
And talk about the birds
She’d just walk across the grass
No one ever asked
About her

 

It’s been a week since my last post and I apologize to the many (by many I mean 3) people who follow my blog. School’s just been very busy and with graduation only a 3 or 4 months away, my mind has been else where.

With that out the way, I’ve decided to save my next rant for another day and instead take a look at another of my favorite albums/artist. Her name is Cat Power.

Cat Power is the alias of Chan Marshall, a Southern-bred singer/songwriter whose father, Charlie, was an itinerant pianist. After dropping out of high school, Marshall found herself in New York; performing under the name Cat Power, she was booked as the opening act for Liz Phair, where she met Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and Two Dollar Guitar’s Tim Foljahn, who agreed to become her backing band. Following the release of 1995’s Dear Sir and 1996’s Myra Lee — both recorded on the same day — Cat Power signed to Matador for 1996’s What Would the Community Think?, which won acclaim for Marshall’s unsettling, emotional songs and cathartic vocals.

Before I say anything about WWTCT, I need to talk about Cat Power’s voice. She has a soft breathy vocals that’s like slowly dipping into a warm bath after a long and stress filled day. Her voice is an instrument it’s self and can carry even the most cryptic of lyrics.

The first track the album, In This Hole, is a very somber way to open up the album. She is accompanied only by her electric guitar, slowly strumming away. The soft whispers of xylophone playing seeming at random but somehow on time makes this a favorite of mine. Along the with the pained and hunting lyrics of course. The next  track isn’t quite as somber or slow but still contains haunting lyrics. Good Clean Fun, about a philandering lover, contains the same 2 chord guitar strings as In This Hole but is played to a more confident affect here. The drums lazily beating against Cat’s simple guitar strings gives it a very cool affect.

The album’s title track starts off with very rhythmic piano playing into the distance until we hear one sharp guitar chord. The guitar counties to play while the piano twinkles in the back ground and we get some feedback from the bass. These elements at first seem to be playing as separate bodies but come together as soon as Power begins to softly whisper, “My God, what would the community think?” Despite this song containing very few lyric, it’s still personal in so many ways. Next is the happier (production wise only) Nude as the News. A wise choice to be the first single off the album, as it contains a very catchy hook. All the instruments, the drums and guitar, are all play against a very digestible backdrop. While it contain Cat’s signature minimalist production, it isn’t like anything else off the album. Not that it’s bad, it’s actually good, as it breaks up any monotony the album may have.

They Tell Me is a very folksy, country inspired track that is a great listen. The writing along with Cat’s seasoned southern accent highlight how versatile she is as in artist. The track contains only her guitar slowly playing  along and the track seems to be given this effect to make it sound fuzzy. This actually helps the track feel that much more authentic.

The next two track are so vastly different that you could swear they were from two different artist. The first being Talking People, is the happiest of all the song on WTTCT. Cat Power’s main message being, just be happy with who you, are matches the very simplistically happy guitar and southern style bass brings this to a greater effect. The Fate of the Human Carbine is the first of numerous future Cat Power covers. Originally performed by Peter Jefferies, Cat’s cover brings the hunting emotion of his original track, while maintaing her own original style. The guitar sinisterly strumming along plays well with Cat Power’s breathy voice. King rides by sounds like if In this Hole and Taking People joined together.  It contains the very somber nature of In This Hole, with it’s mellow guitar chords, but the up tempo nature of of Taking People. The guitar is a bit more playful at some part, doing random quick placed strum. Bathysphere is another cover, this time by fellow Slower artist Smog. We open with a techno beat that slowly drowns in the background and allows the acoustic guitar to take main stage. Cat Power’s voice is at it’s most emotional at this point and we hear a tiny cracks it brining the emotion even more so. She even went as far as to rewrite the lyric to give it her own flair and does so to great effect.

The next track is the most hunting and unsettling song on the entire album. It does so by taking a very sparse 2-chord guitar, having it play dominantly but in the background have the bass strumming rapidly in a faint whisper, almost inaudible. Combine that with Cat’s cathartic voice and the slow-paced drums making it even that much more haunting. The final factor bringing this all together is as always the writing containing lyrics like: “Oh, to be at the bottom of a river. Below the dark water, the devil all around.”
The final two tracks are both hunting as well, but to a lesser extent. Cat Power covers one of her own songs (not the last time she’ll do so) for the first, Enough. The very fast paced guitar and speeding drums play along until we reach the bridge that slows down and gives us a more rougher and hardedge feel. The final track, The Coat Is Always On, contains only a simple guitar until we reach the near end of the song in which drums join in. The guitar strums along with Cat Power’s voice while she and who I assume is Steve Shelley talk over the track. Both have slight southern accent that make an already dark track darker. Bringing the album to an amazing album to an amazing finish.

This album is without a doubt worth a listen. Quite and delicate while hunting and frighting at times, one can’t get more personal then this or at least I thought so. Cat Power somehow tops this performance in 1998’s follow up to What Would The Community Think, Moon Pic. But that, my readers, that is for another time and review.

Thanks for reading!

H

Let me start by saying, that I LOVE Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While I wasn’t lucky enough to catch it during it’s original airing (I was like 9 or 8 when it came on) thanks to Netflix, i’ve finally been able to watch the show. Joss Whedon (the creator of the tv show) was able to take a very simple concept of a cheerleader who kicks vampire ass, and turn it into a very emotional compelling show. The characters are so well written that you invest your all into them and the story are creatively told that you are hooked. I can’t imagine watching this during it’s original run and having to wait a week for the next episode.

Anyway…back to why this remake is going to suck a sack of shit. I’m going to try to keep this rant as sensical as possible by listing them.

1. Joss Whedon isn’t invovled

This is probably the DUMBEST move in the entire production of this movie. Like I said before, Joss Whedon is what made Buffy what it is today. I mean, what sense does it make not to have the writer involved? Most fans of the show know who he is, so why would they not want him involved? If it was because he was working on the Avengers movie, couldn’t they have waited until he was free to write the script? This was the very reason the 1992 abomination to film Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was the critical punching bag it is known as today. But at least, at the time anway, Whedon was relatively an unkowen; it would only be natural for filmmakers not to trust thw ideas of some new writer. Now though, everyone knows what a talented writer he is and that he is the face behind Buffy. Hell even former cast members themselves have said it’s a dumb idea not to have Whedon write the script. Check out this link:

http://allieiswired.com/archives/2011/05/sarah-michelle-gellar-speaks-up-on-buffy-remake-video/ 

2. Buffy is a franchise way to recent and it’s not gonna be in canon to the series

Now, if this series was at least 30 + years, this wouldn’t be a problem. Younger audiences may be reluctant to watch anything older, or maybe there are some new ideas to bring to the table. In Buffy’s case though, the series only ended in 2003! That’s not even 10 years! People STILL remember the series and season 9 still is going on to this day in comic book form.  Also, don’t they realize that most of the audiences watching this series has probably seen the show?  That is who this should be marketed towards anyway. I’m not saying they have to name drop characters every 20 seconds, but some sort of recognition to the history of the show would be nice!

3. None of the orignal cast is going to be in this movie

I could have probably put this up with the Joss Whedon complaint, but I think is dumb enough to earn it’s own separate complaint. Why would the production company not think audiences would want any of the characters we’ve grown to love. The characters are what elevated the show to it’s near perfection level. So not having the orignal actors or even the same fucking characters is again, very STUPID!

This is probably just a sad attempt to cash in on the whole Vampire craze (thanks Twilight) but that’s not what Buffy is all about. (Even though Stephanie Myers clearly took elements from Buffy to write Twilight) Buffy is completely different, in that the mystical elements aren’t really what drive the show. It’s the character development and the way the interact with each other. It’s that all these characters being so fleshed out that, I feel like I know them inside and out. The monster and demons  just allegories for what it’s like going from audolence into adulthood. So that’s why when someone decided to create a movie and take all these elements out, what we are left with is something very unexciting.

Of course I wasn’t the only Buffy fan who felt this way, as there was a HUGE backlash on the internet for this thing. Every fan collectively joined together in hating this piece of filth and rightly so. As I am typing this, the production has been altered (there is a god) because they have decided to find a new writer on the script. Originally, it was going to be someone named Whit Anderson but, they decided her script wasn’t good enough and are finding a new one.

Good luck (so to speak of course) finding someone to write this after all the backlash it’s gotten. On second thought you know who would probably love to write the script? The guy who has been writing the franchise for 20 years (i’m including the movie) now. But hey, that would only make sense and leave fans happy. Silly me for thinking appealing to the proven successful fan base is how to make a movie profitable. Everyone knows reaching for an audience who won’t be interested in the film anyway is the way to make money. /sarcasm off

Thanks for reading. And have a happy Weekend!

Despite the fact that I’ve only started this blog a day ago, I’ve decided that in order to avoid monotony, I am going to do something other than ranting. When people read my blog, I not only want to laugh (either at my jokes or my incompetence) but see why I get so upset when bad music is popular. I want my readers to understand my passion in music. So these post will be me reviewing and talking about artist and albums I like or dislike. They may not be very long but I hope you enjoy them.

First up is Tori Amos.

 

Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos) was one of several female singer/songwriters who combined the stark lyrical attack of alternative rock with a distinctly ’70s musical approach, creating music that fell between the orchestrated meditations of Kate Bush and the stripped-down poetics of Joni Mitchell. In addition, she revived the singer/songwriter traditions of the ’70s while re-establishing the piano as a rock & roll instrument.

Here is my review for her solo debut, Little Earthquakes

The album opens up with the very dark  yet interesting Crucify. With its haunting melody, piano beautifully chiming during the chorus, and Tori Amos’s unapologetic lyric’s about religion this song is well worth a listen. It easily flows into two of the best tracks on the album Girl and Silent all these years. Both songs seem to share similar themes as they are both about women in relationships in which they’ve lost their voice and are now trapped in them. Girl has a much more theatrical feel to it with its stomping drums and dramatic violin. Silent all these years has a more simplistic approach with its production even though it is essentially featuring the same instruments.

The softer Silent all these years is a great contrast to the next track, Precious Things, that is anything but soft. Everything from the  banging Piano, to the thumping drums, to the mysterious breathing effect seem to be smashing down to create a very driving beat. It’ sounds very angry and since the song is written about adolescence angst, it fits perfectly. Tori’s writing is the strongest we’ve seen to this point including one of my favorite lyrics written by Ms. Amos, “Just so you can make me cum, doesn’t make you jesus.” It’s my second favorite track on the album only tied with the next song, Winter. With its twinkling piano and delicate violin, this is Winter is a beautiful song.

Playing off the very somber tones of Winter, Happy Phantom features a very playful piano and jumpy beat as Tori sings about the possibilities of the afterlife. The next track leading right back in the somber tones is China.  It reminds me of Winter but only musicality wise. Lyric wise, the song is surprising straightforward which is rare in any Tori Amos song, even an early 90’s one.

The production gets toned down for next two tracks Leather and Mother as they feature Tori and her piano with no backing instruments. Leather seems to use to piano to get a more rough and somewhat sinister effect making it an enjoyable listen. While the latter track uses it to get a more somber tone and this works to an even greater effect then Leather. While the six-minute running time may seem a little intimidating at first, its well worth repeat listens. The piano seems to be telling its own story as well. One moment it’s quiet and lullaby like, while at another moment its very dramatic and make’s it’s presence known.

The next track is the acoustic guitar dominant Tear in your hand. This song is almost like a cousin to Happy Phantom but I think this one is superior. Tear in your hand with its sharp hook and clever lyrics makes it one to listen to over and over again. The next song though, is the best song on the entire album, and there isn’t even any musical accompaniment. Tori sings about her REAL life rape experience a capella in the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard. It’s hunting, it’s upsetting, it somewhat strangely comforting, it’s everything I imagine a victim of rape must go through. This song literally made me cry the first few times I heard it. The hunting lyrics and the pain in her voice just rip right into your chest and grab at your heart.

The final track is the very eclectic title track. While it isn’t one of my favorites, it’s enjoyable none the less and is worth at least a few listens.

Overall what would I recommend Little Earthquakes? Yes!!! If your a fan of artist like Fiona Apple or Joni Mitchell or especially Kate Bush, you’ll love this album as much as I did!

Thanks for reading!

 

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