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ALBUM REVIEW

TORI AMOS

“Under the Pink”

Atlantic

* *

Much of Amos’ sophomore effort features the spare instrumentation--piano, mostly--and prominent vocals that distinguished her attention-grabbing solo debut, “Little Earthquakes.” At times the lyrics’ dominance over the music could hardly be more complete if it were a spoken-word recording.

This imbalance worked to great effect on “Earthquakes,” when the power of such songs as “Me and a Gun"--the stark story of a rape--owed much to the primacy of the lyrics.

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But this time around it’s hard to believe Amos knows what she’s talking about, though she clearly wants you to listen to what she has to say. The lyrics are so obtuse--in an overreaching stab at profundity--that they’re almost meaningless.

“Under the Pink” is not without its charms. Amos is a seductive singer, wooing the listener with finely nuanced inflections. Ultimately, though, it’s hard to be moved by music you don’t understand.

New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).


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