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To Venus and Back

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Album Review

Originally intended as a rarities collection to tide fans over until she completed the follow-up to From the Choirgirl Hotel, the double-disc To Venus and Back mutated into something entirely different as Tori Amos worked on it. She experienced a sudden creative burst, writing 11 new songs. In light of these new tunes, she decided to devote the first disc of the collection to the fresh material, with the second dedicated to live material recorded during 1998. As such, it provides an interesting contrast. With Choirgirl, she decided to add muscle to her music by working with a full band, which naturally transformed her fragile, intimate songwriting into something weightier, or at least heavier. That much is evident from the live album, Still Orbiting, which puts many old favorites in a new light. The first disc, titled Venus Orbiting, proves that Amos is better in a more intimate setting. Ironically, the album was recorded with her touring band, but the arrangements aren't as showy as the live reworkings, and her songwriting is a bit more straightforward. That's not to say that she has changed direction or ironed out all her quirks — her lyrics remain almost impenetrably cryptic, her songs follow elastic, unpredictable structures — but she has returned to her strengths: namely, concentrating on ethereal, dream-like song-poems. She's still expanding her music, but she's letting it breathe naturally, resulting in her best, most cohesive record since Under the Pink. It's a bit of a shame that it's married to the live album, since that gives the impression that both discs are for hardcore fans. That's not the case at all — Venus Orbiting will likely win back fans that have strayed from the fold in the past few years.


Born: 22 August 1963 in Newton, NC

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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. With her 1992 album Little Earthquakes, Amos built a dedicated following...
Full bio
To Venus and Back, Tori Amos
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  • 13,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Adult Alternative, Alternative
  • Released: 01 January 1999

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