Torrid Tori

               DAVE VEITCH -- Calgary Sun
               Tori Amos
               Most of Tori Amos' fourth solo album (in stores
               Tuesday) was written soon after her recent
               pregnancy ended in miscarriage.
                From The Choirgirl Hotel, however, does not
               sound like an album about anguish and loss.
               Certainly, the experience is alluded to in her usual
               elliptical lyrics ("She's convinced she could hold
               back a glacier, but she couldn't keep baby alive"),
               but the music is rarely morose and insular.
                On the contrary, it's often rhythmic and lively, and
               finds Amos branching out and expanding her
               girl-at-the-piano sound.
                Among the standouts: Raspberry Swirl, a
               Bowie-esque glitterball stomp accented by
               pounding piano chords, overdubbed vocal gasps
               and screeching guitars; and Cruel, which intertwines
               marimba with a lazy, trip-hop beat to sensual effect.
               Amos still comes across as the Next Kate Bush,
               but now she sound like Bush circa The Dreaming
               or Hounds of Love, as opposed to Bush circa The
               Kick Inside. Beautiful in spots, unsettling in others,
               but always compelling.

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