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UNDER THE PINK

Tori Amos

Crossover Prog


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Tori Amos Under The Pink album cover
3.09 | 55 ratings | 7 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1 Pretty Good Year 3:25
2 God 3:58
3 Bells for Her 5:20
4 Past the Mission 4:05
5 Baker Baker 3:20
6 The Wrong Band 3:03
7 The Waitress 3:09
8 Cornflake Girl 5:06
9 Icicle 5:47
10 Cloud on My Tongue 4:44
11 Space Dog 5:10
12 Yes, Anastasia 9:33

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

John Acevedo Viola
Tori Amos Piano, Vocals, Producer
Steve Caton Guitar
Ross Cullum Mixing
Paulinho Da Costa Percussion
Shaun DeFeo Assistant Engineer
John Fundi Assistant Engineer
Michael Allen Harrison Violin
Melissa "Missy" Hasin Cello
John Beverly Jones Engineer
Kevin Killen Mixing
Ezra Killinger Violin
Julie Larson Production Coordination
Dane Little Cello
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Avril McIntosh Mixing Assistant
Paul McKenna Producer, Engineer
Robert Mills Copyist
Cynthia Morrow Viola
Carlo Nuccio Drums
Cindy Palmano Art Direction, Photography
George Porter, Jr. Bass
Alan Reinl Design
Chris Reutinger Violin
Trent Reznor Vocals
Jimbo Ross Viola
Eric Rosse Producer, Engineer
Nancy Roth Violin
John Philip Shenale Strings, Organ (Hammond)
Nancy Stein-Ross Cello
Francine Walsh Violin
John Wittenberg Violin

Releases information

CD Atlantic 82567
LP Atlantic 82567

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TORI AMOS Under The Pink ratings distribution


3.09
(55 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
11%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
36%
Good, but non-essential (40%)
40%
Collectors/fans only (13%)
13%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

TORI AMOS Under The Pink reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars I understand the comparisons between Tori Amos and Kate Bush. There is a distinct similarity between their vocal and songwriting styles. At least there was on Amos' first few albums (I haven't heard anything she's done since this album). But somehow too many of her songs just don't grab me. In my record store, I called her "Tori Almost".

A few songs on this album are interesting. God is not bad, in a Peter Gabriel sort of way. And the The Waitress sounds very much like a minor Kate Bush work, especially in the vocal affectations. Cornflake Girl sounds almost like Chrissie Hynde singing over a Bush arrangement. But most of the songs are just too light and uninteresting to hold my attention.

All in all, this is not a terrible album. And my copy is an LP on pink vinyl. 2.5 stars.

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Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Sophomore slump - the only weak 90s title

After the great success of her stunning debut album and the subsequent touring, Tori came back to the States with her dreams realized. Not only would there be a second album, but Tori already had fans so ravenous they nearly wouldn't let her off the stage after a show. She had crushed the naysayers at Peabody and the executives who laughed at her in Los Angeles. She was having the last laugh and she would be laughing for years. But for whatever reason, "Under the Pink" was a brief stumble. Tori must have read some bad reviews as she chose to defend it, saying she didn't want to repeat the "diary" of the first album. She claimed that "Earthquakes" was a diary while "Pink" was a painting requiring patient listening. She said "Earthquakes" was naked so for "Pink" she put on some clothes. But the problem with "Under the Pink" was not the lack of the first album's intimate diary confessions, the problem is that the music was uninspiring and was for the only time in the 90s one could charge....boring. It was a slump in my opinion but one that would not last long-at all.

Tori had returned to the States and wanted to record without any distractions, so she built a studio with Eric Rosse in Taos, New Mexico. Out in the middle of nowhere was the base of operation for Pink. The album sported three tracks which received wide radio play here in the Midwest, "God," "Past the Mission," and "Cornflake Girl." "God" found her taunting the creator for not the last time with the playful line "do you need a woman to look after you?" The very pop/rock track was stock and repetitive and like "Past the Mission" quickly became old with the repeated listening on radio. "Mission" was notable for including some rather toned-down but effective backing vocals by Trent Reznor. "Cornflake" fared better with a much livelier vocal and interesting structure. The other big winner in this set was the ode to masturbation "Icicle." The piano playing is simply beyond words here: intuitive, graceful, and so emotional. Fantastic song. But the rest of the tracks for the most part do not connect in any meaningful way. Most of it feels like very second-rate Tori to me. Sometimes I find the rhythm sections just plodding and completely standard rock, other times Tori's vocals lack the power/passion we're used to, and the rest of the time the compositions let her down. There were some lovely string arrangements introduced for the 10-minute closer "Yes, Anastasia," but still it's more notable for its length than anything particularly exciting.

While some critics agree with me, Tori's fans (and I count myself as one) did not share my assessment. Pink was a great success for Tori. TV appearances followed and the Pink "dinner parties" (as she calls her live shows) were sold out as rock's most devoted fans ate her alive. Cindy Palmano again handled Tori's photography and art direction to fantastic results. Her presentation of Amos is just wonderful.

As the tour was winding down, new "children" were beginning to creep into Tori's consciousness. What was around the corner was the wildest Tori yet and would continue the promise of the first album. For me, "Under the Pink" would simply become that "one I don't play much anymore." I can't recommend the album beyond her fan base even though it has a few decent tracks. Not horrible, just her "least good" of the 90s albums.

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Review by Slartibartfast
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I almost never became interested in the music of Tori Amos. God, off this album got excessive airplay on the local alternative radio station and MTV. I found it annoying at the time. A girlfriend came into my life in 1994 who was a big fan Tori's music. She is long gone from my life, but the music of Tori still remains. It really was a pretty good year though. This album really brings me back to that time.

Like Little Earthquakes, this album really shows what a skilled keyboard player she is. Add in a somewhat quirky vocal style, clever lyrics, good looks (yeah, I know, I'm being a little sexist), and what you get is as powerhouse of a musical artist.

In addition to her wonderful keyboard playing you get really interesting lyrical lines:

Reminiscent: "Maybe a bright sunny beach is gonna bring you back" - Pretty Good Year

Inquisitive: "Will you tell her if you decide to make the sky fall will you even tell her if you decide to make the sky" - God

Ominous: "can't stop coming can't stop what is on its way" - Bells For Her

Knowledge: " I don't believe I went too far I said I was willing she said that she knew what books did not I thought she knew what's up" - Past the Mission

On time: "time thought I'd make friends with time thought we'd be flying maybe not this time" - Baker Baker

For musicians: "I think it's perfectly clear we're in the wrong band" - The Wrong Band (Hmm, might be referring to Y Kant Tori Read.)

On working a crap job: "So I want to kill this waitress She's worked here a year longer than I If I did it fast you know that's an act of kindness" - The Waitress

Alice In Wonderland? "Rabbit where'd you put the keys girl" - Cornflake Girl

Religion and sex: "Getting Off Getting Off while they're all downstairs singing prayers sing away he's in my pumpkin p.j's" - Icicle

WTF?: "leave me with your Borneo leave me the way I was before" - Cloud on my Tongue

Invitation: "Come along now little darlin' come along now with me come along now little darlin' we'll see how brave you are"

An excellent mix of intense yet often mellow music.

So are you brave enough to come along?

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Review by jampa17
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Another intense journey, just a Little more "pink".

Tori Amos is an impressive piano player, a wonderful singer and a very talented songwriter. After her first album LITTLE EARTHQUAKES, I think it could be tough to reach that level of songwriting, maintaining the oddities but keep it "commercial" and mainstream. Well, with this album, she proved she is not an average composer and the album is really back to back with the previous one, but it's not just more of the same.

Well, for start I have to say, if you already heard LITTLE EARTHQUAKES and liked it, it's very probable that you will like UNDER THE PINK. The formula is almost the same: piano driven songs with a lot of different textures and styles, reaching some happiness, sadness, some more dark elements but the common feeling is intensity, no matter which emotion she is projecting. Both, vocals and piano are the focus of the album and I do say it's impressive to hear her wonderful voice in a way of interpretation that I haven't heard in any other singer in all my life. Her voice sometimes is warm, sometimes sarcastic but overall sexy, and I can't describe it well.

She uses similar arrangements to LE: orchestra ensembles, standard rock band, many choruses on the back or maybe just her piano. The result is great and I'm convinced that any music lover could come in and enjoy this music, no matter the tastes. Of course, the sound of the music is not heavy, and particularly in this album Amos shows herself way much more soft than in other releases, but the intensity is there and the music has enough strength to keep you entertain.

All in all, I don't feel that this album could reach the status of a masterpiece in PA, but it's a good album that I think many would enjoy if they leave the controversy aside and just let the music speaks by itself. I think CORNFLAKE GIRL and GOD are the shinning songs in this album, but I will let the audience choose. There's a lot of music to dive in. 3 stars is fair. Not as good as LITTLE EARTHQUAKES, but pretty much OK...

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Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Following up a debut as impressive as Little Earthquakes is no easy feat, but Tori Amos managed to do so quite successfully with the release of 1994's Under the Pink. In addition to selling quite well, particularly in the UK and US, Tori delighted the listener with twelve more excellent art rock tunes in the same style as her 1992 debut. The music here is quirky, intelligent, sassy, and often times downright beautiful - Tori's lyricism and songwriting are clearly both at the top of their game on Under the Pink. Fans of her instantly recognizable vocals and unique brand of pop/rock are bound to love Under the Pink, and even though it is often overshadowed by some of her other efforts, this is a stellar album from beginning to end.

The music is more or less the same brand of melancholic pop/rock and mildly experimental art rock that characterized Tori's debut, and the focus is still largely on beautiful piano ballads, though there are also songs like "God", "Past the Mission", "The Waitress", "Cornflake Girl", and "Space Dog" to add plenty of variation into the mix. Though I'm not entirely convinced by "The Wrong Band" and "The Waitress", the rest of the album is absolutely top-notch. Tori's vocals are beautiful as usual, and the gentle arrangements suit the reflective songwriting perfectly. Songs like "Pretty Good Year", "Past the Mission", "Cornflake Girl", "Icicle", "Space Dog", and the nine-minute progressive epic "Yes, Anastasia" stand out as some of Amos' finest work in her entire catalog. The arrangements are among her most thoughtful, and the broken upright piano used for the recording of "Bells for Her" just shows the creativity of her not only as a performer, but also as a composer. This rather small detail changes the general mood of the song and helps further authenticate its rather cryptic lyrics and beautiful vocals.

As expected from an album of this caliber, the production and musicianship are both top-notch, with Tori's piano playing and lovely vocals often taking the cake. Though her singing style is an acquired taste, she's one of my favorite vocalists and her performances on Under the Pink are, like most other aspects of the album, nothing short of flawless. This is an ideal follow-up to Little Earthquakes, and while it doesn't do much to differentiate itself from its predecessor, this is still another great effort from Tori Amos. Under the Pink is an easy recommendation to anyone who enjoys her music, and 4 stars are very fair in this case. While I'd consider it a slight step down from her debut, I still have a great time every time I listen to this marvelous observation.

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Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A while back I started to investigate Tori Amos' music and was surprised by how good her debut album was. She definitely proved herself progressive enough to warrant inclusion on this site and I found her novel and rebellious approach to being a female singer/songwriter quite refreshing. A Madonna clone she ain't. I was hoping that she'd push the envelope even harder on "Under the Pink" but she backed off a bit and I must admit I wasn't as impressed this time around. Conservatism happens often on sophomore efforts where an artist has put the material they've been fine-tuning for years on their first record and then has to come up with new stuff in a much shorter timeframe. What she does retain is her unorthodox attitude and individuality and both traits cover a lot of shortcomings.

She opens with "Pretty Good Year." Piano and vocal with a smattering of airy strings is always a good combination in my book and her sudden but very brief detour into a heavy rock motif, while jarring, shows that she's still willing to shake things up at a moment's notice. "God" is next and it's outstanding. The song benefits from a funky underlying track that toys with some uncommon and proggy time signatures and I'm always appreciative of that. The repeated lyric line of "God, sometimes you just don't come through" exploits our humanness that wants God to be what we'd prefer Him to be, not what He is. All in all it's a thought-provoking tune that delves deep. "Bells for Her" follows and Tori erects a very subtle atmosphere for this number but, alas, the lone piano and her breathy voice, expressive as they may be, are not enough to keep me engaged. "Past the Mission" is a light rocker that reminds me of Carole King (if she was into the emo thing, that is). I do like the contrasting aural textures she utilizes and the progressive mindset that permeates the song. "Baker Baker" demonstrates how adept Amos is at creating delicate templates without losing any of the tune's basic substance. Joni Mitchell's influence is all over this track and I suspect she's not trying to hide it. "The Wrong Band" sports a lilting waltz. The cut is short and sweet but far from challenging.

"The Waitress" is a highlight. I love the industrial groove of the backing rhythm and the angst in her voice is honest and forthright. "Cornflake Girl" is another interesting number. The strong attack her band delivers brightens the mood and the song contains plenty of the cool quirks in the arrangement that sets her apart from the norm. I detect an invigorating hint of Annie Lennox in her voice during the second half and Tori's piano work is noteworthy and exciting. "Icicle" is next. The minimalist, fragile aura of the opening builds suspense but it fails to deliver when the subsequent recital-like vocal-with-piano performance enters. A track can grow ponderous in a hurry and this tune suffers from that tendency. "Cloud on my Tongue" follows. Fluid strings help to fill in the blanks left by the piano but Ms. Amos sometimes gets so intimate (as she does here) that I start sensing that I've intruded on one of her private therapy sessions and I just want to leave her alone. "Space Dog" is well-placed. A live recording with her band in tow, its jazzy foundation enables this tune to generate some much-needed energy and the tightly executed dynamics are intriguing. Tori's willingness to change direction in midstream is one of the things I like most about her. She closes with the nine and a half minute "Yes, Anastasia." I'm so rhythm-oriented in my listening preferences that it's hard for me to be objective about numbers like this one that just float along and set my mind to wandering where it will go. It's the same problem I have with some of Joni Mitchell's early material in that I have to be in a specific emotional state in order to fully appreciate and stay connected to the artistry involved. The stirring orchestral score is a pleasant intervention, though.

"Under the Pink" was released in January of 1994 when the music world was weaning itself off the MTV teat and the disc found a more receptive audience to her oddness than it would have a decade earlier, that's for sure. As with her "Little Earthquakes" CD, it did better over in the more accommodating UK where it went all the way to #1. It fared in a fairly respectable manner stateside, too, reaching the #12 spot and that's nothing to sniff at. Having sold over 2 million copies to date, it means that most will disagree with my deeming it to be not as good as her debut but I can live with that. It's not a bad record at all. I do like piano in my prog and her voice is unique so I look forward to exploring more of her catalog of work in the future. 3.2 stars.

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2 stars Not one of my favorite Tori Amos works, but it is one in which the comparisons to Kate Bush stand out more than on other, later works. Highlights are "God", "Past the Mission", "Baker Baker", "Space Dog", and "The Waitress". This last number has some great screaming ala Kate Bush and must have ... (read more)

Report this review (#296262) | Posted by mohaveman | Thursday, August 26, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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