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Tori Amos

Crossover Prog

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Tori Amos From The Choirgirl Hotel album cover
3.79 | 69 ratings | 3 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Spark (4:13)
2. Cruel (4:07)
3. Black-Dove (January) (4:38)
4. Raspberry Swirl (3:58)
5. Jackie's Strength (4:26)
6. Iieee (4:07)
7. Liquid Diamonds (6:21)
8. She's Your Cocaine (3:42)
9. Northern Lad (4:19)
10. Hotel (5:19)
11. Playboy Mommy (4:08)
12. Pandora's Aquarium (4:45)

Total time 54:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Tori Amos / vocals, grand piano, Mellotron (6,8), sampled guitar (1), sounds (8), producer

- Steve Caton / electric & acoustic (1) guitars, mandolin (3), Echoplex (6)
- Stewart Boyle / guitar (9)
- Willy Porter / guitar (11)
- Al Perkins / pedal steel guitar (11)
- Andy Gray / programming (2,4,6,7,10)
- Justin Meldal-Johnsen / bass (1-6,10)
- George Porter, Jr. / bass (7-9,11,12)
- Matt Chamberlain / percussion, drums, marimba (2)
- John Philip Shenale / string arrangements (5)
- The Sinfonia of London / strings (5)
- David Firman / conductor (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Michael Nash Associates with Katerina Jebb (photo)

2xLP Atlantic ‎- 83095-1 (1998, US)

CD Atlantic ‎- 83095-2 (1998, US)

Thanks to ? for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TORI AMOS From The Choirgirl Hotel ratings distribution

(69 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

TORI AMOS From The Choirgirl Hotel reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "If the Divine master plan is perfection, maybe next I'll give Judas a try..."

"From the Choirgirl Hotel" is described by Tori as "Dispatches and Polaroids 1963-1998." It falls during and covers one of her most turbulent personal periods which found her, among other things, suffering multiple miscarriages, meeting her future husband, and moving into the next "band" phase of her career. Previous tours were either Tori and her keys, or Tori with a small group of occasional support musicians. After the spring 1998 release of Choirgirl, Tori jumped in and did the full rock band thing with Jon Evans, Matt Chamberlain, and Steve Caton. I saw one of the shows that summer and it was most certainly different than the "girl and piano" shows. The sound was very loud and dense, the atmosphere a bit dark from the pulsing lights and electronics, and the material challenging. All of these changes were very fitting considering the album she had just released, the spectacular Choirgirl Hotel.

Such a shift on this album. Pele was all over the map and sprawling, an album with a sense of wild freedom and avant-garde pop if there is such a thing. It was a chaotic album. Here so much has changed. The album features a band for all of the good and bad it brings. Tori is more reeled in somehow having to balance her eccentricities with what other people bring to the table. For the first time I detect a different kind of frailty, a bit of vulnerability from age and sadness, from life's realizations. Tori has always been open about pain but in the past she had an air of invincibility that always seemed to win out. There was a jubilant cockiness I no longer sense much of here. Where she once sang "I'm OK when every thing is not OK" she now sings "well I know we're dying and there's no sign of a parachute." There is less joy this time it seems, even the booklet artwork has turned decidedly more claustrophobic and dark, literally.

None of the above is a criticism of the album, which is another huge milestone in her career. Choirgirl may be dark but it is pure constructed beauty, it is tight yet varied, sensual, painful. The songwriting is sleek and solid but bubbling with new sounds and rhythms. More than half of the tracks on Choirgirl are among the very best of her 90s work, and the rest ain't exactly bad either. Listen to the bright, chang-ey guitars laid over "Spark" along with the amazing bridge. The beauty of the vocal and the self-harmonizing just makes my heart melt. There is the brooding undercurrents of "Cruel." The build-up from the serene to the desperately dramatic in "Black Dove." The delicious, pulsing techno-candy of "Raspberry Swirl" which is the single most memorable moment from the concert I saw years ago---it was powerfully intense. "Northern Lad" is one of Tori's greatest vocals and could have felt at home on the debut album, it is a nod back to tracks like "Winter." The remaining tracks are also very strong with plenty of twists to them. Choirgirl has a distinct style and maturity about it---for an artist so often compared to Kate Bush, Choirgirl is the first album where I really hear a connection. Not so much in the direct sense of "sounds like her," but rather in the artistic achievement. Choirgirl sounds like Amos in "Ninth Wave" mode, on top of her game, pulling out all the intense musical stops, and nearly every creative impulse coming to successful fruition. Both also share feelings of isolation, tension, and emotional drowning. Moments of release can be found, but again, more in terms of beauty than of joy.

If "Choirgirl Hotel" is not the Tori Amos "masterpiece" it is certainly very near the top. I have some later titles to hear before I could make that judgement, but it is an essential title for Tori fans and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who loved the "easier to digest" Little Earthquakes. Choirgirl is not an easy title, but a powerful one which showcases the full spectrum of talents Amos had acquired by this time.

Review by admireArt
4 stars Prog related entirely; if not precisely in style it has everything in terms of composition (transgressor/crossover) This composer/performer is the kind of people so greatly needed in the Prog-World right now! Nice addition to this page. "From the Choirgirl Hotel" is one of her most transgressor works; back then and today. A catharsis within a catharsis; considering her first record the first. The deserving 4 stars here as I mentioned; have to do with her carryng on this kind of effort into very intimate sensual places and also the ones we all hide; the ones we never mention; both as composer and performer. Yes! Tori Amos can ripp off the keys of her piano as if it was her heart. But mainly; because she is a hell of a piano player. A composer who has set her own standards of language and composition in the music world; and shares this excellent effort in the form of this cd. Well yes! I will pass it on; Nice addition to your collection If progger this is the perfect place to start. The rest is up to you 4 STARS

Latest members reviews

4 stars Hey! I get to first review an album. How cool. I'm glad to finally see Tori Amos on ProgArchives. She is a great talent and has made music that fits into just about any genre with many prog elements. FROM THE CHOIRGIRL HOTEL is one of the better releases she has put out. A good mixture of soft ... (read more)

Report this review (#294889) | Posted by mohaveman | Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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