Y Kant Tori Read – Y Kant Tori Read

  1988 Atlantic Recordings

I remember being introduced to this disc when it was first released by a girl I worked with (and had a major crush on) at a music store back in my college days.  I was a metalhead and was just beginning to really branch out and diversify my listening tastes, and of course I was attracted by the dolled-up, sword-wielding Tori Amos on the cover.

The album was critically butchered upon its release, most notably by Billboard magazine.  So bad was the press for Y Kant Tori Read’s first and only album, that Atlantic records deleted it within 6 months of its release.  Tori Amos herself avoids discussing the album as it brings back a traumatic part of her life, chronicled on the chilling “Me and a Gun” from her magnificent ‘Little Earthquakes’ CD.

It’s a shame, really, as the songs are really quite good.  If you can look past the cheesy imagery of the cover and the over-produced nature of the music, you’ll find many of the intimate elements that would bring Tori Amos much-deserved success on ‘Little Earthquakes’ and subsequent releases.

“The Big Picture” and “Cool On Your Island” admittedly have more in common sound-wise with Pat Benatar than Kate Bush, while possessing far more intimacy and vulnerablility than Benatar ever showed us on her recordings.  At times, you could say it’s a guilty pleasure.

“Floating City” has just a mesmerizing chorus, and album closer “Etienne Trilogy” begins to hint at the direction she would ultimately follow.  Throughout this disc, Tori Amos’ voice sweetly finds its way to the front of the mix, most majestically on the aformentioned “Etienne Trilogy,” ultimately proving that the critics who so mercilessly slagged this album weren’t able to get past her image on the cover.

Is it Tori Amos’ best work?  No.   Was it deserving of its critical slaying?  No.  Is it deserving of a good listen by you?  Yes.

Rating:  4 out of 5

3 Responses to “Y Kant Tori Read – Y Kant Tori Read”

  1. I’ve been a Tori fan for quite some time and JUST got this album. I love it! It’s amazing to hear her music now vs. back then. She still has that same Tori vibe going on but it’s just so weird to hear her doing 80’s synth pop!

    • moosejuice Says:

      It’s soooo wonderful to hear from someone who likes this disc. I’ve always been a rocker, but I’m a sucker for good pop. It’s definitely different compared to her other stuff, but the songs are there. I think Etienne Trilogy is wonderful. Thanks so much for your comment and I hope you’ll visit the Abyss again:)

  2. Oh man, Big Picture…
    You can almost SMELL the Aquanet while listening to that song! And Pirates. Any song about pirates is good enough for me!

    *Sorry tht took so long, I’m still learning the ways of WordPress and had no idea that you had replied, haha.

    And I SHALL visit the Abyss again!

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