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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I’ve Never Liked Tori Amos

posted by on July 24 at 11:46 AM


When I was a freshman in high school, Tori Amos was what all the older, arty, and “interesting” girls listened to. (I quote interesting because they actually weren’t interesting at all, but when I was 14 and they were 18, I didn’t know any better.) They would constantly sing her praises, draw pictures of her in art class, talk about how strong, smart, and talented she was. I wanted to be like them, so I wanted to like her too.

But I couldn’t. I tried. Then and now the same thing is true: Tori Amos just annoys me.

I couldn’t argue with the fact she was talented, I guess. I mean, she seemed to play piano really well and she seemed to have an okay voice as far as voices go. Still, I couldn’t stand listening to her for more than a song or two, and I actually got uncomfortable when I tried listening to her for more than a song or two.

The strange part is usually I’m okay with not liking something (you don’t see me hiding my hate for Coheed and Cambria or Red Hot Chili Peppers, do you?), But Tori Amos is an exception; I feel guilty for not liking Tori Amos. I feel like by saying “I don’t like Tori Amos” I might as well be saying “I like kicking puppies.” She’s so quiet and innocent and… pure. Admitting to not liking her feels mean, and when I think about how I don’t like her songs, I feel guilty.

Cornflake girls, raisin girls… I get it. I just don’t get it. If that’s the sorta thing you wanted to hear (a haunting and haunted woman singing songs) why wouldn’t you just listen to PJ Harvey instead?

RSS icon Comments


But Trent Reznor never wrote an entire album about PJ Harvey!

Posted by Ari Spool | July 24, 2007 11:52 AM

"I Wanna Fuck You Like an Animal" is about TORI AMOS!?

I'm kidding.

But is it?

Posted by Megan Seling | July 24, 2007 11:56 AM

I'm still waiting for a "Me and a Gun" ringtone...

Posted by David Schmader | July 24, 2007 12:05 PM

I believe he wrote Downward Spiral about their breakup. or that's the rumor anyhow.

Posted by Ari Spool | July 24, 2007 12:13 PM

Also, PJ Harvey isn't Neil Gaiman endorsed.

Posted by Eric Grandy | July 24, 2007 12:19 PM

I can totally understand not liking her. I have a certain appreciation for her, and I think she's written some really good songs, but I don't ever find myself thinking "I wanna listen to some Tori Amos right now."

But I have to say: There are a lot of things you could say about Tori Amos, but quiet and innocent and pure do not jump to the top of the list. She's no PJ Harvey, but she can get pretty nasty.

Posted by Levislade | July 24, 2007 12:32 PM

After years of having verbal abuse heaped on me (and being repeatedly accused of misogyny) by all of my female high-school friends because I told them I couldn't stand Tori Amos...this makes it all better. Finally, someone to share the teenage guilt of finder her completely unlistenable. Thank you, Megan.

Posted by Hernandez | July 24, 2007 12:41 PM

The most troubling part about the whole Tori Amos Thing (tm) is that there was a period in the later 90's where admitting you hate Tori Amos was like implicitly saying you support rape. And I hate Tori Amos with the red-hot loathing of a thousand suns. I could probably put myself to sleep at night crashing Amos-piloted twin engine Cessnas into the planes of a myriad of other musical chum - The Indigo Girls, Fallout Boy, The Wonder Stuff, Nickelback, the "closing the goddamn door" band, et al.

The second most troubling thing is that after all the ink spilled about this annoying wench, no one has been able to answer the pressing question - Y Kant Tori Read?

God, it sickens me just to type that.

Posted by danmohr | July 24, 2007 1:35 PM

To compare Megan Selig's experience of the older girls liking Tori, I always thought the most interesting, exotic girls in high school (Oxymoron?) were fans of Amos. I will never forget the day that a girl who I used to have a crush on once gushed to me "I wish I could be raped. Because then I could understand Tori *so* much more!"

As a teenage boy raised by riot grrrl music in the early 90's, nothing could have disgusted me more. There were so many better role models than her. I just never understood the appeal.

Posted by godsactionfigure | July 24, 2007 1:56 PM

I was a big fan in my jr. high/high school days. I wasn't necessarily drawn to her because of the lyrical content in her songs, but it was someone to identify with while I was studying classical piano. Lost in a sea of stage moms and stuck up rich kids planning on studying at a conservatory after graduation, it was good to know there was an alternate route to take with one's instrument - and maybe be a little crazy while you're at it.
I'm afraid I didn't discover PJ Harvey until later - but still absolutely love all of her work. Tori's later stuff? Not so much.

Posted by Alicia | July 24, 2007 3:06 PM

PJ is so much more real than Tori.

Posted by elswinger | July 24, 2007 3:32 PM

I completely understand. She has always made me want to kick puppies too.

Posted by monkey | July 24, 2007 3:43 PM

Tori Amos made music that appealed only to melodramatic, self-righteously arty girls who now own at least 3 cats at any given time. I'm OK disliking her, too.

Posted by horatiosanzserif | July 24, 2007 3:56 PM

I feel exactly the same way about the Indigo Girls. (Especially having attended an all-womens' college in their hometown. Sheesh. Kicking puppies indeed.)

Posted by Christin | July 24, 2007 4:03 PM

I still buy all the Tori albums on the release days, but I'm not the die-hard Toriphile I was in high school. But at the same time I was getting into Tori, I was getting into PJ, and I still fall all over PJ and anything she does. I think that being a teenage girl in the mid-90s gave you a lot of choices of female artists to admire/emulate (Tori, PJ, Fiona, Ani, Liz, S-K, Bikini Kill, etc., hell, even Alanis), and while you could certainly do worse than Tori Amos (Mariah, anyone?), you could do better, too.

It could be worse, you could go around to the Ani DiFranco fans and tell them you hate her. That's cause for stabbing and girl-on-girl name-calling, I hear. Though I must admit, I am still one.

Posted by Jessica | July 24, 2007 4:41 PM

You forgot to mention that Amos was also the artist that "sensitive" guys pretended to like so that they could get into the pants of said "interesting girls". Blech.

Posted by Baxter | July 24, 2007 4:47 PM

PS: I thought that it was "Pretty Hate Machine" which was written about Tori Amos. I guess all of his albums kind of sound like breakup albums though.

Posted by Baxter | July 24, 2007 4:48 PM

that sensitive guy shit was a movement. i heard tori many times as i drifted into post-coital coma(tmi perhaps but hey). sometimes those artsy self-important cat-loving girls got the serious goods.

Posted by lar | July 24, 2007 5:12 PM

PJ is Nick Cave endorsed.

Posted by nora | July 24, 2007 5:37 PM

Kylie Minogue is also Nick Cave endorsed, and she's better than either of them.

Posted by Fawkes | July 24, 2007 5:49 PM

I was into that first album for a while.

Posted by Paulus | July 24, 2007 6:19 PM

More than hating just Tori Amos (and I do, deeply), I hated the people who liked her. It was one of my thresholds with people, and to this day I'm still wary of those who like her. I don't even trust people named "Tori". As a teenage girl in the mid-90s, my saving grace was BjŲrk, who, though compared to Amos on many levels, was far more innovative and far less self-important. I know her techno-y beats are dated, but she still blows all them cornflake girls away.

Posted by nomi malone | July 24, 2007 6:59 PM

Bjork "dated"? That's crazy. Everyone is still nutting all over every album she releases, and each one is substantially electronic.

Posted by Lauren | July 25, 2007 3:13 AM

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