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Tori Amos: Lady of the Rings
Pages 19

Tori Amos’s debut EP Me And A Gun was released in October 1991, and her acclaimed first album, Little Earthquakes, followed in January 1992. For the cynic, it prompted immediate comparison with Kate Bush.28 The front cover picture showed Amos staring out from the confines of a wooden box, longhaired and barefooted, with a child-sized blue grand piano in the bottom right corner. On the back were two phallic toadstools, and song titles which evoked a similar sense of imagery: ‘Winter’, ‘Precious Things’, ‘Happy Phantom’. More specifically, her vocal style and dramatic delivery was compared with Bush in evoking both the strength and vulnerability of femininity, so implying either an imagined and spiritual union between the two, or an opportunistic leap into the ultra-feminine of the ‘unruly unconscious’ and its manifestation in both the erotic and thanatic. For other critics, her confessional songs related more strongly to early Joni Mitchell, where there is a similar intimacy and artlessness in the uncultivated quality of the voice and a comparable feel for instrumentation.29 Time, however, has shown Amos to be an influential and important singer-songwriter in her own right, demonstrating her prowess both as a composer and producer.