Meredith C. from GAINESVILLE, FL Reviewed on 4/15/2007...
Arguably the best album of a phenomenal artist.
Deliciously Odd But Still Entirely Listenable
mike | Australia | 12/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Under The Pink' is the definate mid point in vision between the structured, catchy honest confession of 'Little Earthquakes' and the experimental, often formless cryptic 'Boys For Pele.' I feel that with her debut Tori didn't really show off her lyrical acrobats or experimental fancies as well as she was capable of (great album that 'LE' was.) 'BFP' almost had the opposite problems, Tori was at her creative peak, but at a peak that nobody could understand.'Under The Pink' however, compromises between pop accessibility and creative progression. The lyrics here are definately more cryptic than Little Earthquakes and although are difficult to understand one can usually catch the general gist of most songs (Space Dog, however still baffles me.)In addition, where Tori's debut is very personal 'UTP' attempts the externalise her scope towards inter relationships in peer groups as well as having a good cheeky jab toward christianity.Musically the album is at its most schitzophrenic, tempos change drastically, not only from track to track, but also within single tracks themselves. Hence 'Pretty Good Year' 'God' 'Cornflake Girl' and 'Space Dog' switch between fesity rock and soft balladry within a moment's notice. Tori experiements with industrial sounds in 'The Waitress' while in 'Bells For Her' she plays on a deconstructed 'prepared' piano that sounds more like clanging bells than a piano. Of course, it wouldn't be a Tori album without the piano and strings, 'Baker Baker' 'Icicle' and 'Cloud On My Tongue' are brilliant, and to a lesser extent 'Yes Anastasia' (which is technically great but fails to sustain my interest.)Elsewhere, 'The Wrong Band' sounds like a cut off the Beatle's 'Abbey Road' album (hence its very bouncy and quirky) and Space Dog's upbeart parts sound like Blondie's Rapture. 'Past The Mission' with its impossibly catchy hook line, is perhaps my favorite extract from the album melodic wise. It used to be 'Cornflake Girl', but since I've heard that classic song (that everyone should know by now) so many thousands of times, Im starting to *gasp* tire of it (a year ago I would've considered that last comment impossible.)Admittedly, I listen to 'Little Earthquakes' more than this one, since its a lot catchier and straight forward its more of an enjoyable listen. However, in terms of artistic vision and creative achievement, Under The Pink is a far superior album. If nothing else, the lyrics to 'God' and 'Icicle' will make you smile (just make sure you're not a god fearing christian.)"
mike | 01/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Before I begin, I say to people who hate an entire album because they find one song offensive- what do you want her to do, lie about her opinions and beliefs? Just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't mean they're wrong, bad, or that the musical quality of this CD is compromised. If you want to only hear lyrics that agree with your own particular religious beliefs, go buy some good Christian music or something. *clears throat* Thank you. Well, Under the Pink is brilliant. I adore Tori Amos for her piano playing as much as for anything else. Pretty Good year starts off the CD- beautiful piano, a light touch of strings, and a very powerful bridge in the middle. Next comes the song with the 'blasphemous' lyrics, God. "God sometimes you just don't come through/do you need a woman to look after you?" Its the fastest, most uptempo song on the CD, you can even dance to it if you feel so inclined. Bells For Her is played on a "pepared" (read 'destroyed') upright piano and is hauntingly beautiful. Past the Mission is the next song, and it has ot be one of my favorites. Guest vocalist Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails blends perfectly, making one of Tori's most melodic, gorgeous songs without being slow and sad. Baker Baker, the song after this, reminds me of a lullaby. The Wrong Band is the song after this. Its got a sorta light jazz feel, but Tori feels as if she's holding back on it- something I don't like. The Wrong Band is one of two songs on this CD I dislike. Now we come to "The Waitress". If people want a disturbing song, forget "God", go with "The Waitress". Its odd and a little spooky, but still quite cool. Next comes the best song (in my opinion) of the CD, CORNFLAKE GIRL! Uptempo jazz with the CD's second guest vocalist, Cornflake Girl will have you dancing and singing along. It will be sure to stick in your head for weeks! "Icicle" and "Cloud on my Tounge" are the two songs after this. They are both quite beautiful, girl and piano, sad slow songs. The odd Space Dog and the overly long Yes Anastasia round out the album. The album isn't as cohesive as most of Tori's other works. Whereas Boys for Pele is tightly arranged, Pink seems helter-skelter in track arrangement, grouping songs that, in my opinion, would be better off next to songs on the other end of the album. But because the actual musical quality is so good, I give this CD 4 1/2 stars. Her second best work, after Boys for Pele, in my opinion, and one definently not to be missed, even if you only like Tori Amos a little bit. And remember, if you are offended by it, just don't listen to it! If you want a real shock, check out Boys for Pele, this CD makes that one look like a Sunday School Picnic when lyrics come into play. ^__^ Thanks for reading!"
Under the Pink-- 12 Years Later, I'm Still Not Over It
Julien Walden | Austin, TX | 08/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At some point in 1993, the year after her first solo record, Little Earthquakes, took both the US and UK by surprise, Tori Amos spent some time in the high desert. In Taos, New Mexico, no more (and perhaps less) than 200 miles from where I was living at the time (oh, if only I had known!), Tori recorded the tracks that would become her second masterpiece, Under the Pink. It was released the following February, to the great pleasure of yours truly and other odd people with superior taste, giving us a clear indication that this angel/daemon woman who had so blown our minds in '92 was planning on sticking around. Right from the beginning, Under the Pink is as offbeat and intense as its predecessor. 'Pretty Good Year' opens with a whisper of soft piano and sweet sarcasm, erupts into a violent wail about 2/3 of the way through, then slips back into a peaceful melody on the way out. It's an amazing song, centred upon a letter Tori got from a male fan, complaining about how he didn't know what women wanted, and perhaps also commenting upon the quality of 1992 from her perspective. Next on the agenda is a bracing, rhythmic piece of experimental guitar rock, appropriately titled 'God,' suggesting that the seemingly P.O.ed Patriarch could use some TLC from a good woman, instantly alienating all fundamentalist Christians in four minutes or less, leading all of us who love Tori to breathe a sigh of relief. At least this ensures that we won't be pestered by pamphlet-carrying Protestants at any of her shows. . . Next is one of the most musically gentle songs she ever wrote: 'Bells For Her,' which seems to be describing the difficulty of seeing either a close female friend or relative get her spirit stifled by some pushy male creature. The hauntingly mysterious 'Past the Mission' follows, featuring uncharacteristically soft backing vocals on the chorus from Trent Reznor. It is a beautiful song, one of my early favourites, and I refuse to even attempt to interpret its literal meaning. Listen to it, and do that for yourselves. 'Baker Baker' is the next one, another very pretty song detailing the difficulty of opening up to someone and being 'whole again' when great damage has been done to you. Those of us who know her story had no trouble interpreting this one; Tori was still dealing with the long aftershocks of a sexual assault in her past at this time. But one need not be a woman to understand this; many of us, male and female, have been hurt deeply by the aggression and general inhumanity of others, especially in a culture that rewards aggression and the tendency to distance oneself from others in so many ways. Tori has lead the way for many of us who are or were struggling to overcome one kind of other-inflicted damage or another; we are all more than grateful that she chose to share her own struggle through her art with the rest of us, as we are all closer to healing for it. 'The Wrong Band,' which has been described in other places as a cabaret song, is about a Washington, D.C. hooker Tori used to know who was involved with high officials and had her life threatened by them for knowing too much. It's a subtle indictment of the gangsters and hypocrites who call themselves our leaders that cuts like a scalpel: you don't feel it right away, but it most certainly bleeds. 'The Waitress' follows, a very funny song with a violent edge to it, perhaps about the kind of woman who either ignores or mistreats others of her own gender, saving all of her politeness and sweetness for men. The next song, 'Cornflake Girl,' is also about the evil that women do to other women; in fact, that's a theme that permeates much of this record. 'Icicle' comes next, a lovely song about masturbation to the image of Christ. Ah, Tori continues her sweet overtures to the Christian right. . . I've never been sure what 'Cloud On My Tongue' is about; I'm convinced that 'Space Dog' is a commentary on our Presidents in general (it reminds me very much of Bush, Sr. for some reason), but the last song will get the rest of my time here. 'Yes, Anastasia' is a symphonic epic from the perspective of one of the red guards who killed the Romanovs in 1918 (I think. Maybe it was 1917.), detailing the whole scene. I think it still stands as one of the best things she's ever done. The last line is a good one not only for anyone approaching execution, but for anyone just delving into the work of Tori Amos: 'We'll see how brave you are.' And I think I'll leave you with that, encouraging you to come on in, but warning you at the same time. Can you deal with what Tori can show and tell you? Can you deal with what this music might bring up in your own heart and soul? We'll see how brave you are."
"Pretty Good Year"... Pretty Good Album!
Kristin Mitchell | 01/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tori Amos at her finest. I love all 4 Tori albums, but 'Under The Pink' is by far the best and most deliciously blasphemous. Tori adds different styles of playing, especially a classical style that would even make Bartok raise an eyebrow. Her piano ballads, like "Pretty Good Year", "Baker Baker", and "The Wrong Band" are quiet and refined, then suddenly explode with feral delight. Tori's vocals range from angelic and subtle to ferocious in upbeat songs like "The Waitress", "Past The Mission", the blasphemous "God", "Space Dog", and the evocative "Cornflake Girl". The piano cascades over Tori's emotional voice in "Bells For Her", "Cloud On My Tongue", and the intimately irreligious "Icicle". The most powerful song on the album is the 9:33 long "Yes, Anastasia". I love every song on this album. I give it the top rating and my utmost recommendations."
Exceptional Follow Up Album
Kristin Mitchell | Winter Springs, FL United States | 07/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This cd is a brilliant follow up album to "Little Earthquakes." Every single song on here is a masterpiece. All the songs are genius, lyrically and musically! "Pretty Good Year" is just gorgeous and bitter sweet. "God" questions the idea of why do bad things happen to good people. It also has a really nice rock edge to it. "Bells for Her" is about the abuse that a friend of hers suffered, and the piano is absolutely haunting. The piano was deconstructed and then reconstructed and various metal cans and ball bearings were put in it to give it that sound."Past the Mission" has a jazzy sort of sound to it, kinda like carnival music and would be the type of song that would be radio friendly. Very beautiful. Trent Reznor from NIN also sings backup to Tori on this one."Baker Baker" is absolutely heart wrenching. Anyone who has ever had a tough breakup with someone will fall to pieces when hearing this."The Wrong Band" is another great song. A really great sound to this song."The Waitress" has such a hilarious song lyric in it. You'll have to hear for yourself, but once you hear it and laugh a bit, it's message is quite strong and has a lot of meaning behind it."Cornflake Girl" of course is the single of the album, a really radio friendly song and it is great to rock out to. Tori really goes to town on the piano in this one. Great music and really catchy lyrics! Great song to drive to!"Icicle" has got to be one of my favorites from this album if not the favorite. The lyrics in this are just priceless. It's about realizing one's sexuality and growing up. A really beautiful song with nice piano work and Tori's voice is amazing."Cloud on my Tonge" is another gorgeous song. This one is sung with so much emotion."Space Dog" can only be described as funky and quirky. The lyrics are a bit off the wall, but that is what makes the song loveable."Yes, Anastasia" is a wonderful end to the cd. The lyrics and music are very dramatic.Overall, this is such an incredible album! Rolling Stone magazine listed this as one of the essential albums to have in your cd collection, and I would also agree!"