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Tori Amos Poll

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I'm studying at the school of media in Zwolle, to become a (music)journalist and I must say, "genre's" or labels are usefull when you must write about an artist for you can't really show or play it (when it's just a sheet of paper, you know)... But, as I got more and more in to music, genre's started to blur... sometimes I had these immensley long discussions about what genre some artist plays or what artists he or she (or they) sounds like or should be compared with (I usually have radical ideas about such things, which, at face-value, seem totally wrong- but are in fact deeper than just musical comparissons).

The thing is, that in some way, all those labels and genre's have kinda gone out of control.

You know, first there was just Classical Music and Popular Music. Then popular music was split into jazz, blues, folk and rock 'n roll and after that we sort of lost track, more and more different styles, genres and subgenres... It is becoming really confusing.

A nice example of how music industry and -media overload the audience with stylistic terms was grunge.

Grunge has never really been óne genre, it's actually more a "locator", from where does this band come? Seattle... It's grunge. One made the word grunge as locator, but as stylistic description it's nonsense 'cause Pearl Jam and Nirvana (for example) are/were totally different bands, classic Rock and Punkrock respectively.

Yet realising this I began to see genres, styles and labels in a wider picture. Genres are not solely an indaction of people playing (slightly) the same music, it's usually also an indication where they came from, which artists inspired them to make music themselves and what they have to say... and where they want to go...

I think, reading all the "Tori Amos misery" here, that Regina doesn't want the comparisson with Amos in the part of 'where is it going', as Tori seems to have lost her way. If Tori Amos was still a stable person, she might have been flattered by the comparisson... off course, this is speculation.

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Originally posted by Beechcraft Bonanza:

If Tori Amos was still a stable person

Isn't that an oxymoron? Don't get me wrong. I like a vast amount of Tori's material. But isn't her quirkiness or perceived instability a part of her persona and therefore, to an extent, part of her appeal? I mean, is she really any more or less stable than the past?

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So I just sat here and read this whole thread and loved all that was said. Thank god there are some objective fans on here of Regina's.

I'm also trying to "get into" Regina but have found my innate Tori-bias keeping me from opening up my mind. I want to respond to everything everyone said on here but that would be too tedious so I'll make a list of similarities and differences I agree and disagree with:

The Piano: By far, this is the one reason why these two females are compared - this amazing, magical instrument that can create worlds - universes, etc.

Tori is by far the better pianist and in a sense I'm quite content with just this. See, Tori has always said that her first language is music - just like many artists say and although I wouldn't trade her voice for the world, it is her compositions and her playing that I gravitate too because, after all, that is how she communicates most intimately - through her instrument. It isn't something cute to her, or a toy or something to showcase HER talents. It's an actual "being" to her - something that gives to her as much as she gives to it. Again, her skill and beauty as a pianist is unmatched by any artist of this day and age. There's my bias again. And though I'm fresh on the Regina scene, I don't fancy her playing as much as her voice - a combo of Bjork, Tori and Kate.

The Voice - I can see where some people might compare these two. Mostly in delivery - not tone or necessarily "style". Delivery in terms of being "coy", "cute", "playful", "breathy", "passionate", etc. But I don't really see similarities here...

The Music - Regina can definitely evoke Tori - think of songs such as Mr. Zebra, Leather, Happy Phantom, etc. But, personally, Tori's music is much more epic and cinematic, whereas Regina's is sweeter and more humble. What I find about Tori's music that I don't find about Regina's, though (and funny enough) is THE HUMANITY.

See, Tori is human to a painful degree and NO all of her songs are not about her. Some are about her, some are about friends, some are about lovers, some are about fans, some are about people she's met throughout her life (neighbors - "Toodles Mr. Jim" - a school friend who killed herself - "Marianne" - etc.)

Tori is just as human and dares to go to the precipice of human emotions. Regina, in my opinion, skirts them. She has fun with them and plays around and yes all of that is very cute and charming and uplifting, but does nothing for me in terms of catharsis. Yes Tori has had a lot pain in her life but she doesn't share it to gloat or "dwell"...she shares it because she considers her fans, "Ears With Feet" as she calls them, special and worthy of knowing about her life.

In terms of uplifting people, Tori believes you have to CONFRONT your demons before truly being happy. And she has stated that she purposefully writes obscure lyrics so that the listeners can focus on THEIR experience of the music, not hers. There are very few times when Tori is LITERAL with her songs. She's private in a very quirky way. So, I find it interesting that some people think she focuses on rape, miscarriages, etc.

She actually is very broad in her scope musically...

OVERALL INFLUENCE: I don't think Regina should say that she owes anything to Tori in terms of "influence". I mean, let's get real, if the girl claims to not have heard Tori then you can't accuse her of lying. But I am glad to see that some people on here admit the similarities.

One thing I will say: She should be more respectful when it comes to Tori, just as Tori was to Kate Bush when she was CONSTANTLY compared to her. Rather than dismiss her or say she didn't enjoy being compared to her, she embraced the comparisons, admitted enjoying Kate's music and has covered her a few times in concert.

Tori's influences are Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pat Benetar, Joni Mitchell, etc. But she does admit them.

LIVE - Tori is by far the better performer live. Past 40, she's still doing WORLD TOURS and still SELLS OUT. That's unheard of. Truly unheard of. And almost every artist from Alicia Keys to Trent Reznor has admitted her effect live - a mixture of beauty, comedy, pain and sheer rock (with a piano of course).

EDIT: This DVD comes out at the end of this month. Here's a clip. Tell me if you see some similarities:


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Tori's influences are Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pat Benetar, Joni Mitchell, etc. But she does admit them.

Regina admits her influences too (Joni, Billie Holiday, The Beatles, Classical music etc) you just seem to be mad because one of them isn't Tori.

She's never been mean about Tori, she's just said she doesn't think the comparisons between them are neccessary. She doesn't get annoyed because she's being compared to Tori specifically, just because she's being compared at all, when she wants to be known as herself, not 'The next Tori Amos' or whatever.

I actually really like Tori Amos, and i really like Regina, i don't however feel the need to compare them over every little thing, and i think if you just listened to Regina's music without thinking how it is similar/different to Tori's, you might enjoy it a bit more.

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Kurt: That’s Tori Amos singing “Leather”. Do you think about the handful of tough, lovely, piano-playing female songwriters that have followed you like Fiona Apple, and Norah Jones, and Regina Spektor. Do you think you sort of, in some measure, paved the way for those artists?

Tori: Well, what I do know, is that in 1990, when I turned in Little Earthquakes, it was rejected because this girl in the piano thing was dead “with Carol King.” So, I had to sit there and fight to have the pianos left on the record. They wanted to erase them, and I am not mentioning any names, because one of these people did work with one of the piano players you’ve just mentioned. But at the time, in 1991, he said this piano thing is not going to work. And we got into a pissing match, and this is where I think I have a questionable reputation, because you have to be willing to fight with these guys. And taking your piano off the record, really matters. Now, I am sure if you talked to some of these other women that are playing the piano now, that they didn’t come up against that. And I think that, I am glad that it happened with me because I am just the type of gal that will have a pissing match with a corporate man in a suit, you know I love that sort of thing.


What you said is definitely something to consider. I think I need to not think of Tori while I listen to Regina. It's been hard though because of, funny enough, the comparisons. That is how I first heard of Regina - being compared to Tori. So it's sort of hard to shake that initial introduction...

I am trying though, because, as I've stated before, I hated Tori before listening to her, so who knows with Regina...


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Originally posted by Raugust:

My mom doesn't like Regina, but she LOVES Tori. I don't understand that. I would think if you like one, you'd like the other

... Why? Regina and Tori are two very different artists. That's absolutely indisputable even if they're in the same genre. You can like one artist in a genre and not like every artist in a genre. Come on, now, "if you like one, you'd like the other"? That's just a silly statement to make. Many people who love Tori will consider Regina too cutesy, or poppy, or mundane, or whatever; and likewise many who like Regina will consider Tori to be too opaque, or bizarre, or whatever. Even if most people who like one will like the other, there are still a huge number who don't.

I think it's really unfair to call my comment silly. You said it yourself the O.P. and everyone here are all talking about OPINIONS. My statement was simply an opinion. I just said I don't understand how someone can Hate one and Love the other...

And since my mom has since converted into a hardcore Regina fan after that post I reinforces that confusion of mine. It makes SENSE to me for people to like both Regina and Tori - but I DO understand Jessica's explanation of why she isn't into Tori...because if you're not feelin' it, you're just not feelin' it, it's inexplicable.

And I have to say...certain genres (like the one Tori and Regina belong to, in my eyes they are in the same genre) I DO love pretty much every artist in that genre...

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This is a Regina talking a little bit more in depth about not liking comparisons in general.And she mentions Tori Amos in there too. I don't think she means any disrespect or anything towards the muscians she is most frequently compared to. She just thinks it limits her as an artist if she were to compare herself to them.

The bold is the interviewer..

The bold and italic is the quote from her that I think best explains it..

I have to say, I never heard of you until my editor assigned this to me, so I have been doing a lot of reading about you in the last few days…

Trying to prepare!

Yeah, but what I noticed in reading, what stands out the most to me is the comparisons…writers have compared you to the likes of Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Billie Holliday, Joni Mitchell, Bjork, Susanne Vega, Kate Bush, Norah Jones and on and on, but it seems everyone needs to compare you to someone else in order to explain you…

I know and the weird thing is I don't think Kate Bush sounds like Billie Holliday. I used to get really upset about it and then I had one show, one of my early shows at Sidewalk Cafè, and after the show, different people came up to me at different times and I counted about seven different women that I got compared to. One person would be like, “You sound so much like Joni Mitchell.” And another would say, “Wow you sound so much like Janis Joplin.” And in my mind I'd be like “What?! Those people don't even sound like one another. Where do Nina Simone and Tori Amos come in together, ya know?

Other than it being a female with a good voice and maybe a guitar or piano…

Do you think maybe it happens more to women? Because there's lots of guys with guitars but you don't hear Jeff Buckley getting compared to Kurt Cobain just because they are both guys with guitars. But with a woman its like “Oh female voice” and they just throw out a name.

I dunno. Does it seem like maybe more solo female singer/songwriters make it to the public ear or something?

I remember listening to a marketing meeting once and I heard someone say “We couldn't place this female on the radio right now because there's another female in the top 10 already. So if you really pay attention to what's being played, there's a lot less females—especially songwriters. And a lot of the ones that are there are like, somebody featuring somebody—like a man featuring Beyonce, or a man featuring Ashanti or something like that.

Well then maybe it's the opposite of what I just said. Maybe because there are so few female solo singer/songwriters, that when someone makes it, people are like “Whoa, she sounds like Bjork!”

Yeah, maybe. It's just an interesting thing to think about. It's cool that you're asking me because I think about it all the time and I'll talk to somebody in an interview and they'll have listened to my music and I'll be like “why? Why did they just put four names of other female singers in the first paragraph?”

I understand people's need to classify. I mean, that's what humanity is built on. We'll walk into a new territory and discover a new flower and give it like a seven name Latin title, ya know? And the little flower is like “What the fuck? I'm just a pink with blue spots little flower! And nobody else is like me!” But they totally need to classify and explain.

But I guess because there is so much music out there, especially with the Internet or when you walk into any store, and if you were to think about the amount of music that's there. And that's just what's on labels—not even indie, homemade, underground music scene stuff, and most of it isn't international either. It's crazy; it's overwhelming, so people just need to get into these things like “Well, if this person and this person had a child who was raised on a steady diet of this person with, you know, occasional outings with this person…” People get into these crazy convoluted explanations, ya know?

Maybe it's just trying to find a comfort zone and a familiarity…

Yeah, but also I feel like it makes people not even see the excitement about being themselves. Its like “What do you sound like?” And you are really proud of it and you say “Myself!” Obviously it should be a given that you are influenced by lots of things. I mean, who the hell isn't? And if you aren't influenced by a lot of things, you're just dumb. Because that's the greatest gift we have—the amount of great art in the world that's never going to run out anytime soon. Even if I was to just read the classics and just watch movies from India created between 1945 and 1965, I would never run out of cool shit, ya know?

But it's so sad, you'll see young musicians, they'll come up to you and be like “Hey I make music too; you should listen to my stuff.” And you ask them, “What's it like?” And you just kind of ask them for a feeling of it, and I would be much happier it if they said “It's kinda dreamy, and I talk about stuff like this…” you know, like asking for a description of the music. And they'll just drop like seven names of bands, like, “Well it's sort of like a more Goth blah blah blah with like, but if you mix with a bit of Genesis.” And I'm like “Oh my God, you just totally classified yourself and how are you supposed to write other stuff? You are just going to be writing for that box.

So yeah, I ranted and raved about that one for a while, ha-ha.

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I like this interview and thanks for posting it - definitely sheds more light.

Again, I think people miss the point. It's not about being compared to Tori - it's about being compared to ANY of those famous gals. What is her deal with not liking it?

She isn't the first one to be "compared" - EVERY artist is - just check out most reviews for "debut artists" - it ALWAYS happens.

It just gets annoying that she has to go on and on about how UNLIKE them she is. Why doesn't she talk about the similarities - which even fans on here have admitted seeing?

Is it so hard to say - "You know those women are great all in their own way, and I can maybe see where people would get those impressions, but I'm seriously trying to do my own thing."

Everytime I read an interview she doesn't come off that clear and lucid. It's like she has to go on and on about how different she is and it spoils her music for me because I almost feel weird (and I've encountered others who feel the same thing) thinking of someone else while listening to her. Like it's a crime.

For goddsakes - Tori fans think of Kate Bush or whoever the hell else when it applies (as it does in instances with Regina) and it ain't such a damn big deal.

Then again Regina is an Aquarius and this is that sign's schtick:

In spite of the often intensely magnetic, forthcoming and open personality of the more extrovert kind of Aquarian, and of their desire to help humanity, neither type makes friends easily. They sometimes appear to condescend to others and take too little trouble to cultivate the acquaintance of people who do not particularly appeal to them. Aquarians work best in group projects, provided that they are recognized as having a leading part in them. They are renowned for wanting to be the members in a group that stand out. -

These are wonderful qualities...

But also very telling.

Tori is a Leo. And for those who don't know about astrology - Leo is Aquarius' exact opposite on the astrological wheel.


Tori playing the Bose (the Bosendorfer Piano) and the Fender Rhodes.



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