Tori Amos,
(Atlantic, 1992)

Whereas this EP, particularly Tori's cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," seemed to introduce Tori Amos to many listeners, I only discovered it after I had embraced the magic of the Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink CDs.

Unlike the vast majority of artists, Amos releases EPs containing wonderful, must-have songs not included on her albums, and this Crucify EP is her consummate EP offering. First, there is a remix of Tori's powerful song "Crucify" (although, to be honest, I can hardly tell the difference between this remix and the original song). Next is "Winter," perhaps the most beautiful song Amos has ever recorded.

The true magic of this particular CD rests in the remaining three cover tracks. Tori makes the Rolling Stones' "Angie" her own, singing it with great emotion and her patented vocal edginess -- the end result is a hauntingly beautiful song. The eye-catching track on the EP is the cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." She strips this song down to its lyrical core and makes of it a really tender, beautiful piece of music. Finally, Tori stamps her individual imprint on Led Zeppelin's classic "Thank You." The piano-playing is superb, and she performs some lyrical gymnastics that would make Robert Plant himself jealous, but I tend to lose the song amidst the music.

As a total package, this EP reveals the power Tori Amos possessed very early on in her career. Some may buy this just to hear the actual words to "Smells Like Teen Spirit," but even the unsuspecting are almost guaranteed to find themselves wrapped up in Tori's musical web of beauty, grace and meaning.

- Rambles
written by Daniel Jolley
published 4 June 2005

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