“Only a fool would not judge by appearances.”
He was proper clever that Oscar Wilde.
Beautifully turned out too.
He was, of course, absolutely correct about appearances too. While the herd may bray about never judging a book by its cover, the truth (rarely pure and never simple) is that the outside reveals much about the inside.
It can’t be all surface, of course.
But I’m not interested in no surface.
What do we find on the cover of “Ocean to Ocean”?
A shoreline in the distance, offering escape and adventure.
And high on a mountain top, Tori Amos herself. Dressed all in black, like a shadow made real. Her hair cascading over her shoulders, like fire. Her skin like ivory, pure and perfect. It is a carefully composed image. The most important thing though is the fact that Amos is not facing out towards the ocean…instead her gaze is turned towards, somewhere, or someone, else. Turning back, looking back, but not in anger, but with longing, yearning?
I’ll find my own answers, reach my own conclusions.
I’m not a child.
What lies beneath?
Eleven songs that confirm, reaffirm, the fact that Amos is one of the greatest singer-songwriters. She sings with such grace, such purity, such passion, such fury and such compassion that it breaks your heart, pieces it back together and massages it back to life…sometimes within a single line. She plays with a deft, delicate, dreamlike, touch. Crafting backgrounds and landscapes where the voice and the words can breathe and live.
These are songs of renewal and self-discovery. Of falling and rising. Of plunging into the ocean and breathing. Broken hearts, broken dreams, broken parts. These are songs that reveal an artist who, after sixteen albums, is still finding new things to say, new ways to say those things and new ways to impress upon us all that she matters.