Tori’s Got a Gun

The spectral communing with the faeries, with which Amos is often dismissively associated, is absent for obvious reasons, but critics who always found her fancies vacuous and her soliloquies incomprehensible were missing the point. Her touches of kook never lacked humor and the whiff of performance; her obsession with mythological archetypes provided just the right language for the silent to speak up.

Sooner or later, all little girls—and boys—have to grow up. "Permanent immaturity is a heavy price for rock to pay for permanent youth, and maybe we're the ones who are afraid of change if we're prepared to pay that price," Phil McNeill mused in NMEabout the Stranglers' misogyny, in 1977. Amos sees more in the song than those old punks probably could have, so she chose their "Strange Little Girl" to follow " '97 Bonnie and Clyde," turning it into the story of what happened to the little girl in the front seat. Amos tends to the girls that almost slipped away: "Everyone else's girl, maybe one day she'll be her own" was the chorus of Little Earthquakes' "Girl." Today isn't that day, and "Strange Little Girl" is no happy ending. But it's better than silence.


Gimme back my bullets.
photo courtesy of Atlantic Records.
Gimme back my bullets.

Tori Amos plays the Beacon Theatre October 9, 10, and 11.

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