Album Review: Tori Amos “Boys For Pele” Reissue Reminds Us Why We Love Her

It has been near 20 years since Boys For Pele was released, and this album still encapsulates best what fans love most of Tori Amos: her gothic take on pop ballads. Amos has an uncanny ability to make songs that show the broken divinity of being a woman. Ladies are the birthers of life while also being chained by it. They give and guide life to children whom will grow and choose, even negatively, how to define female divinity. Amos see this tragic irony and has masterfully sewn it into the strange, prodigious mythos of Boys For Pele, which will be re-released on November 18 as a deluxe edition.

Boys For Pele (Deluxe Edition) is like trading in a wooden treasure chest for a gold one; somehow changing the outside elevates what is already within. By adding unreleased tracks along with a 20 year time frame to fully absorb the weird beauty of this record, Boys For Pele (Delue Edition) becomes a magnificent explanation for Amos long, prosperous career. At it time of release, 1996, Pele was an instant success that received praise and welcomed confusion from critics. Why? Because it is unlike any album created before or after its release. Stylistically and thematically, Boys For Pele is a symphony of femme fairytales told through victorian formatted, piano driven arrangements. The result is beautiful and weirdly celestial as Amos creates a narrative mythos using mystical characters  whose light was darkened because they were feminine.

While Boys For Pele may sound like the title for a soccer team, the album centers around goddess characters whose rage and rebellion over their oppressions for being female pulse a frenetic heart within the record. Pele, herself, is a Hawaiian goddess, of which young men are sacrificed to quell her literally volcanic explosions. Amos also uses other characters such as Jupiter and Muhammad, whom are predominantly seen as male. to give a more an intriguing and unique perspective to female frustration. In new songs like,   “To The Fair Motormaids of Japan,” “Talula” (M&M Mix), “In The Springtime Of His Voodoo (Rookery Ending)” and “Sucker”, Amos punches the piano and harpsichord with a mania that can go from somber and lulling to combusting with anger. Yet, their interconnection comes in their powerful analysis over women’s oppression. For Amos, women are not angry because they are naturally deranged; they are angry because they are socially disappointed. By using mythological characters and hooks that build a fantastical, otherworldly sense, Boys For Pele reveals the painful, internal struggles women have to be seen and acknowledged for their power. Even if a woman is a cosmic force, like Jupiter, she is labeled and diminished as something to be calmed rather rather someone to be understood. The difference is staggering, and Amos is the perfect lyricist and vocalist to show the contrast.

Amos has a voice that mixes the sublime with the dirt of life. She can go from dreamy to gritty as seen in her live recordings of  “Honey” and “Sugar”. She has a way of making her soft. gentle vocals sound dark and lonely, like a piece Heaven that has been tied, by a string, to hell. The result confounds listeners whom, mentally, will not be able understand the uniqueness of Amos capacities but will, definitely, reap the pleasure they give. She is one of the few singers that can make delicate sound fractured and soft sound like a platform for a weakening plot. With Amos, there is always a story, and it usually revolves around the breaking of facades. In “Hey Jupiter”,  “Professional Widow”, and “Toodles Mr. Jim”, women are either emotionally confined or liberated by the recognition of their patriarchal chains. By using story-telling wit, Amos is mutually friendly and sarcastic with her insights. She never stops her bold desires to show men, the exhaustive heartache that can come from being a women in their whims. She does this perspective with an attractive mysticism that makes you want to approach Boys For Pele like a giant, white light orb floating before you, and, if touched, will give you the secrets to female empowerment.

Tori Amos is a genius. She musters a dark magic in her ballads that have inspired so many artist, especially in the new wave, dark electro-pop generation. Amos is one of the few artists that been able to grim, melancholic tones to reveal prettier opportunities for optimism. For all her rage and frustration, Amos will not deter from creating music that is twisted and stunning in sound while also alleviating to spiritual wounds. With 21 bonus tracks, every woman will find this record to be like a musical sister to their feminized hurt. For More Information On Tori Amos and To Buy The 2 CD Set Boys For Pele (Deluxe Edition) on November 12 Click Here.