Why no Tori Amos

One last bit of pondering. Why was Tori Amos' "Little Earthquakes" album never given the star treatment it deserves? The album has great arrangements with full orchestration and is one of the best female singer/songwriter/pianist albums of the past few decades. I know she copied a lot of Kate Bush's style (as did Fiona Apple) but it IS a breakthrough album and atleast Kate was issued on Japanese.
i believe L.E was released in a special 180gram release.

tori is my favorite artist, i was somewhat shocked/disappointed when i saw a recent article with the sales figures of her albums since Under the Pink....she sold something like 100,000 copies of her latest cd, Scarletts Walk, which i feel was some of her best work and think of it as nothing short of a spectacular lp.

it is sad, as she was one of if not THE original true Female singer songwriters in the Kate Bush vein, yet others like Alanis Morrisette, Fiona Apple, Sarah McLaughlin get all the headlines.
Imin2u/Justlisten-I think Tori was appreciated around the time of Little Earthquakes especially here in the UK by the music press,she made the cover of Q magazine about 4 times since then and still gets decent coverage in the press over here.
I have a friend who's a big fan but personally I've never been over impressed by what I've heard.
She's clearly talented,her voice is quite uniquewhich may explain her lack of mass appeal but to my ears she could hardly be described as original nor at the musical standard of the likes of Kate Bush-it's night and day to me, Bush's work is at a much higher level and truly original to my ears,Tori seems like a talented magpie in comparison.
As regards her audience,it's quite common for many artists to get a decent level of success and neither maintain it nor grow it,it's particularly common in the modern day ,originality is virtually impossible and indeed artists get criticised for either not changing their style or for changing it.
As music fans we make these choices,we stay loyal to certain artists and give up on others and as such there is a lot of good music that goes unoticed because their sell by date has been judged to have passed.
As regards the wider public there is always the odd happening like Alanis Morrisette who simply captures the public imagination.
I think all things considered Tori has achieved the level of acclaim and success that an artist of her type can expect,the fact that she's lost a fair bit of her fan base is a question for those who gave up on her can only answer .
Tori Amos factoid she plays a Bösendorfer piano- if any one really cares.
Sorry, no offense but both Tori Amos and Sarah Mclachlan smoke Kate Bush. It doesn't matter who came first or who borrowed from who. I think they are all talented but, when you(or at least I) listen to the sounds/lyrics of all three artist.. Tori's and Sarah's voices are soul stirring while Kate's is not!! Kates sound just gets under my skin. I know everyone has an opinion... that just happens to be mine.
Peaks there is a problem with your logic (not your opinion as that's personal)if Tori Amos had never heard Kate Bush-what would she sound like?
She would have no style musically and indeed vocally she sounds at least inspired by Kate Bush.
So much so it is impossible in my mind to imagine what she would sound like.
One can always prefer an artist inspired by a previous artist but it DOES matter who came first.
I have to agree with Ben_Cambell. I've been listening atleast 4hr./day of music since 1966. Tori wouldn't exist AS SHE IS without Kate. And yes, Kate is a true musical genuis and a ground-breaking. Tori is a genius too but not ground breaking. (Except maybe "Little Earthquakes"). Sarah Mc. is useless in my book because she brings nothing new to the table.
Funny... I just listened to the Orbiting CD and finally filed Scarlett's Walk which I got for Christmas. My wife and I were recently saying how Tori's gotten better and better over the years (exception perhaps Strange Little Girls).

There are gems I encounter during each listening such as Your Cloud.

I was into Tori before I became familiar with Kate Bush and perhaps as a result I much prefer Tori.

She also puts on terrific concerts. From what I understand Kate Bush hasn't ever really toured (too bad).

I appreciate Tori more now that she's become more of a cult artist.
What are the best Tori Amos albums?

I really like her but she has so many albums I wonder what would be best to start with. I prefer quieter stuff usually.


I do also love Tori Amos' music. I've seen her in concert three times and enjoyed each profoundly. She is an amazing musician, along with being a charismatic performer. Made me wish I were a piano bench watching the way she grinds that thing! I thought it was a shame that her recent cover-album, "Strange Little Girls" didn't take off as much as it did. I thought there were some really interesting covers on that, and it was very unusual in the face of what she'd done. Loved that creepy spoken piece, "97 Bonnie & Clyde", which gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. She is a master a using vocal intonations, and as long as we're comparing I prefer the nuances of both her vocals and her amazing musicianship over Kate Bush, though I am also a fan of the later (or former depending on how you look at it). As far as who came first, beyond the historical relevence, for me, it just doesn't matter. All art is derived in some way shape or form from art that preceded it. Each (successful) artist will bring something that is most entirely unique to what they produce that is distinctive as their fingerprints. If one wanted to be really cynical, one could say all artists are "talented magpies" (well, in many cases you could leave out the 'talented' part). I was never much in for history, so would prefer to just enjoy the moment rather than dwell in the past or trace back infleuences.....all that stuff puts me in my head and takes me away from the music, and I'd rather be with the music than in my head, inside my head ain't a pretty place to be....does that make sense. I'd rather listen to Tori long term than Kate, whose vocals tend to wear on me more, and who doesn't have nearly the musical abilities, IMO, as Tori. If Tori was infleuenced by Kate then I'm glad she heard her music as I love what she does, but I'm also quite sure that she was infleuenced my numerous sources way above and beyond Kate Bush that make her the musician and songwriter that she is. Yes, she does play a Bosendorfer, but I've also heard her play that toy piano she had modified for a few cuts on one album or another, and she made that toy piano just as compelling to listen to as her Bosendorfer. I think I have all the Kate Bush albums as well, and for some reason the music tends to sound more dated than Tori's. Kate's music tends to be more 'theatrical' to my ears....more from the head. Tori seems to be playing and singing right from her soul. My favorite of Kate's has got to be, "The Dreaming". There is not a single album that Tori has put out that I do not enjoy listening to. Lyrics by both are quite wonderul as well, and I would not understand comments to the contrary for either.

Who's on first? Woops. I mean who came first? Really, who came first is important as an influence, however I don't believe it determines who is a better or more worthy artist. It's like the old RS magazines top 100 albums of all time. They had the Sex Pistols "Bullocks" album rated second (2). Ha, ha, ho,ho, hee,hee, I couldn't stop laughing. Maybe SP was very influential in the punk scene, or gave later groups an idea, but their music was not worthy of the second best of ALL TIME. Sometimes those who come later improve on the original. The Beatles were influenced by Elvis, Little Richard, & Carl Perkins etc. All great artists, yet it can be argued that the Beatles were better, or improved on that style of music. Again, the most important criteria isn't who came first.
Marco to qualify my talented magpie statement.

When Kate Bush appeared still in her teens with the number one hit Wuthering Heights she was a once in a lifetime artist,unique and truly original.
Whatever her influences were (mainly classical if I remember rightly)she sounded like nothing you'd ever heard before and she developed that talent up to the highpoint of her career imho which is Hounds Of Love.
In that respect her music is different from Tori Amos who is clearly massively influenced by Kate Bush by admission and by anyone who can hear very similar trademarks in her music which to me is apparent on certain songs.
Of course she was influenced by others and sure she has developed her own style but she simply wasn't an original as
Imin2u notes above.

Bush's music has dated as has most music from the 80's have with their drum and keyboard sounds but large segments of it haven't mostly those parts that use acoustic instruments.

In my world Kate is on another but respect to those who enjoy Tori's work even more.
I like the little bit of Tori Amos that i've heard. When i first heard her though, the first thing that came to mind was "Oh, she's obviously heard and admires Kate Bush". Sean
Ben - Thanks for taking the time to coment. By the fact that you need to qualify your statement, I'm thinking that you may have misunderstood the point I was trying to make in my post. That point was, whatever infleuences either Kate Bush or Tori Amos pull from, and to whatever degree, in listening and enjoying the music of either one, I just don't care one wit about the infleuence nor the history nor the chronology! Who came first, who was most original.....neither of those facts makes either one "better" to my ears or in my experience, and neither of those facts commands more or less respect from me. Each have their infleuences, as does every artist, and whether Kate was more innovative in her time has absolutely no effect whatsoever on my ability to enjoy her music, nor the music of Tori, or anyone else strongly infleuenced by her. That shit is all just a head-trip to me. For me, I like it or I don't, I respect it or I don't, I get it, or I don't. I guess you're talking about respect on a more multi-dimensional level. As I said, history has never been my bag. But, just as you, I do respect your appreciation of it. As far as using history to judge musical talent goes, I just don't feel it is a criteria for judging musical enjoyment of one artist or another, but I realize that I'm saying that from the point of not caring about history, while others like yourself may. I can see and point out many infleuences in much of the art I enjoy, but I'd never think to judge it by it's success or failure in emulating something else. It is what it is, and I prefer to judge it on it's own merits. Understanding the infleuence, history and chronology has never seemed to give me any greater or lesser appreciation for a particular artist. But that's just me I guess.


PS I do like Hounds of Love too, second to The Dreaming. Of my favorites by Tori would have to be Boys for Pele.

It's not just you... I feel/look at it the same way!!
Maybe because she's just too freaky! :)
Why hasnt every body elses favorite album been given "star" treatment? Retorical questions are tough to answer, but here's my guess...it really isnt that good. Not that alot of crap that gets re issued, remastered and given star treatment is, its just that there is not always overwhelming consensus on anything subjective. I bought "Little Earthquakes" when it was first released, and tho I still find it entertaining from time to time, I dont see the need for "star" treatment,tho I have many favorites I wish would receive same, and Im sure you would disagree with me on them.
I see where you are coming from but I'm not using history to make a judgement.
The difference to my ears is that if you look at The Beatles and their 50's influences or Dylan and his Guthrie fixation is that they took their music further,created something new indeed raised the musical bar in a creative sense.
However I don't think Tori did that with her Bush influence,clearly some here prefer her music and it doesn't matter to them however to me it verges on parody,I struggle to hear TA and not think 2nd rate Kate Bush and in that sense the history aspect cannot be removed in my mind.
I listened to Hounds Of Love last night and was blown away,imho Tori hasn't even got close to the music on that record,listen to the 9th Wave,the vision,the arrangements and most of all the music,dare I call it genius?
I can't evenn consider Tori on that level but I agree history doesn't always make the difference.
Enjoy some Dylan, and Guthrie too. Listen to some Beatles, and to Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. Tori and Bush. I give none a higher rung on the ladder of my appreciation, in listening to any one of them, simply for the sake that they came up with something new. So what? Just because it's new and innovative does not necessarily make it enjoyable to me. None of them raised the bar, some simply offered a new sound derived from older ones. A combination of DNA, chance, heritage, talent, hard work, luck.....the same as any of us may have bestowed upon us, or not. Because it happened to be unique at the time perhaps makes them courageous, but not necessarily good, bad, better or worse IMO. Dylan is Dylan, Guthrie is Guthrie. I like tomatoes, and you like pomagranite. I guess I just don't understand the need to put down one artist based upon the fact that they sound like another, and that you prefer the other. Why does it just not stop with I really like Kate Bush because.......blah, blah, original, blah, blah, visionary, blah, blah, etc. Why does that necessarily lead to comments like Tori Amos can't hold Kate Bush's jock strap?! Guthrie eats Dylan-burgers for breakfast. From where comes the need to put down one artist to create the foundation for the pedastal you need to place another upon? Sorry Ben, I just don't get it? Yes, I know those were not quotes from you and I don't mean to point a finger in your direction, but the "talented magpie" seems just as derogatory in some ways, albeit cloaked in a clever and amusing statement. All of this lauding and criticism just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe that's why critics are down there with monkey urine on my list of favorite things in life. Don't get me wrong, I do respect constructive criticism, but some posts on this thread, as well as countless others on this list and others, just don't fall under that category for me. Maybe it's just my time of the month.

As I stated before, to me it's not when an artist created their work, but what they created. Clapton, Stones, Beatles all borrowed/used music from their idols. IMO they improved it. They modernized the sound of the older blues/rock artists such as Muddy, Robert Johnson, Carl Perkins. While I respect these older artists, I still choose to listen to the more modern version of their songs. Robert Johnson wrote some great tunes, but I don't care for his versions compared to Clapton or the Allman Brothers for instance.
You can like Kate Bush more, or Tori Amos. But, most will decide based on the music not who came first or last. As far as criticism, how is an artist determined to be great if they aren't judged better than most of the rest? In order for there to be good there has to be bad.
Wildoats - my point about criticism is that good and bad are entirely relative to the individual. They are on a sliding scale and not absolute. What bugs me is when people phrase things in the form of absolutes as if their opinions are not just opinions but should be held to some higher standard. My question was not why someone would say something like I like brown because _______ , and I don't like orange because_____________ . It's when someone starts to say things like brown blows orange away because orange really sucks. What's with orange anyway, it's not dark and rich like brown....why it's just a thin, pasty brown with no character at all. It's a brown wanabee, how sad!

Yes, it is a matter of semantics, but the energy behind those semantics, the effort to discredit one color to raise another to a status that implies it should be reveared by all, really bugs me for some reason. In my opinion the comparison to colors is perfect because it's just as silly, IMO, to making the same kind of statements regarding human beings, vegetables, high-end stereo gear, or any damn thing. Yes, there would be no black without white, but neither exists outside the human mind. Good and bad are entirely relative to being human and our (rather pathetic) need to categorize and judge and make meaning out of everything. All that shit takes us out of the moment, away from the present and sticks us firmly in our heads. Music, to me, is about anything but being in ones head, it is a pure experience of the moment. It has no requirements other than just being there, no experience is necessary. No knowledge of history, culture, nor music itself is needed to enjoy music. It is truly the universal language.


PS I can certainly understand clearly why, if Ben listens to Tori and constantly is hearing what he considers to be someone trying to poorly imitate someone elses music, that getting caught up in that head-trip would keep one from enjoying virtually anything. So that part of your explanation, Ben, I do understand. What I don't understand is the way you choose to state it. I have listened to both extensively, and am aware of the infleuences of one to the other, and can hear the similarities, but I don't think I listen with any sort of expectations at all of either one. I just enjoy them for what each are. I have no more need to state something like Tori smokes Kate, as I would to declare SET is superior to all other forms of amplification, as I know both statements are not at all constructive, nor truthful (though they may have some truth to me [neither really does], I know they would not be a universal truth). Those kind of statements are entirely relative so what's the point? Seems like a kind of public masturbation in some ways to me. The importance of being 'right' so that one may validate their own existence. I'm certainly not above all that as I'm just as human as all of us, and have the same hopeless need to make meaning out of everything. But I have found that the more I can just be in the moment and outside my head, the more I tend to enjoy life. So I do strive to maintain some perspective with the knowledge that I am indeed prone to going back to my head over and over, and that it is more fun when I'm not there at all.
Marco again I hear where you are coming from.

As part of the explination we need to look at the original post which was at least partly based in the media reaction to Tori or the lack of it that's perhaps why we've headed down this way.
I started off trying to put that question in context.

I think it's important to state I do not consider my opinion any more important than anyone else's,I truly believe that at a fundamental level.
Arguably it gets more complicated depending on how much you value how informed the person is making that argument.
This is one of the reasons I mostly stick to music threads on this forum because although I have opinions on cables,burn in etc. based on my experience it's clear to me it's less informed than more experienced audiophiles,of course I'll chip in if I think I've got a valid point to make.

Needless to say there is points made from time to time on various threads that seem uninformed,I think I got one on my records of the year,the person who was clearly intelligent really felt no need to qualify his statements (basically my musical taste was naff),in the same thread another 'goner whom I respect a lot said there was little he felt compelled to hear or like in my list.
What can you do?
Such is life,I can't get too precious about it all,all that matters to me is that I shared something positive inevitably you won't please everyone.
Audiogon is about opinion inevitably that will happen on all different kinds of levels.

As regards your stance on crticism intself I admire that stance,I take the same viewpoint that an opinion is only an opinon BUT I am totally at the other end of the spectrum regarding criticism,I read a lot of it,an awful lot of it (3 or 4 music mags every month and a constant stream of music related books etc.).
However I read it for knowledge and for information and I try hard to take it all with a large pinch of salt but I enjoy reading about music so I do it,I doubt it influences anything much that I listen other than letting me know it existed and that I read an opinion on it.
I also realise I'm quite unique,it's what floats my boat but it's clearly not for everyone.
And I really do not try to be snobbish about it,we are quite similar I think in that sense,music is only music.
Entertainment to some,art to others.

As regards your value system again I admire that stance but I cannot listen to music without evaluating it and of course that is personal.
Ultimately I decide in some sense the artists I take very seriously,the ones I enjoy in a light hearted sense,the music that seems 2nd rate,the overrated,the underrated etc.etc.
It doesn't matter much outside my own world nor do I expect it to.

To get away from this rambling I made this kind of assessment (rightly or wrongly)about Tori Amos a long time ago and since I'm opinonated and passionate about music I will voice that opinion because that is what these forums are about,debate.

I've maybe been a little unkind about Tori Amos with some of my descriptions but that's how I regard her,a talented quirky individual but that doesn't make it a fact.
Nor does the fact I spend too much time thinking and reading about music.
I apologise if I can you that impression that I consider myself superior.
However I will argue till the cows come home based on what I believe in.
Both of you Jax2, and Ben campbell make your points well. However Jax2, I do agree with Ben campbell that this site is about debate. Passionate fire-breathing debate when it comes to opinions on music/artists. To be a music lover you have to feel passionate about it.

Where I would, i think, agree with Jax2 to some extent is that I would criticize a piece of music or artist but not the person who posted the opinion I disagree with. I'm not saying that Ben campbell did that, he didn't.

I totally agree with frank discussion on the merits of individual artists/groups. In fact I like a good discussion/argument with other passionate people on music or artists. A personal philosophy is attack ideas not the person who delivers the message. This would be a boring site indeed if people didn't give honest opinions and criticism.

How is one to learn who is good or bad if people don't frankly discuss the merits. It is equally as valid to criticize as it is to praise. One cannot exist without the other or it would be pointless. Every artist or piece of music is not good.

If a person is honest, they would say their taste in music is good (the best?). That doesn't mean it is, but honestly when I think I'm right, I think I'm right. If you disagree your wrong. That doesn't mean I think I'm better than anyone. It's just my opinion. I am open to change or exploration if a good argument is presented. I have changed my views on artists before. Usually I've either grown up into liking their style of music, or they made something better. Sometimes someone even convinces me to give them a try.
Great conversation folks....thank you! Man, what a different approach we have Ben. The respect is mutual, yet I'm still struggling a bit to understand your perspective. I actively avoid reading criticism, especially about the arts. No, I'd put little to no weight at all on a person's knowledge and experience where judging music is concerned for the very reasons that have come up here. I don't consider myself necessarily well-read and up-to-date and so thoroughly educated regarding music as yourself and perhaps many others here, and that is a most deliberate choice on my part. Yet in no way would I let that stop me from sharing my opinion on a subject I am passionate about. The only way that knowledge and experience may pay a part in my respect for another's opinions about music, is if I knew the person had a history of appreciating similar things as I appreciate. Beyond that one's knowledge of musical history as well as having one's finger on the pulse of current trends and artists means absolutely nothing to me for the very reasons that I've already cited: None of that head-trip has anything whatsover to do MY appreciation of the experience of music.

The high-end hardware criticism is another matter altogether. There I would lend some credance to experience and knowledge as there is a far greater amount of objectivity mixed in with the tremendous subjectivity. In the judgement of the arts it is just the reverse, IMO. High-end gear is subject to so many variables in creating the synergy that makes the magic that, even if you had the best advice, the gear you purchase may not necessarily sound good to you in your room, to your ears, with your music. I would still think observations like "tubes blow SS away" to be patently ignorant and a sign of a lack of experience, lack of perspective, or both (and I'm not speaking about the literal content of that statement at all, but the essense of the statement, or perhaps the intent). However, as much as I read similar statements over and over here on A'gon, they do not bother me as much as the objections I've brought up here for some reason. I guess it just seems much more ridiculous to me to think one can objectively categorize music into "better and worse".

Some interesting observations Wildoats. I would however suggest that you determine for yourself what you prefer and need no one else to tell you - in fact, no one else can tell you what YOU think is good or bad. It is not something to be learned because it is entirely relative to the individual. On a far more simplistic and perhaps more objective scale, as I've pointed out: Someone with vast experience here on the Gon' who's been in this hobby many decades, reads all there is to read, has degrees in acoustical engineering, etc. can tell you what they know, and pass on what may seem like wisdom of great value, given their experience. They can tell you with certain assurity that Au24 speaker cables are the answer you've been looking for given your system and your preferences. You go out, find a pair at a good price, and set out to compare them to say the $90 pair you got from member "DIY555". To your ears, in your system, in your room, with your music, those DIY cables somehow sound better than the $800 pair of Au24's. Yet you were advised by an seasoned expert......what gives. It happens......all the time!! Now that's an example in an area with a certain degree of objectivity. Music has no such leaning.....appreciation of music is entirely subjective. There are no figures or graphs to be plotted, no statistics or numbers to look at, unless you care about popularity contests which I don't give a rat's ass about. Why the f%^$ would I need anyone advising me what is good and bad in something so subjective as music. Again, the only credance I may give such advice would be if I knew my tastes ran similar to the one advising me, but I'd still not lend any respect to statements like "Kate blows Tori away".

I'm going to have to think about this one some more as it is getting late.


I can be satisfied with my gear because it sounds good to me. I can also audition other equipment if the need or desire arises. Mostly because I can listen to a large amount of very good equipment in a not too long of a time.

However, I need help with music. Not because I don't know what I like, but because there is so much out there. If I here mostly bad things about a piece, I'll go listen to the ones I hear mostly good things about. There just isn't time to listen to everything and there has to be a way to separate the wheat from the chaff. Other people's critiques help me do that. That is the main value I get from reading other peoples opinions. Without that I'm alone in the vast wilderness without a compass.
I agree, Wildoats; constructive criticism and comments about music can certainly provide some guideance in the vastness of what is out there. However what I was suggesting is that you need no one to tell you "Kate blows Tori away". Were you to follow such advice and just listen to only one, you'd be missing out on some very rich possibilites of musical enjoyment IMO. A compass is fine if you know how to use it , and where you are, and have some idea of where you may like to go. I would suggest that following advice to the nature of some of the criticism I've objected to in this thread would be not at all like using a compass, it would be like putting on a pair of blinders and being lead on a path like a donkey.

Regarding your equipment: Precisely! The point I was making there is that absolutely NO ONE can tell you what DOES sound good to you. ONLY YOU know that. What sounds good to me in gear may not sound at all good to you. If you put my speakers into your system, you may think I was nuts for listening to them, yet I think they sound wonderful. So again, what use would it be to follow my lead if I were to say "Horns are the only way to go as far as speakers are concerned", with the caveat that I've been in this hobby for twenty plus years. Following such advice on face-value is absurd. However I do believe, as I said, with the gear there is a greater degree of objectivity, so an educated guess may be more helpful than an "educated" guess in the realms of enjoying music (far more subjective IMO)

Marco I've had a few glasses of wine tonight,I'll get back to you tomorrow with some thoughts............
Apologies as this thread has now went off topic.

Marco there is a lot of different angles to this,really well written criticism/analysis is an art form in itself.
Admitedly these types of music books are few and far between but I would cite the likes of Greil Marcus Mystery Train and Ian McDonald's fantastic Beatles book Revolution In The Head as two examples of how good the genre can be.

It's a personal thing,part of my personality I suppose however you need to understand it is only for information it does not affect at all the experience of listening to the music.
It amazes me at times on Audiogon how uninformed many members are about what music is available to them, this doesn't neccesarily relate to what is new in the music world but also in many cases the best available recordings/reissues of classic material.
Indeed on my music of the year thread a fellow member didn't even know one of his favourite artists had a new record out.

My take on music Marco is that I try to hear a lot of what is available and test my tastes,see how far I can go and I found a lot of great music that way.
Of course there are many "mistakes" along the way,artists and records rated highly by the press that do nothing for me.
I just love to hear new music and keep myself informed,I do it for myself and have done for the best part of 26 years during which time I've never stopped reading the music press.
You would be wrong also if you thought I considered them to be great all the time,they aren't a lot of the time but that's a different subject in itself.

I would consider you are missing out on a lot of music with your approach.

The historical aspects,biographies are just an off shoot of the fact I enjoy learning about the context in which great music was created,it's very seldom that it adds much to the enjoyment of listening to the music.
To me this is no different from reading anything else,there is good and bad writing.

I'll finish with a story, I kept reading about Nick Drake over the years in the music press,seemed like a lot of hype to me but eventually I bought a compilation of his.
I fell in love with his music,I love it he's now probably one of my favourite artists.
However I get lost in the music when I listen to him now and how I found him is irrelevant but what is undoubtly true if music writers hadn't kept writing about him he'd be lost in obscurity.

Reading about music and putting together a high end system are not the main thing for me.
It's the music that counts.
Thanks Ben - that's a much clearer explanation of your persepective to me. I have to take a look at what gets me stuck on the 'criticism' aspect of this. I think it has something to do with the idea of critics playing God. Regardless, thanks for the thought provoking responses and taking the time to write them. Off-topic or not, it is certainly an interesting thread to me. I hope others get something out of it as well.

BTW - Someone introduced me to Nick Drake only a few years back. Picked up "Way too Blue" (a great compilation CD) and absolutely love it and play that one a lot. I think it was actually one of those Amazon recommendations that got me to him.....I'm often looking into resources and comments I do read that are of the nature of, "If you like banannas you should definitely check out strawberries as well". But I rarely follow such advice blindly, I usually try to cross-reference to find out more about strawberries and who likes them and why. Again it is simply the intent behind the types of statements I've already noted more than once that rubs me the wrong way, and strikes me as not constructive.

I just last night watched an fascinating film which does delve into literary criticism to some extent. Most of all it is about the enjoyment of literature as a lifestyle. That kind of enjoyment could be seen as parallell to the enjoyment of music. See the film if you can find it Ben, I think you may like it, as might anyone hear interested in the direction of this thread, and or literature. It's a documentary film titles "Stone Reader".

As far as missing out on music that is out there, I'm sure you are right in some ways. I have my own resources I look to, and most of those are in seeking out resources who have similar predilections as I do and pursuing directions that may come up there. Yep, some are reading criticism. I don't object to all criticism by any means. I won't go on as I think I've made the point I wanted to.


Marco I'll try to check out that movie.

I understand anyone who has problems with music criticism,I live in the UK and grew up with some of the most eletist tribal nonsense right after punk.
For a while the music press became unreadable in the UK with it's insular take on what was and wasn't cool.
Believe me Marco I like a lot of music that is rated as very uncool.
As such you live through trends you see the bands who were ignored or hated now given the credit they deserved all along,these things go in circles but I lived through a lot of snobbery and indeed a lot of mediocre music that was lauded at the time never washed with me.
You also get the odd bit of nutty revisionism.

Indeed much of the music that is touted as happening right now has it's roots in the kind of music hated by the same people post-punk.
Go figure.

But as a teenager who grew up liking "uncool" music just after punk I haven't forgotten these things so I always take anything I read with a pinch of salt.
You make your own judgement in the end.
Thanks for the discussion.