Tori Amos

Caught a Lite Sneeze/That's What I Like Mick

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"Caught a Lite Sneeze" seems to have been selected as the lead single from Boys for Pele by default. It's the most accessible song on an extremely challenging and esoteric album, but it is hardly the most listener-friendly song Tori Amos written. It mixes uptempo drum programming, harpsichord riffs (isn't that an oxymoron?), and Amos' wailing vocals. The lyrics convey the emotional sting caused by Amos' difficult breakup with former producer Eric Rosse. ("Didn't know our love was so small...I need a big loan from the girl zone.") This song stands in sharp contrast to the rest of the EP -- four silly songs that illustrate Amos' whimsical and playful side more directly than anything on her other albums. On the swanky "That's What I Like, Mick," the most successful of the four, Amos professes undying love for "cheese and onion sandwiches and derby chinaware." Two tracks later on "Toodles Mr. Jim" she assumes the role of a little girl cheerfully lamenting the death of an adult friend named Mr. Jim. Clearly, this is not her usual, angst-driven fare. Given Tori's penchant for writing and recording a song in one take, it's probably safe to assume that both "Toodles" and the lesser "Graveyard" were improvisations. The same might be true of her take on "This Old Man," which uses the same slow, solemn, solo piano sound Amos used in her B-side covers of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Over the Rainbow," and "Home on the Range." That particular gimmick is getting a little old, and the disc as a whole feels much more thrown together than previous EPs. It is, however, worth a listen for anyone curious about what a silly Tori Amos song might sound like.

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