Tori Amos is a truly captivating performer. Example: I made the mistake of keeping the youtube track running as I was coming up with this intro and quickly forgot how to form words in my brain and type them, as her voice overrode my mental circuits. Amos runs the vocal gamut in Yes Anastasia, which is also quite a compositional feat, positively Schubertian in the cyclical nature of its material. As SNL’s Stefon would say, this song has everything: spectral Russian duchesses, a two minute piano solo, symphonic strings out of nowhere, gut-punching irony. I don’t claim to be entirely sure what it’s about, but when I heard it for the first time as a teenager I know I received some kind of message, about the infinite possibilities offered by songwriting and the dangers of being a woman in this world. We’ll see how brave you are.
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