Day: May 18, 2012

Happy Phantom

Tori Amos isn’t exactly known for her happy-go-lucky ways. Tori’s name has become a byword for drowning-in-tears angry feminism of classic 90’s vintage. Alongside the even more ‘feminazi’-associated Ani DiFranco, Amos is exactly who self-righteously hairy nineties era Gender Studies majors turned to for sisterly comfort. Amos is just great for sobbing, ranting and spewing about how goddamn hard it is to be a woman. How much of that image she deliberately created and how much just comes from the kind of demographic that embraced her, I can’t judge. But the image is there, and frivolity and humor have to part in it. But no one can be a frowny-face righteous babe all the time. Even Tori has to take a walk on the mild side. Happy Phantom has always been my favorite Tori Amos song, because it shows her having a whimsical side. I’ve always though of it as a companion piece to Cat Stevens’s Ghost Town, for taking a light view of the afterlife. Even the cabaret-ish  piano sounds happy. Death isn’t the end; it’s your time to shake off the oppression of your life, have a little fun scaring the nuns, maybe hang out with Confucius. Tori Amos has been known to be seriously, ridiculously pretentious at times. It’s nice to hear her make a little joke for once.