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View Full Version : Boys for Pele vs. from the choirgirl hotel



Fast Horse
09-08-2010, 02:18 AM
I haven't seen these two duke it out on a forum in some time. I'm really curious about the results too, because the last two times I saw these two albums compete in a major poll, ftch won the first and then BfP one the second.

My answer is obvious ;) Now you.

Simon
09-08-2010, 02:20 AM
Boys For Pele for me
i love them both so much , but i love every tracks on BFP . There's 1 or 2 tracks on FTCH that i like but i could do without

Adirondak
09-08-2010, 02:20 AM
From the Choirgirl Hotel

I think Pele is the better written of the two albums - but I think literally every song on Pele pales in comparison to live renditions - something I can't say for Choirgirl.

Bee
09-08-2010, 03:54 AM
It's never been a contest for me - BfP, she was writing from her heart and out of some deep cathartic need. Even the arrangements were inspired and unique in an authentic way because they were borne of real strife and artistry. Choirgirl feels like a forced follow-up, with forced mechanics, forced sounds, forced songwriting, and definitely (worst of all) forced art. It's just not on the same artistic level at all and never has been for me.

Pele was sloppy and messy and genuine and Choirgirl always felt inaccessible and emotionally stale. Where is the sentiment behind the songs on Choirgirl? It's all vague. She was seeking more singles it seems.

Jonathan
09-08-2010, 04:02 AM
Choirgirl.

Pele was (and still is) nice during some harder periods of life, but Choirgirl is always there. It's always good, and it's always fine, and it's always gorgeous. Choirgirl is so... alive, to me.

PS: Saying that Choirgirl has no sentiment and is forced is an absolute SIN.

Damien
09-08-2010, 04:22 AM
Pele

waitressboy
09-08-2010, 04:28 AM
Choirgirl.
Best.
Album.
Ever.
By ANY artist.

Owen
09-08-2010, 05:17 AM
Pele and Choirgirl duke it out for the top spot on my list, and they always will. Today, i'm going with Pele. :)

SageBrushFire
09-08-2010, 05:25 AM
Choirgirl has too many of my all-time favorites. SW is my favorite but I also just could not be alive anymore if I couldn't listen to Cruel, Black Dove, Playboy Mommy, Spark or Hotel.

SageBrushFire
09-08-2010, 05:28 AM
From the Choirgirl Hotel

I think Pele is the better written of the two albums - but I think literally every song on Pele pales in comparison to live renditions - something I can't say for Choirgirl.

Very good Point. Tori knocks every Pele song out of the park live, even ones I hate on the album (Little Amsterdam, Voodoo). Where as FTCH is, in general, excellent on the album the whole way through (and in fact a few songs are just okay live, such as Hotel).

toriMODE
09-08-2010, 12:59 PM
Tori Amos from the choirgirl hotel

other pete
09-08-2010, 01:07 PM
Boys for Pele.

Tricky to say exactly why. I hardly feel like picking fault with Choirgirl which is an amazing album and should've had far more commercial success.

[Ponders]

OK I'll split hairs because it's fascinating (to me). IMO Choirgirl does have sonic variety, but less than Pele. The band sound was new and wonderful but features on every track.

I miss strident acoustic keyboard centred music when I listen to FTCH all the way through, whereas I never yearn for a band groove while listening to Pele.

I particularly miss the bass-end of the piano, which we only get to glimpse in Liquid Diamonds, a fantastic track but one I hugely prefer live solo - it was a highlight of the TBK tour.

Actually, while live Pele songs are always great plugged or unplugged, I prefer the album versions of them all, while preferring live versions of most of the Choirgirl songs (except Spark & Hotel which are unbetterably perfect on the record). But that's more to do with my "every note is sacred" approach to BFP (& LE) than the intrinsic qualities of the records!

Tonika
09-08-2010, 09:32 PM
Choirgirl. It's perfect from the first to the last sound.

liquid_running
09-09-2010, 11:20 PM
They're both fantastic albums, but I've always felt more of a connection to Pele. I think it's possibly because it was the last album that felt like it was really driven by the piano (or harpsichord), whereas from Choirgirl onwards it started to feel kind of like Tori was following the band's lead.

Jezebelle
09-10-2010, 02:03 AM
Ha! Its split 50/50 :)

pan
09-10-2010, 02:08 AM
choirgirl. (cruel, liquid diamonds, iieee, playboy mommy = Love)

but so many more tracks on Pele hit me where it hurts. (horses, Jupiter, voodoo)

Jonathan
09-10-2010, 03:02 AM
I'm kinda glad FTCH is winning out, as it's made me realize that I'm not the only one who thinks FTCH is the better. LURv, you 16 other people.

The Seaward
09-10-2010, 03:38 AM
They're both fantastic albums, but I've always felt more of a connection to Pele. I think it's possibly because it was the last album that felt like it was really driven by the piano (or harpsichord), whereas from Choirgirl onwards it started to feel kind of like Tori was following the band's lead.

this, pretty much.

there was a wild, untamed quality to the songs and performances on Pele that tori has yet to match in regards to how it bridged classic piano rock/pop with baroque strings, horns, drum machines, gospel choirs, and (of course) Bull. Pele has a damp, humid feel to it that reminds me of warm spring nights, where the air is magical and anything can happen. Choirgirl is much more claustrophobic. not that that's a bad thing. i love Choirgirl dearly. there's not a damn thing wrong with it. Choirgirl contains some of my very favorite tori songs ("liquid diamonds", "pandora's aquarium", "iieee", "she's your cocaine", etc.), but the emotional/cerebral side of me will always belong to Pele. she's my boo.

Fast Horse
09-10-2010, 11:34 AM
They're both fantastic albums, but I've always felt more of a connection to Pele. I think it's possibly because it was the last album that felt like it was really driven by the piano (or harpsichord), whereas from Choirgirl onwards it started to feel kind of like Tori was following the band's lead.

So true.


this, pretty much.

there was a wild, untamed quality to the songs and performances on Pele that tori has yet to match in regards to how it bridged classic piano rock/pop with baroque strings, horns, drum machines, gospel choirs, and (of course) Bull. Pele has a damp, humid feel to it that reminds me of warm spring nights, where the air is magical and anything can happen. Choirgirl is much more claustrophobic. not that that's a bad thing. i love Choirgirl dearly. there's not a damn thing wrong with it. Choirgirl contains some of my very favorite tori songs ("liquid diamonds", "pandora's aquarium", "iieee", "she's your cocaine", etc.), but the emotional/cerebral side of me will always belong to Pele. she's my boo.

So true and so adorable. ;)

JHV
09-11-2010, 12:07 AM
I love how the two albums are tied at this point. Pele v. Choirgirl is like the eternal battle of Tori fandom at this point.

Fast Horse
09-11-2010, 07:10 PM
20 votes each. Wow, this one's neck to neck.

clarion
09-11-2010, 07:59 PM
I voted for Pele but now I'm rethinking it. I haven't given either a good spin lately.

But unlike a lot of people here, neither of those records is at the very top for me.

NUHN
09-11-2010, 08:20 PM
Pele is a magnum opus, and the (very well execucted) completion of a trilogy. There is nothing on FTCGH that can compare to "Putting the Damage On" (for instance). Sorry, there just isn't. And FTCGH has slightly embarrassing/dated songs like "Raspberry Swirl" on it. (Not that I'm knocking it too much, it also has "Playboy Mommy" and "Spark" and "Black-Dove (January)" on it.)

Choirgirl is the beginning of a new era for Tori clearly - she's said as much. She invited the boys over to jam with her and the silent pact between the piano/Tori/and the audience was interruppted. Which is fine, I'm not against Tori and the band at all, actually. But what the public (and a lot of us too) think of when we say "Tori Amos" (the fiery emotion, the insane, "over-educated fingers" piano playing, the earthiness, the sense of possiblitity and freedom, the sense of baroqueness, etc), is contained on BFP not the more mainstream Choirgirl. Pele was her last cult-following album.

SageBrushFire
09-11-2010, 11:56 PM
^I think Mr. Zebra kind of has a silly sound that many people who are into mainstream music scoff at.

I also look at it from a B-side perspective; Pele had the best material on the album. I really didn't enjoy the B-sides at all.

Choirgirl, however, has my absolute favorite B-sides of any album besides maybe UTP and Scarlet.

Of course everyone has different tastes; my "can't live without" songs on Pele are Horses/Blood Roses/Father Lucifer/Professional Widow and Hey Jupiter. PTDO is not particularly extra special to me. (Though I totally agree about Playboy Mommy, Spark & Black-Dove being the strongest on FTCH)


This thread is making me seriously crave these two albums! Pele has such raw power mixed with vulnerable emotion and Choirgirl feels so complex and dark; almost ahead of its time.

Fast Horse
09-12-2010, 04:18 PM
What I love about this album (BfP) and its b-sides are that you can tell each song, even if practiced or worked on prior, was performed during recording spontaneously and without reserve. Some, as we already know, were born during first-take improvisations. More than anything, it's a stream of consciousness album.

I feel as if this is one of the only Tori albums that will never become dated. I played it for a co-worker the other day and her experience was so visceral (of course we were influenced [fluffy]) that it reminded me of this albums sheer stark beauty. It's timeless.

the new prosecutor
09-13-2010, 02:34 AM
These are my top 2 Tori albums and I usually refer to them as the "top 2" because it's so hard to select a favorite. While I'm eternally grateful to Choirgirl for getting me firmly addicted to Tori back in the day, I think I have to side with Pele. (If only because I like every song on Pele, but I always skip over Black Dove whenever it comes on.)

Fast Horse
09-14-2010, 12:19 AM
This may be premature, but it looks like Pele will be the winner ;)

toriMODE
09-14-2010, 02:17 AM
Pele usually is.

May H
09-14-2010, 06:14 AM
I voted for Choirgirl, one of my favourite albums by any artist. I do like and respect Pele, and I love the piano and harpsichord on it, but I like her voice/way of singing much better on Choirgirl. Also, I really love the lyrics on Choirgirl. They are often cryptic but still beautiful and atmospheric.

MTAC
09-16-2010, 09:21 PM
Choirgirl, but Pele has more songs I love individually (Twinkle, Not the Red Baron, Father Lucifer, Doughnut Song).

SageBrushFire
09-16-2010, 09:56 PM
Oh man it's so close! Is there a time limit to this poll?

artemesia
09-16-2010, 11:55 PM
Pele and Choirgirl duke it out for the top spot on my list, and they always will. Today, i'm going with Pele. :)
exactly that...

Fast Horse
09-17-2010, 12:21 AM
Oh man it's so close! Is there a time limit to this poll?

No time limit.

SageBrushFire
09-17-2010, 02:02 AM
^Oh God then we may never know the winner. There are quite a bit more than 60 people on this forum and I'm sure they'll trickle in as long as the thread stays on the first page.

Damien
09-18-2010, 04:13 AM
My Time Limit ends now: Pele wins! :p

Watercolorstain
09-18-2010, 05:44 AM
IMHO Hotel(song)>>>>>Pele, except maybe, MAYBE for father lucifer, Voodoo, Widow and talula

Maeby
09-18-2010, 07:29 AM
Pele is by far Tori's best album (imo).

Alamo
09-18-2010, 10:05 AM
Choirgirl

HumptyDumpty
09-21-2010, 12:46 AM
oh jeez, this is a near impossible question to answer... took me a while to come to a conclusion. And I went with Pele.

I think both albums are masterpieces, and icons in tori's career. Choirgirl was the easiest of her albums to get into, for me. I remember I loved it right off the bat, and still do. But, damn it.. there's just something incredible about Pele. More incredible than any other album out there. SW is and will probably always be my favorite album of hers, but I also realize just how unique BFP is. There is no comparing it. It's a journey... and not so much in the 'across america' sense... but a journey through the psyche and through the soul. I've never heard anything like it. From start to finish, it's astounding.

black-dove
09-21-2010, 05:49 AM
Choirgirl, definitely.

Fast Horse
10-05-2010, 01:06 AM
K, winning by one point. Hm.

lettyt
10-05-2010, 03:53 PM
This one is tough--these are my two favorite albums. I had to go with Choirgirl, though. I can listen to this album all the way through, without skipping everything, and it feels like a completely coherent journey with no filler, nothing I'd switch around or change. Pele, as brilliant as it is, has a few songs that I think break of the flow/weaken the experience (not the red baron, twinkle) and a few songs I just don't really like to listen to (Springtime, professional widow). Even songs from Choirgirl that I don't love (She's your cocaine) seem like they fit.

Angel's Mask
10-14-2010, 02:08 AM
This was a hard one to pick. I think choirgirl will always hold a special spot for me on a personal level so it wins out today.

Soda
10-16-2010, 03:00 AM
Choirgirl is probably my least listened to album lately even though it's one of my favorites. I don't know why, I just neglect it. :( I remember I first downloaded Choirgirl for a long trip in the car and I absolutely loved listening to all the songs. It was a whole new world, I hadn't heard any of them besides Spark. I loved what Tori did with her music, it was much more experimental than Pele and she pulled it off flawlessly. God Cruel put me in such a trance, even if it did make me sad since I view it as a song of self reflection.

That being said I still have to say Pele AT THE MOMENT. It's a masterpiece if I ever saw one, you just get that feeling from it. I don't have a favorite Tori album but there's just something about Pele that makes it feel like...DAAAAAMMMNNN. :P This doesn't make her other work inferior, I can listen to any of her other songs besides Pele and love them just as much, but as an album Pele just has this feeling. Choirgirl has a feeling too, but not like Pele's.

:)

RisingPhoenix
10-16-2010, 03:11 AM
I find the choirgirl/pele debate (which is better) to be funny in a way, because one is tight 12 song album (with tori entering into more pop based territory) and the other is an 18-song "bloated" album. Now don't get me wrong I absolutely love each album it's just that my complaints with her recent output isn't that it's more pop or that it's bloated....it just isn't as good (on the whole) as her earlier work.

Choirgirl gets the slight nod :)

Fast Horse
10-16-2010, 04:44 AM
Choirgirl is probably my least listened to album lately even though it's one of my favorites. I don't know why, I just neglect it. :( I remember I first downloaded Choirgirl for a long trip in the car and I absolutely loved listening to all the songs. It was a whole new world, I hadn't heard any of them besides Spark. I loved what Tori did with her music, it was much more experimental than Pele and she pulled it off flawlessly. God Cruel put me in such a trance, even if it did make me sad since I view it as a song of self reflection.

That being said I still have to say Pele AT THE MOMENT. It's a masterpiece if I ever saw one, you just get that feeling from it. I don't have a favorite Tori album but there's just something about Pele that makes it feel like...DAAAAAMMMNNN. :P This doesn't make her other work inferior, I can listen to any of her other songs besides Pele and love them just as much, but as an album Pele just has this feeling. Choirgirl has a feeling too, but not like Pele's.

:)

Great post.

Bloody Grace
10-16-2010, 03:15 PM
Choirgirllllllllllll

PurplePerson
10-17-2010, 11:40 AM
Both are amazing albums but I went with Choirgirl because I....I don't know why, but my gut feeling told me to go with Choirgirl. Love Spark and Playboy Mommy so much.

Exciting to see how neck and neck this poll is!

Zippo
10-17-2010, 11:26 PM
Boys for Pele.

44 votes each.

EnjoyJoy
10-20-2010, 10:59 AM
Choirgirl. Pele is there when I'm in crisis or having a breakdown... yes

but Choirgirl is there when...

I'm having a crisis or breakdown
I'm in love
I'm falling out of love
I'm having fun
I'm remembering or contemplating my life
I'm thinking about the future
I'm eating cupcakes

Choirgirl is dark, yes, but I think this and Little Earthquakes are her only "slice of life" albums. I love that Pele is organic and it feels like taking a walk in a huge forest and that it has a life of it's own and that you can hear the songs BREATHE but, I need to be on a special mood to play it from start to finish, whereas the only thing keeping me from playing choirgirl all the time is fear of overplaying it. Sure, choirgirl is heavily influenced by her miscarriages but there's also a lot of her getting engaged/married in it, plus Swirl being all about friends and upbeat, the way all the threads are put together, all the high and lows, make it the better album of the two, in my eyes. (I mean, ears)

ETA: Oh, and also, there's a lot of my personal demons in Pele, so yeah. That also keeps me from listening to it. Dad issues/brother issues/men issues/lots of issues/get your tissues

Fast Horse
10-28-2010, 11:46 AM
^ Great explanation for why your prefer one over the other. I get it.

Also, I love how the numbers fluctuate for each album. It's sort of why I left it as an open poll. Reading through these, although Pele is obviously my favorite, I totally get why people are drawn so strongly to either or.

They really are her benchmarks.

Fast Horse
11-23-2010, 12:26 AM
Tie? Still?

Medusa
11-23-2010, 12:41 AM
Not anymore. :)

Soda
11-23-2010, 12:44 AM
Dad issues/brother issues/men issues/lots of issues/get your tissues

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

This made my brain explode when I said it out loud. Who are you, Tori Amos?!