26. Silent all these years (Tori Amos)

For me, the most stunningly beautiful song that Tori Amos (image credit) ever recorded is Silent all these years, from the 1992 debut album Little Earthquakes. She weaves cunningly elaborate piano melodies and a soft string section around the complex lyrics. The song is about a collapsing relationship, the vocals almost conversational, a monologue of fear and bitterness ("I got the Antichrist in the kitchen yelling at me again"). The sudden explosion of volume during the central section with its rising harmonies and rising tide of panic ("Years go by, will I be still waiting for someone else to understand?") in the end gives way once more to the plaintive melancholy of the verse. It is an exquisite song of both rage and pathos - one of those songs that continue to grow on you on repeated hearing.

Other songs by this act that would have qualified: Winter, China, Gold dust, I can't see New York, Amber waves, Time, Strange.


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