Boys for Pele (1996)
A quirky album that represents the range of Tori’s unique style. “The Doughnut Song” always evokes for me the gray advance of a winter storm, and “Caught A Lite Sneeze” is perhaps my all-time favorite Tori song.
Future 2 Future (DVD – 2001)
Okay, this one is actually a DVD, but it offers more music than the CD version, showcasing Hancock’s interest in the intersection of jazz, popular music and hip hop. Amazing reinterpretations of Hancock favorites. This live recording blows the socks off any studio album.
Songs of beautiful insight and grace, with arrangements that never sound dated. Picture the desert, with ribbons of highway, endless vistas and freedom, but a freedom that exacts its own price.
Peace Beyond Passion (1996)
There’s something new to be discovered every time you listen to this album. Provocative lyrics that confront those great American obsessions of race, religion and sexuality.
The Royal Scam (1976)
It was hard to choose between this and Steely Dan’s other masterpiece, Aja, but I like the unusual theme of crime that links most of the songs here. Interesting harmonic progressions and superb musicianship keep me coming back to this album.
Her knock-out debut album offers rich, expressive vocals and graceful arrangements that are perfect for an introspective mood.
Songs from the Tin (2000)
Three different female vocalists collaborate with Christian Franck and Patrick Forge on this dazzling album infused with Brazilian rhythms and the spirit of Brazil. A mixture of acoustic and electronic elements, every song is a masterpiece.
Thick as a Brick (1972)
One of the few examples in popular music of an authentic orchestral approach to songwriting, where thematic development and instrumentation define the shape of the music.
To Venus and Back (1999)
Okay, it’s a double album (is that cheating?). But the live one includes versions of “Space Dog” and “Bells for Her” that are even better than the originals, and the studio album offers Tori at the apex of her more adventurous musical explorations.
The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams (2007)
A kaleidoscopic musical journey with unexpected twists and turns (although I prefer the version of “Elliptical” originally released on the EP). While at first it seems like a radical departure from her previous work, after several listens you can hear the DNA that links the versatile strands from all her music. The Japanese import contains a different bonus track from the American album. Support this musical genius and buy both.
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