Tori Amos, 'Under the Pink'
The second solo effort from Tori Amos continued marching down the path of righteous questioning — the piano-tickling redhead stormed the gates of patriarchy, religion and sexual violence on the loopy "God" and the pained "Past the Mission" (which features backing vocals from Trent Reznor). Amos's blunt poesy and audacious composition resulted in Under the Pink's initial reception being all over the map — critics couldn't quite decide if she was content or unsettled, perhaps because the clarity of her artistic vision came packaged with lyrics that poked holes in all sorts of institutions. Ultimately, though, Pink helped Amos shed the "American Kate Bush" tag that accompanied her initial turn in the spotlight. Maura Johnston