May 11, 1998 12:00 PM

Tori Amos (Atlantic)

Some talking points for parents of teenage Amos fans:

As always, avoid further alienation by emphasizing the positive. In conversations with your child, note Amos’s accomplished musicianship, her years of classical training, her soaring soprano, the complex structure of her songs. No need to mention that you find her music repetitive, boring and in dire need of a backbeat. Pretend you can’t understand everything Amos says—she slurs most of the bad words anyway—and if you happen to read the lyric sheet, shun sarcastic remarks about phrases like “Lollipop Gestapo” and “ice cream assassin.” Discuss less obscure songs on this CD, like “Jackie’s Strength.” It includes a line about “lunch boxes worshipping David Cassidy,” a perfect opening for an anecdote or two about pop stars in your day. Or “Playboy Mommy,” which actually has a story to tell. Above all, be convincing. The more you pretend to like this album, the less your kids will want to listen to it.

Bottom Line: A mess; don’t linger here for long

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