03. “Strange Little Girl” sung by a man would be condescending… a song about little blue girls who have to escape the worlds that enclose them would seem to inherently imply that only such a strange wispy little creature could ever be susceptible to such a fate. Tori introduces something else into the mix… a kindred spirit who knows from experience what the act of running away feels like. Suddenly, this has become more familiar territory for us fans. A strange little girl is not a fragile creature of blown glass, but a spirit on the loose looking for something that can contain her. You feel her tear into you as Belew’s guitars slash past Tori’s wurley to assault your ears like the winds that she is wrapped up tightly against. This girl is not so fragile after all.
The song itself says the same thing about the album as it says about its character… something that seemed so tiny and careful at first surges up the same way Tori’s voice leads the way in “New Age.” It recenters your listening … it is telling you not to let the quiet deliveries and fragile vocals obscure the steely nerves and sinews beneath this record.