Touring two years ago as Peter Gabriel’s backup singer must have loosened up former prom queen Paula Cole. In This Fire, piano pounder Cole announces she’s cast off the sweet safeness of her 1994 debut with a nude cover shot and the lyrical and vocal teeth-baring of her first track, ”Tiger” . A feisty poet with a soaring voice and a funky groove, Cole seems to be nipping at Tori Amos’ heels. A-
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