ALBUM EPIC, SONY RELEASE: OCTOBER
29, 2002 REVIEW: NOVEMBER 13, 2002
new Tori Amos album "Scarlet's Walk" is quite laid back, which
is saying something for Ms Amos. In the past, her works have had a very
frantic and edgy feel to them but "Scarlet's Walk" is a much
more relaxed album. Last year's cover album "Strange Little Girls"
gave some hints of what was to come, but the songs were covers, not original
compositions from the piano bench of madame Sword and Stone herself.
new songs are tales of redemption, tales of innocence lost and just about
everything in between both points of existence. There are songs of wistful
days gone by and of the darkness at the core of human existence. Tori
has toned down the strident use of electronic sounds on this album somewhat;
"Scarlet's Walk" bears very little resemblance to 1999's "To
Venus and Back". There are no trip hop songs on this album and not
a single breakbeat can be heard. In their place are some of the lushest
string and piano arrangements I've heard in some time on a commercial
journey which Tori embarks on with this album is one that I wish more
female artists who bill themselves as "songwriters" would have
the guts to try. There are some songs on this album which literally tore
me apart by their fragile and tender nature.
Tori's voice sounds like that of a survivor, and she is on all counts.
"I Can't See New York" is the one song I will mention as it
is a juggernaut of introspection and alienation, to wit: "And you
said and you did and you said you would find me even in death but I can't
see New York as I'm circling down". I doubt you'll get a line like
that on a Fiona Apple record. The "future pop" crowd also pales
in comparison. Keep trying, boys, but you'll never get this good anyway.
of the songs on this album deserve your unremitting attention. With any
luck, this album will perhaps silence all those who dismiss Tori Amos
as an artist merely playing the voyeurism card. Oh yes, the photos on
the sleeve of the album most certainly are a treat. Good show, Tori.