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Arizona Republic
December 12, 2002

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Sandy Rizzo, Shanti and Summer H. alerted me to a Tori article from the December 12, 2002 edition of The Arizona Republic. You can read it below or on

Expressing pain

Michael Senft
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 12, 2002 12:00 AM

After Sept. 11, songwriters searched for ways to express their feelings. Some took the Toby Keith route, writing pro-American slogans such as Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American) . Others followed Alan Jackson's direction, questioning their feelings in songs like Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning . Singer Tori Amos, who visits Gammage Auditorium on Monday, didn't immediately set her pen to the tragedy. Instead, she traveled across the country.

That 3,000-mile journey became the basis for a concept album, Scarlet's Walk , which hit stores in late October. The album documents the journey of a woman named Scarlet across post-9/11 America. Perhaps to emphasize the dense lyrical themes, Amos strips her arrangements to the most basic, a sharp contrast from her most recent work. In the process, she has made her most affecting work since her 1992 debut, Little Earthquakes.

In 75 minutes, Amos achieves the difficult task of abstracting the tragedy through the lives of ordinary Americans, such as the lost innocence of the porn star in the album-opening Amber Waves ("from ballet class to a lap dance straight to video").

Amos doesn't directly address the terrorist attacks. Rather, she explores the diversity of America. Yet throughout the album the specter of the Twin Towers haunts her lyrics, especially in Sweet Sangria , a sultry conversation in west Texas where Scarlet asks, "give me a bloodless road, tell me why does someone have to lose?" Even a song titled I Can't See New York masks its 9/11 commentary in heavy symbolism.

For the tour, Amos is not solely focusing on the new record. Although she plays several tunes from it, she intersperses them through her set rather than present Scarlet's Walk as a single journey.

Amos also has brought a band along, a contrast to last year when she appeared at the Web Theatre alone with a piano. She continues to vary sets from night to night, so concertgoers may be treated to a rare B-side, or perhaps a Led Zeppelin cover.

Either way, Amos' music is sure to leave you thinking.

Tori Amos

WHERE: Gammage Auditorium, Mill Avenue and Apache Boulevard, Tempe.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16.

TICKETS: $30.50-$37.50, available through Ticketmaster, (480) 784-4444 or . Amos also will perform at a private charity concert at 2 p.m. Monday at Anderson's Fifth Estate, 6820 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale. Bid for tickets at

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