Many thanks to Lucy
for this review!
SUN RATING: 2 1/2
out of 5
Change can be good.
But only if you take
advantage of that which a clean slate provides.
Tori Amos, on Scarlet's Walk -- her first record for a new label, and
first album of her own new material since disc one of 1999's To Venus
and Back -- there's no sense of a new beginning.
There's no sense of a
fresh start in a career that's spanned more than a decade and
provided more than a few highlights. Scarlet's Walk is, instead, a
long, truly uninspired act of indulgence on the part of the
And not indulgent in
the way of her previous efforts which provided deeply personal looks
into her life. Nor even indulgent in the same way as last year's
Strange Little Girls, an intriguing collection that saw Amos
interpreting songs by male artists such as Eminem's '97 Bonnie &
Clyde and Lloyd Cole & the Commotions' Rattlesnakes.
No, this takes it to
an entirely different level, thanks to a loose "theme" to
the album which has the title character travelling coast to coast
across America and telling stories of an odd assortment of lives (a
porn star, a prostitute, a revolutionary, etc.) past and present.
Where it begins to
fail is in the music, which rarely changes in tempo or style in order
to differentiate between the journey's different characters, eras,
regions, or moods. Amos rides her dark, dreary Kate Bush piano
ballads all the way through the record providing few ups or downs.
But that's nothing
compared to Scarlet's Walk's biggest crime, which is that it's far
too long (18 songs which clock in at 74 minutes), and far too dull to
make us care about her concept, the characters, or, for that matter,
So much for new
- - -
MIKE BELL, CALGARY SUN