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Mansfield News Journal
November 19, 2002

Added November 27, 2002

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Read this Tori interview/article from the November 19, 2002 edition of the Mansfield News Journal. Thanks to Woj for making me aware of it.

Artist dealing with terrorist attacks

By John Benson
News Journal correspondent

When singer/songwriter Tori Amos arrived onto the alternative music scene precisely a decade ago, there was no Lilith Fair movement or Alanis Morissette momentum to usher her into the ranks of grunge.

Perhaps paling in volume compared to the utter rage of Kurt Cobain and the biting disillusionment of Eddie Vedder, the demure but confident red-haired singer, with her highly trained vocals and delicate piano skills, told equally horrific stories on her debut album "Little Earthquakes" about dysfunction and abandonment.

Today, the enormously popular artist is still dealing with issues but unlike the personal politics of her past, Amos' latest disc "Scarlet's Walk" details a coming to terms after last year's terrorist attacks.

"After Sept. 11, people were experiencing America as a friend, as a being, who was hurt," said Amos in her press materials. "She wasn't an object to them. We won't go back to just referring to her as just a nationalistic concept. She was a mother, a friend, who had been put through pain. Once people started opening up to that, questions started to come. Questions like, 'Why did this happen?' There was an awakening on many levels for a lot of people. It became clear, a road trip was something that we were taking. The songs started coming fast and furiously. I was on my own quest for answers and to ask the right questions. I was on Scarlet's walk."

Throughout her career, Amos' handful of discs have collectively sold more than 12 million copies. While each album possessed a unique musical style and mindset, none of her releases were ever considered concept albums. Therein lies the difference with "Scarlet's Walk," which details the free-living geographical escapades of our main character, Scarlet, as she experiences the sins of America and the hopeful redemption of the red, white and blue spirit.

This is pretty impressive stuff for any singer/songwriter, but Amos has always pushed her audience with creative ventures that may have fallen short when compared to her early successes but never suffered from redundancy or stagnation.

As intimate a message as her new disc attempts to make, there's a high level of intimacy and affirmation Amos' fans experience when seeing the artist live. Her lush sound fills up any room with hypnotic desire and emotion, which normally results in a rousing live performance. Amos is touring "Scarlet's Walk," including a show Saturday at Columbus' Palace Theater and Nov. 26 at Cleveland's State Theater.

Clearly, while she's a veteran performer and songwriter, the diminutive artist has succeeded once again in not only rediscovering herself but offering insight and understanding to her audience that they may have lost after Sept. 11, 2001.

Said Amos, "What you believe in ... it matters now to you and me."

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