Thanks to zac for telling me about this review. The best place to read it is at www.kink.fm. You can also read it below if that link is expired:
KINK's Music Director, Kevin Welch, listens to dozens of new CD releases every week and has sorted through the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Released October 29, 2002
After ending her relationship with Atlantic Records, Tori Amos signed on with Epic Records in late 2002 and released one of her finest records to date. Scarlet's Walk is an ambitious collection of songs (18 to be exact) that not only stay true to Tori's sound and style, but show her innate talent of constructing infectious melodies.
It would be incorrect to call Scarlet's Walk a concept album, as most Amos albums are built around central concepts and ideas, however, Walk strings together episodic adventures culled from a road trip Tori took through the United States in late 2001.
The songs focus on the collection of characters on the trip and Tori's perspective of events. The music is simply the best stuff she's put out. From the tight drum sounds on "A Sorta Fairytale" to the swelling strings on "Gold Dust" Tori has put her name in the top ranks of producers in the business. All the while, her consistent piano playing ties all of the songs together.
There are moments listening to Scarlet's Walk where you can find yourself drifting in thought, but that's just the thing that makes this album work on so many levels. As background music, it seeps in. As an active listener, you're caught in either the emotion or the stories. It's like a fine painting, the more you look at it, the more you're able to see. The longer you listen, the more you're aware that the album is so full of potential hits. This is not to say that any of her previous efforts weren't up to snuff, but Scarlet's Walk combines all of the elements - thoughtful, poetic lyrics, catchy melodies and songs that keep playing in your head.
Long time Tori fans, some of the most devoted in the industry, will love this album and while Tori's fans have always appeared inclusive, they may need to make a lot of extra room on the wagon. More will come.
Selected tracks: "Amber Waves", "A Sorta Fairytale", "Strange", "Your Cloud", "Taxi Ride"