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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
November 7, 2002

Added November 27, 2002

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A review of Scarlet's Walk appeared in the November 7, 2002 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Thanks to Lucy for sending this to The Dent.

"Scarlet's Walk"


"Scarlet's Walk," Tori Amos' seventh full-length release, finds the artist with her feet almost on the ground.

Since her breakthrough albums, "Little Earthquakes" and "Under the Pink," Amos' work has become so idiosyncratic as to be inscrutable.

Here, hiding in the title character, Amos sings about the seductions of America in some of her most accessible songs in years.

Still precious, a little precocious and too self-impressed, Amos delivers several story songs that connect.

"A Sort of Fairytale," "Don't Make Me to Vegas" and "Your Cloud" feel as much like pop songs as Amos can create these days. But much of this travelogue narrative tends to drift, musically and lyrically, eluding easy understanding.

Allusions to the Trail of Tears show up in "Wampum Prayer," but like the girl-turned-porn actress in "Amber Waves," who drifts from "ballet class to a lap dance straight to video," we have to wonder who's seducing who.

Tori Amos' unique voice remains compelling, especially when she's alone at the piano - which doesn't happen enough here - but this journey driven by questions into the heartland fails to develop beyond dreary, two-dimensional emoting.

- Brian Q. Newcomb

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