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Review of FADE TO RED From Subculture Magazine
March 5, 2006

Updated Fri, Mar 24, 2006 - 5:48am ET

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Tori Amos
Fade to Red : Video Collection DVD
Rhino home video

Review By : Sakis Pavlakakis

This is a long awaited release of videos by the fiery red-head singer-songwriter TORI AMOS, armed with her sweet and melodic voice, accompanied always be her piano, her faithful companion to her personal complex and impressionistic songs, she's created quite an array of videos in her career up to now, a collection of which we get to enjoy with this welcomed new 2 disc DVD release. It's not a complete video collection, since it is missing a couple of videos ("Glory of the '80s" and "Strange Little Girl" are suspiciously absent), but that's more for record labels to deal with, than us trying to decipher why those two lovely videos aren't featured here.

"Fade to Red" is a slightly different video collection, in the respect that the videos are not in chronological order like we are used to seeing most Video collections. They are rather scrambled and scattered and the viewer doesn't get a real sense of progression to Tori's art as a singer, but rather the bigger picture of her career, with the variety of sounds and video directions & themes that exist in her videos all meshing together. So don't expect to see a clear evolution of Tori's videos chronologically but expect to get a sense of what she is trying to say overall.

Tori explores many themes and visuals in her songs. She has many transformations in them. She is soft and feminine laying seductively in the rocky shores of Cornwall in "China", being gentle and ethereal in "Sleeps with Butterflies", having some interpretive dancers on "Pretty Good Year" (where she jumps through some glass), and being a bit like Alice in Wonderland in her debut video "Silent All These years".

There is her ever present quirky side, more notably on "God" where she has snakes and rats running around all over her, having children turn into pigs for being gluttons on techno track "Raspberry Swirl", floating about in limbo on "Caught a Lite Sneeze" and most impressively becoming a whole body from just starting off as a single leg with a sexy shoe & her head on "Sorta Fairytale", when she meets Adrian Brody who is just a head on a hand & becomes a whole person with her in the end of the weird modern fairytale of a video. She shows turmoil on "Hey Jupiter", where the whole house is a flame; perhaps an allegory for someone's torched soul? She's been blindfolded and seeking help from her restraints on "Spark", where she escapes from her captor's car".

Finally there is Tori empowered and strong facing her demons on "Cornflake Girl" (where we are lucky to see both the UK and American versions), where the common theme is of course girls being catty at each other (the hair pulling should be a good clue), she gets in a bathtub full of water on "Crucify" (another symbol for baptism), and she gets all in the face of some priest in Spain on "Past the mission", her often turbulent disdainful relationship with organized Christianity she is trying to address in some of her songs is clearly shown in some of her videos. Lastly there is a black and white tour video of "Bliss" where we get tiny glimpses of Live shows of Tori, part of her biggest allure to fans, her strong connection with them and her fiery persona becoming flesh and bones and reality to a lot of tortured souls who seek her out.

A wonderful plus on this release is the commentary provided by Tori. Some people who are just casual listeners/viewers and not the adoring fans, they would need some help with interpretations by Tori, as sometimes her songs can have cryptic messages and hidden meanings that to the not so trained ears and eyes might go missing so Tori shedding some light into some of these songs with the lovely commentary is a big plus. The commentary focuses more on the video making process rather than clear translations of all her songs, but small interpretations and revelations and clues definitely shed some light and are well worth listening to. There are also remastered 5.1 sound and stereo sound options and the packaging is very nice as well. We have a cardboard case that stores the gatefold two DVD paper case in it and a little booklet with some additional information.

Overall this release is very well done and laid out, both for fans and casual viewers alike. In an age where rap videos and brain dead rock songs rule the TV waves, it's nice to see artists like Tori Amos try to be provocative, make us think and offer something alternative& original.

Track List:
Disc One

Past The Mission
Jackie's Strength
A Sorta Fairytale
Winter Spark
Sleeps With Butterflies
Cornflake Girl (US)
Hey Jupiter (Dakota Version)
Silent All These Years

Disc Two

Caught A Lite Sneeze
1000 Oceans
Raspberry Swirl
Talula (The Tornado Mix)
Sweet The Sting
Pretty Good Year


Professional Widow (remix)
Cornflake Girl (UK version)
Making of A Sorta Fairytale
Comprehensive Commentary on all videos

Posted by: Mikewhy

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