Tori Amos has just released her first collection of original material in three years, “Scarlet’s Walk,” and this seventh album embodies the singer-songwriter’s untouchably brilliant and innovative style.
The new album complements the more classic approach to songwriting and performance found in her earlier works, “Little Earthquakes” (1991) and “Under the Pink” (1994).
“Scarlet’s Walk” may prove to rekindle the attraction of fans who lost interest after the electronically enhanced “From the Choir Girl Hotel” (1998), and “Venus and Back” (1999). The album also strays from the improvisational style found in “Boys For Pele” (1996).
Inspired in part while touring directly after the events of last Sept. 11, “Scarlet’s Walk” takes listeners through a journey of personal and political insight. Scarlet is a fictional character who may be viewed as the artist’s representation of herself and the mixture of poignant interactions with people all over the country.
In an interview in the November issue of Pulse magazine, Amos reveals, “It’s tapping into many years of traveling, reading, researching and being pulled, especially last year, to find America’s soul – this being we call ‘America.'”
Self-produced, the first track is titled “Amber Waves,” which is a portrayal of America as a porn star. The song also introduces a longing to return to the roots of the Native American tradition. The album refers to Native American traditions often, as a possible means to the pre-Sept. 11 abandoned ideal of unity as one nation.
Frequently receiving radio play, “A Sorta Fairytale” reminisces about a lost love and the anguish of letting go. “Don’t Make Me Come to Vegas” is the story of a teenager dealing with an identity crisis caused by undesirable surroundings.
Anyone remotely familiar with the music of Amos can attest to her entrancing virtuosity as a pianist. The album features percussionist Matt Chamberlain, who has worked with Amos on a number of albums, in addition to recording with Fiona Apple and touring with Critter’s Buggin. Also notable is bassist Jon Evans, deepening the effect of the music by delivering powerful bass lines on this more organic album.
Amos’ album is in stores nationwide, and she will be playing locally, at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City.