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Scarlet's Walk
Format: Audio CD|Change
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 17 April 2008
This was the first album by Tori that I bought - I think it was recommended me by Amazon and on a whim I decided to buy it. Since then, I have not looked back and have virtually everything that she has released. So, for that reason, I see it as being one of her best albums. If you have listened to those that came before SCARLET'S WALK, you will know that this album seemed to present a happier, more content Tori - the darkness of Choirgirl has been lost and the pure experimental aspect of Boys is somewhat more subdued, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. All things have to change over time and Tori's fans will only know too well that all of her albums have a different sound to them.

For me, the best songs are "A sorta fairytale", "Crazy", "Strange", "Your Cloud" and "Gold Dust". "Your Cloud" especially is a favourite of mine, from all of her work actually. It is a very beautiful song about being in a relationship and the problem of trying to be your own separate self, while at the same time being incredibly close to another, almost so close that you are no longer sure where one ends and the other begins. Although the album feels perhaps more 'positive' than other albums by Amos, the theme of relationships turned sour is a recurring one - "Strange" echoes this, describing perfectly how we are often only too eager to give up our own lives for the one we are attracted to, only to be let down later on.

As ever, the lyrics and the music on all of the songs are brilliant. Tori's talent on the piano is something which goes without saying - I personally don't think there is another artist to equal her. Listen to "Gold Dust" if you think this is in doubt - the arrangement of the music and the orchestra added with her Bosendorfer is just pure heaven. A sweeping modern masterpiece.

SCARLET'S WALK is perhaps Tori's most accessible album, so if you are new to her music, this is a great place to start. It was the one that got me hooked and it still remains a favourite of mine.
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on 19 November 2002
Scarlet's Walk is far, far better than I ever hoped it would be. By turns haunting, provocative, poignant and mesmerising, the arrangements and the vocals are smooth and the lyrics, whilst at first glance nominally less opaque than those on recent of albums (especially To Venus and Back), still typically retain layers of meaning with their use of metaphor. It's an album of standout tracks, but those that linger in the ears and the mind the longest are the Pink Floyd-esque, emotionally-wrenching story of a girl on a plane who will never reach New York, "I Can't See New York", the vocally-layered, haunting Carbon, the upbeat, gliding, yet sorrowful Taxi Ride, the beautifully melodic "story-of-Pochohontas-as-America-metaphor", Virginia, and the string-orchestra enhanced Gold Dust. This is the work of an true artist at the height of her powers. It hasn't been off my stereo since I bought it. Buy it, and buy her entire back catalogue too, whilst you're there. You will not regret it.
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on 9 February 2016
Superb sixth album from Tori Amos.
Worth it for the sublime Carbon alone.

An undisputed five star must buy masterpiece.
Simply Stunning.
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on 11 July 2014
A really nice album with songs that are quieter and reflective. You need to listen a few times to get into the feel of this album, which is one that makes you think a lot about life.
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on 26 January 2014
Tori Amos is great, and this album is among her finest ones. If you dont know Tori, start with this, and it will not be the last album you buy of this fine artist.
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on 24 April 2016
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on 23 June 2016
Excellent. Her best!
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on 14 June 2004
Some of the other reviews have claimed the 18 tracks of Scarlets Walk are too many and should have been cut down. I really don't think so, this is a great album and it's nice to see someone like Tori Amos produce an ablum of so many quality track - others can always use the skip button...
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on 6 November 2002
Compared to the last few albums, the sound of Scarlet's Walk is more conventional, the production less self-consciously strange. A long album, on first play it has a particular mood, but with each listen the tracks begin to separate and take on their own identities.
I find this album takes less 'work' to listen to than previous offerings - whether that's a good thing or a bad thing depends on what you like. It's a fairly easy listen, but there's enough humour (Amber Waves), interesting arrangements (Mrs Jesus) and time changes (Carbon) to keep your ears on their toes. Rather than striving to challenge conventions, it seems that Ms Amos' aim was to put together a collection of very strong songs . These will get inside your brain and keep you humming, though the closing 'Gold Dust' is completely silencing.
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on 11 April 2007
Tori Amos' Sony/Epic debut, Scarlet's Walk, was released in 2002 to mostly positive reaction from critics but muted response from many fans. Where were the semi-gothic piano epics? Where were the impassioned vocals? Where was the sonic diversity? But, as with the best albums, it has matured like a fine wine and is held in high regard today by the Amos fan community that has recognised its subtle, intricate delights.

Motherhood has calmed Amos here (daughter Tash born in 2000) and given her a new perspective. Where previous albums tended to look inward for inspiration, Amos now becomes more of an observational songwriter and the impact of 9/11 caused her to think about America and its history. Tapping into her own Native American roots, Amos sculpted a towering masterpiece of poetic imagery and songcraft, drawing on the wells of American history and politics. Scarlet's Walk is like a travelogue, and loosely follows the protagonist, Scarlet, across the United States on a road trip.

Musically and lyrically, Amos attempts to evoke the place Scarlet is supposed to be in - the desert setting of "Don't Make Me Come to Vegas" features a slow, sensual rhythm and Mexican-style percussion; the Floridian summerscape of "Another Girl's Paradise" is sensual and summery, with images of groves and oranges; "Virginia" references the state with its folk-style dobro and twisting piano melody. But even if the listener doesn't follow Scarlet's journey (and the lyrics don't make reference to any particular character or any particular event - i.e. the story of Native American plight in "Scarlet's Walk" is evoked rather than stated, and the 9/11 catastrophe in the intense epic "I Can't See New York" is not clearly mentioned), the album is an intricately-woven gem.

The hallmark is soft, subtle, '70s-style arrangements akin to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, with meticulously-crafted melodies that come off as effortless; vocally, Amos sings in a natural range, lending the material an earthy tone, and a hallmark is to finish each song on a lingering a cappella note. What was once mistaken for blandness or repetitiveness is actually narrative continuity. But that doesn't mean each song is the same - far from it.

The ballads here are alternately heart-wrenchingly sad ("Strange"), plaintive (the simple "Your Cloud"), majestic ("Scarlet's Walk"), or opulent and grand ("Gold Dust"), and the harder-edged material is among Amos' best, with subtly fiery tunes like "Sweet Sangria" and "Pancake" ensuring that this album retains a musical diversity. There are also some superb new experiments, like the country shuffle of "Wednesday," the Mexican rhythms in "Vegas," and the chamberlain flute in "Mrs. Jesus." There's also more of a melodic, hook-laden pop sound on show, especially on such superb examples of songcraft as "Amber Waves," "A Sorta Fairytale," and "Taxi Ride." Vocally, she's in fine form, especially on the likes of "I Can't See New York" and the orgasmic coda to "Virginia."

One of the most significant artistic contributions of her career, Scarlet's Walk is Tori Amos' ultimate conceptual realisation. She has been more sonically and musically adventurous, but musical diversity and experimentation was not in service to these songs, which have a classic, nostalgic '70s feel in their arrangements and superbly executed chord progressions. It's a majestic work, and one of Amos' best. Here, she proves that you don't need to wail your way through a song or sing provocative lyrics to have a deep, resonant impact.
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