Imagine staring out the window on a desolate road trip. You’re searching for an answer along the highway of “What is America?” while acknowledging that we are imposters on this land. As we search for the meaning of our lives, Tori Amos’ new album, Scarlet’s Walk, steps up.
In her seventh album, Tori travels the open and more mellow road through personal, post-9/11 reflection, ranging from an outcry over America’s tragic treatment of Native Americans to feeling a sense of abandonment within this place that we call home.
This album is Tori to the core, with her vibrato-esque voice and passionate piano arrays coasting through the tracks. I especially liked “Amber Waves” and “A Sorta Fairytale,” in which Tori professes her sadness at the image-conscious culture of America. Through a haunting unaccompanied “Wampum Prayer,” Tori expresses an even greater heartbreak over westward expansion: “In our hand an old old old thread/ Trail of blood and amens greed is the gift for the sons of the sons.”
Scarlet’s Walk is beautifully constructed, showcasing Tori’s lyrical talent. Still, I miss some of her more passionate anger in anthems like “Crucify,” although it is refreshing to hear a questioning voice. Tori states, “Can someone help me/ I think that I’m lost here/ Lost in a place called America.” Lost within her own world, she takes the listener on a ride through her soaring imagination, which is what she does best.
[Lana Bradshaw doesn’t know Tori Amos was the captain of her high school cheerleading squad.]