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Scarlet's Walk

Scarlet's Walk is the eighth album released by singer and songwriter Tori Amos. It is an 18 track concept album that details the across-America travels of character Scarlet (loosely based on Amos) and her porn-star friend Amber Waves. The albums intent is to address the concept of America, post September 11th, 2001. The album was the first released by Amos on Epic Records after her split with former label Atlantic Records.

The first single from the album was the catchy and radio-friendly track "A Sorta Fairytale." It was followed by the song "Taxi Ride," for which fans were asked to direct and submit music videos for a contest.

The album also served as a "key" to "unlock" Scarlet's Web, a massive web site that contained special concert ticket offers, photos, merchandise, and most notably, unreleased B-side tracks which were only available to CD-owners through the web site. (The underlying reason for this was that people would buy the CD rather than download tracks illegally in order to get special content. This hardly deterred people from illegally copying the website-only material and distributing it.) There was a limited edition version released in a special box with a bonus DVD, a map detailing Scarlet's journey, and a bracelet-charm.

TRACKS

  1. Amber Waves
  2. a sorta fairytale
  3. Wednesday
  4. strange
  5. Carbon
  6. Crazy
  7. wampum prayer
  8. don't make me come to Vegas
  9. Sweet Sangria
  10. your cloud
  11. pancake
  12. I can't see New York
  13. mrs. jesus
  14. Taxi Ride
  15. another girl's paradise
  16. Scarlet's Walk
  17. Virginia
  18. gold dust

BONUS DVD

  1. gold dust (video version)
  2. a sorta fairytale (video version)
  3. polaroids
  4. taxi ride (audio bed)
  5. play all
  6. chapters
  7. audio options
  8. tori audio commentary (on)
  9. tori audio commentary (off)

DESCRIPTION OF ALBUM (from promotional materials):

"The CD's about America -- it's a story that's also a journey, that begins in LA and crosses the country, slowly heading east. America's in there, and specific places and things, Native American history and pornography and a girl on a plane who'll never get to New York, and Oliver Stone and Andrew Jackson and madness and a lot more. Not to mention a girl called Scarlet who may be the land and may be a person and may be a trail of blood." - Author Neil Gaiman

SAMPLE LYRICS (with breif description of song's theme):

"Amber Waves" (The song Amber Waves attempts to corrolate the life of a porn star with the history of America; in the song the character Amber has lived her life making pornography and feeling glorious and important, only to realize that she has put her life in the hands of people whose intentions for her may not be altruistic.)

"Well he lit you up like Amber Waves in his movie show/Fixed you up real good 'til I don't know you anymore/From ballet class to a lap dance straight to video/And the poolside news was that he would be launching you into every young man's bedroom"

"a sorta fairytale" (In this song the lead character of the album, Scarlet, recounts how a relationship has dissolved during a road trip because of a difference in opinion between herself and an unnamed lover.)

"And I'm so sad/Like a good book, I can't put this/Day back/A sorta fairytale with you/Down New Mexico way, somethin' about the open road/I knew that he was lookin' for some Indian blood/Find a little in you, find a little in me/We may be on this road, but/We're just imposters in this country, you know"

"Wednseday" (A short song with a Beatles-esque feeling, the character Scarlet takes up residence with a brief fling after her previous break-up, only to be haunted by the ghost of her failed relationship.)

"No one's at the door/You suggest a ghost, perhaps a phantom/I agree with this (in part)/Something is with us/I can't put my finger on/Is Thumbalina size 10 on a Wednseday?"

"Strange" (Scarlet pontificates on the fact that her last two relationships were not what they seemed to be, and that it actually may be her own fault.)

"Just stay/You said we'll build a nest/So I left my life, tried on your friends/tried on your opinions/But when/the bridges froze and you/Did not come home/I put our snowflake under a microscope"

"Carbon" (Scarlet meets a manic depressive and they travel together throught he Black Hills of Dakota to Wounded Knee, scene of one of the darkest episodes in Native American history. She's on a path to descruction, and Scarlet takes her to a ski resort, but for this girl the normal parameters and boundaries have ceased to apply and Scarlet walks away from the situation unresolved.)

"Carbon maid only wants to be unmade/Blade to ice/It's double diamond time/Just keep your eyes on her/Just keep your eyes on her horizon"

"Crazy" (Scarlet meets a man called "Crazy" and after her encounter in Carbon she is looking for some stability. So even though it's evident he may not be the best person for her journey, she stays with him until he abandons her.)

"Found that I crave it all/Saw me melt into your Native Shelter/Where you call my name/Paper tigers/Scared me and came alive/...and as soon as you have rearranged the mess in your head/He will show up looking sane, if I know Crazy"

"Wampum Prayer" (Scarlet continues her journey alone and visists the site of a massacre of the Apache people. She hears the ghostly voice of a surviving Indian woman and this prayer enters her thoughts.)

"In our hands an old thread/Trail of blood and Amens/Greed is the gift for the sons of sons/Hear this prayer of the Wampum"

"don't make me come to Vegas" (Scarlet gets a call from her sister. Her 18 year old niece, living in Vegas, is in an abusive relationship. Scarlet knows that to return to Vegas means confronting a history with an old flame there who treated her poorly.)

"My old flame was a jester/and a joker/and a dealer of men/They called him the Prince/of blackjacks, and of women, and of/anything that slipped through his hands/...don't make me come to Vegas/don't make me pull you out of his bed"

"Sweet Sangria" (While in Texas Scarlet meets a Latino revolutionary, fighting American intervention in Central and Southern America. But the more Scarlet is drawn into the fight, the more she begins to see that she can't go along with hurting people on either side.)

"Before sundown the Mexicans leave San Antone/The car will then drop him at the Border (the breaking point)/I know you know people have suffered time and tiem again/but what about, I ask you now, the innocents/on both side"

"your cloud" (Scarlet leaves her revolutionary behind as she travels through Memphis and up to Philadelphia. Observing the cracked liberty bell, she muses on the concept of "body maps" and the idea that no matter how you split things apart, a trace will remain connecting some things that are inseperable.)

"If there is a horizontal line/that runs through the map of your body/straight through the land and shooting up/right through my heart/will this horizontal line/when asked know how to find/where you end/where I begin?"

"pancake" (Here Scarlet meets a messiah-like character with whom she quickly become sdisillusioned. If the man from "Sweet Sangria" was all action, this man is all talk, and he is swollen with power.)

"I believe in defending what we once stood for/It seems en vogue to be a closet misogynist homophobe/You could have spared her oh, but no/Messiahs need peopled ying in their name/You say "I ordered you a pancake."

"I can't see New York" (Scarlet meets a woman in an airport while in Boston, and they take separate plans into New York. After landing Scarlet witnesses the plane explode in mid-air; it is September 11th.)

"From here no lines are drawns/15,000 and holding/swallowed in the purring of her engines/tracking the beacon here, is there a signal there/I can't see New York/as I'm circling down through white clouds and falling out"

"mrs. jesus" (Scarlet needs to leave the chaos of New York and she hitchhikes with a man called "mrs. jesus." He is a Christian, but one who doesn't judge or inflict his beilefs on others, and he sheds some light on religious fanatacism for her.)

"Life lines and suicide crimes/he found me in a state/grabbed my purse and hitched a ride with Mrs. Jesus/..made my bed of cut roses/by understanding that the cause/it just comes first with Mrs. Jesus"

"Taxi Ride" (Scarlet meets several women in Chicago who have lost a mututal gay friend. She is disillusioned with their reactions and realizes many of them are two faced, not really being there for this friend at the time of his death. The plot arc reflects Amos' own loss of gay makeup artist and friend Kevin Aucoin.)

"Just another dead fag to you, that's all/Just another light missing/In a long taxi line/and down to your last cigarette/and this "we are all one" crap/as you're invading this thing you call love/she smiles too much"

"Another Girl's Paradise" (Scarlet passes back down through New Orleans, and makes it to Florida and eventually Hawaii. She feels covetousness of the women who make their homes there and realizes that it's possibly true that we can never ever be completely altruistic.)

"You caught me lingering in another girl's paradise/The way she paints the world? I want that in my life/Emeralds, you should know, are renting in the meadow/With a stroke, beauty lives/How can I resist? You are desire"

"Scarlet's Walk" (Scarlet goes up the East coast tracing the steps of early European settlers and recalls what it might have felt like to welcome them in only to have them take over your land.)

"If you're a thought you will want me to think you, and I do/Invited a guest up until you announced that you had moved in/What do you plan to do with all your freedom?/..I will follow her honored path/Scarlet's Walk through the violets"

"Virginia" (Scarlet goes up through Virginia into Washington D.C. She wonders how a land that was built on the idea of freedom could deny it to the Native Americans. She imagines a young Indian girl following the settlers into a new frontier.)

"So hundreds of years go by/The red road carved by sharp knife/and she loses a little each day/to ghetto pimps and presidents/who try and arouse her turqouise serpents/she can't recall what they represent"

"Gold Dust" (Scarlet settles into D.C. where she gives birth to a daughter. It is never established which of her many lovers gave her this child, but the character's journey comes to fruition as she realizes that the things that are lasting are not lands, or towers, or even lovers, but that which is within.)

"Letting names hang in the air/What color hair?/Auburn crimson/Autumn knowingly stared/and the day that she came/I'm freezing that frame"



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