CD: Tori Amos, Scarlet's Walk

(Epic)

Her record company refers to her as "superstar Tori Amos", but I think most of us would settle on "singer-songwriter who could use another hit". Corporate jobsworths are so terrified that Tori's new record won't be able to stand up for itself that reviewers are only permitted to listen to it on sealed, individually numbered Walkmen for fear that it might be pirated over the internet. Even the headphones have been superglued into their socket.

If only Scarlet's Walk were that desirable. In fact, it is merely tastefully crafted, with lots of moping piano, chin-stroking lyrics and the occasional interlude of emotionally bereft cello. Amos has wheeled in a discreet assortment of floaty, funky beats to demonstrate that she isn't entirely in thrall to Joni Mitchell's Hejira. But even the best song here, A Sorta Fairytale, isn't going to save the music industry.

Contributor

Adam Sweeting

The GuardianTramp

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