A Sorta Fairytale
Album: Scarlet’s Walk
Concept albums revolving a specific theme is an anomaly now. Albums are spliced and diced, with the only the most commercial cuts getting on the CD. On Scarlet’s Walk, Tori Amos decided to write about a journey, which would eventually lead to New York after 9/11. There are road trip movies and books (notably Jack Keroauc’s must read “On the Road”) but too few albums exploring the genre.
During this road trip, she meets a man she falls for. Apparently, they meet when she has car trouble (“I pulled back the hood/and I was talking to you/And I knew then it would be a life long thing.”) It’s a day she wants to repeat over again (“Like a good book/I can’t put this day back”) and considers being with him a modern fairytale. Sexual tension builds as they talk and drive along. Eventually, they have sex (“and I rode along side/ till the honey spread itself so thin/ for me to break your bread”) They make their way to New Mexico where he wants to find “some Indian blood,” which leads her to say that no one really fits in anywhere in life. At the end of the song, they reach their destination: up north. She remembers the small things he likes (“and I put the hood right back where you could taste heaven perfectly.”) However, the relationship has turned rocky since New Mexico and she ends it with statement of disappointment (“and I didn’t think we’d up like this.”)
The narrative in the single is precise. She is able to fill the song with her everyday language (“life long thing”) while adding in her usual metaphors (“we didn’t know we’d break the silver lining”) “A Sorta Fairtyale” while brilliant on its own, is part of a story. It’s like skimming a chapter in the bookstore without knowing the rest of the story. However, Amos gives enough information to pull the listeners in, but not so much that they how the album is going to end.
“A Sorta Fairytale” is subdued. Unlike her past outing, the music is led by Amos’ piano. She keeps the tone regretful. Although she expresses happiness at being able to have had the experience, it appears she wishes the relationship would’ve lasted. Her voice is hushed and coherent. She lets her voice crack towards the end, however, it’s mostly due to reveal emotion