Release Date: June 19th, 2012
Reviewed By Court Smoots
Fiona Apple is ferocious… not just in her return to record making as one might have expected me to end that sentence, but simply in being. Take the second song on her newest release The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw & Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do “Daredevil” on which she belts out “Seek me out, look at, look at, look at… me, I’m all of the fishes in the sea”. She sings it with such fury and confidence that you wouldn’t dare look away. And it’s at that point that she grabs your attention and refuses to let go.
From there you’re whisked into a tizzy of Charlie Brown-esq piano riffs and a quick mix of words, which mesmerize and amaze. Never more apparent then on the song “Left Alone” which finds FA singing “How can I expect anyone to love me, when all I do is beg to be left alone”, it’s beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time, especially when she ends the song in a gruff version of her usually angelically drunk voice.
It’s hard not to feel an element of deep set anger on this record, like Fiona’s been meaning to get something off her chest for quite some time. On the searing “Periphery” said anger reaches a boiling point, though it’s done in such a “whatever” manner that you barely notice it at first. The line “Oh the periphery, I lost another one there, he found a prettier girl then me, with a more even-tempered air”, is delivered with such a sarcastic slice that it could be considered surgical. The song’s then brought home by the lengthy yet stellar not to mention spiteful chorus “I don’t appreciate people, who don’t appreciate, all that loving must have been lacking something if I got bored trying to figure you out, you let me down, I don’t even like you anymore at all.”
What’s so impressive about Fiona’s first release in some six years is that she not only picked up where she left off but that she’s bettered those previous releases (IMO this is Apples best record to date). Sure its arrival was surrounded by an unbelievable mass of hype, like many things are these days. But it wasn’t the shitty MTV hype of her “Criminal” days, when she was a new, bright, shiny star, being lauded by the likes of Carson Daly. It was a seething hype; like Apple had left a story unfinished and her fans were waiting patiently for her to resume. So be happy that the MTV days are over (thank god) and be happier that Fiona’s back, because she’s better then ever.