Review: Fiona Apple spins a yarn on new album

Associated Press Published: June 18, 2012
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Fiona Apple, "The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do" (Epic Records)

After making a name for herself at 19 with her acclaimed debut "Tidal" in 1996, Fiona Apple slowed down and almost ground down to a halt. Now 34, she releases her fourth album after a seven-year break, and the title's a mouthful: "The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do."

But the dense name is merely indicative of the richness of material on the album and the now 34-year-old's fearlessness in taking her time to do the exact music she wants.

Stripped down to ten tracks and using instruments scarcely, "The Idler Wheel" presents the listener with a deceptive facade of frugality, when in fact, like with all of Apple's work, it blooms into a rich tapestry of emotional stories. The singer pours herself vulnerable and raw into the music, particularly on tracks like "Every Single Night," ''Periphery" and "Anything We Want." Apple's remarkable voice exudes a mix of confidence and hurt, modulating itself perfectly to the atmosphere of each song.



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