Like so many, I have followed Fiona Apple from the moment she released Tidal and have enjoyed just about every note, and have been wondering along with David W. Boles when she would release a new album and I am pleased that the time has finally come in the form of an album whose title starts with The Idler Wheel and continues for a good number of words but is still a bit shorter than one of Apple’s previous albums, When The Pawn…

The album opens with a lovely song called Every Single Night which seems to be a clever take on something that sometimes happens to me — trying to fall asleep, my brain is assaulted by clever thoughts or ideas, and it is ever so difficult to relax and actually sleep.

These ideas of mine
Percolate the mind
Trickle down the spine
Swarm the belly swelling to a blaze

When watching the official video for the song, I could not help but notice her gaunt appearance, making it hard to watch her singing her song. I wonder what got her into this shape?

On the track Valentine, Fiona sings the sad story of a person who watches the person she loves be in love with someone else entirely. I would like to add to this that I have experienced this personally at least once if not more and the song is quite spot on in depicting this rather unpleasant experience.

I’m a tulip in a cup
I stand no chance of growing up
I’m resigned to sail on through
In the wake of tales of you

The song ends with her repeating that she is rooting for the beloved person and that she loves them.

I would like to also mention the song Werewolf, which is about how the narrator had thought she had met a perfectly nice individual but as soon as they got together, the interaction between them made him into an entirely less pleasant individual — almost like the way a werewolf changes from an ordinary person into a beast of a creature that tears apart someone in a heartbeat. Here is Fiona performing Werewolf live.

The full album is available on Spotify.

Though I do prefer her earlier albums to this one, it is definitely a strong album and is worth a listen.

10 Comments

  1. The album feels old and like a retread, Gordon, as if she wrote all this stuff over five years ago — but it was only just released. The sound isn’t right for today’s Pop scene. The title is imitative of her previous album and that’s a disappointment. She’s still stuck in the “woe is me” emotion and doesn’t seemed to have moved beyond the abuses in her past. This should be a renewal album and indicates a re-blossoming — but’s it the same old moan.

      1. I would say likely not. We’ve heard the last of her on a major label. I can’t even find her on Billboard.com. Did you ever hear a song from the new album on the radio? Without airplay, she won’t sell many albums.

          1. Yes, huge fan. No, I don’t know. My 17-year-old son collects new and vintage vinyl, there seems to be a renaissance for it. I still have the Blue Note (Miles, Coltrane etc.) and rock (Zeppelin, Floyd etc.) vinyl that I bought many years ago.

          2. It’s interesting. Maybe her label didn’t think her fans would be interested at the time — plenty of other bands released albums on vinyl around then — the first Belle & Sebastian album was on vinyl, for example, and that came out in 1997.