I was not completely surprised when I recently read the news of Fiona Apple being caught with Marijuana, because her latest album (with the ridiculously long title The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do) is really trippy.
This album has changed my life and here I aim to describe why, but before I even start I know this butterfly has already left the net.
The first song Every Single Night is the first hook that grabs you by the face and lures you into her world. There you will find yourself on a ship destined for the rocks followed by a deep-sea of Fionaness. In true Fiona style, the music video for Every Single Night is utterly weird, surrealistic and filled with symbolism. This song gives you a glimpse into her warped world and the way her ideas fight with her. Then she takes you to a lighter place with the intro of Daredevil, but the serenity doesn’t last long as she’s soon shouting “Don’t let me ruin me, I may need a chaperon” and before you know it she’s belting out probably one of my favourite lines from the album “..Look at me I’m all the fishes in the sea” (God I wish I could yell that at someone). It’s a great line in the song that reels you in so you can experience love the way she feels it. Much like in the next harrowing tale, Valentine, which starts like this:
“You didn’t get my Valentine, I sent it via pantomime. While you were watching someone else, I stared at you and cut myself. That’s all I’ll do cause I’m not free, a fugitive too dull to flee. I’m amorous but out of reach, a still life drawing of a peach.”
Listening to this album would be really depressing if it wasn’t for the catchy music and the insane vulnerability of her lyrics. It’s almost playful in a way and the ‘real’ sounds added to the album (like kids playing and some kind of machine working) make it eery and unusual. It’s easy to relate to and accessible, but also strangely surreal and weird. Her songs are raw and often a little maniacal and the melodies are catchy.
I get a little too excited writing about this so I have to stop. Maybe I’ll write about the rest of the album some time soon.
It’s not just me who liked it though. This is what Dave Simpson of The Guardian had to say about it:
“As the full title of Fiona Apple‘s fourth album implies, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do is a challenging proposition. It features chimes, playground screams and tribal drum motifs, while her trademark piano can sound as if it is being hurled down the proverbial flight of stairs. And yet, the askew, jazzy, playful melodies lead the way to songs of gripping candour and emotion. “I just want to feel everything,” declares this postmodern Billie Holiday, amid tales of romantic fear and confusion and tears on dinner plates. Left Alone finds her asking how anyone could love her “When all I do is beg to be left alone,” while Regret’s shrieked accusation at a man whose voice is like “hot piss” is hard to shake off. Her use of language and imagery – “moribund sluts”, “orotund mutts” and men who cut into her like hot knives through butter – is dazzling. It’s an album that demands something of the listener, but rewards it in spades.”
Time magazine also crowned The Idler Wheel as the best album of 2012. Check it out if you will and let me know what you think.