Naked Music: Fiona Apple’s “The Idler Wheel…” – The Album of the Year




I have just completed my third listen of the amazing new Fiona Apple album The Idler Wheel. Ballsy, gusty, sparse, and ever other adjective of greatness can be bestowed upon the album of the year. The fact that we have not heard from Apple for 7 Years only added to the anticipation of this, and boy, did she deliver. I would describe The Idler Wheel as “Naked Music”, not in a sexual way of course (Apple already did that with “Criminal”). No, this is a different kind of naked: alone at the the piano, which nothing but some percussion and her voice. And oh, what’s voice it is. Parts Ella Fitzgerald and parts Trent Reznor, Apple scrolls through romantic agony and bliss with energy and urgency that is rarely heard today. Opener “Every Single Night” sets the tone with only her voice wailing through her past. The second half of the album cements it’s greatness, though. “Anything We Want” is pop masked by avant-garde burlesque jazz and “Hot Knife” is the catchy end to a triumph of an album.


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