The Idler Wheel..., Fiona Apple, Sony, R499
The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do follows several years of relative silence. Fiona Apple’s last album arrived in 2005. While it’s not a conspicuously radical work, neither is it infused with the sort of attention-getting tactics that typically attend comebacks. It is an emotional expulsion sung at times through gritted teeth or a raspy throat. It is easily Apple’s most raw and unadorned record, which is not to say it lacks pop smarts or polish.
Quirky percussion and pitterpatter rhythms heighten the largely piano-driven “Daredevil,” “Anything We Want” and “Periphery,” three highlights that spin off from the disc’s intimate, chamber-jazz centre, though pop, per se, does not seem to be the goal.
With its expressive chords, free-for-all vocal cadences and scattered sonic surprises, this is the sort of record someone makes for themselves, free from the constraints of fashion and commercial expectations, much as her loyal major label may wish otherwise. Ironically, it takes strength and confidence to sound this vulnerable.
EVERY SINGLE NIGHT MUSIC VIDEO
By Joshua Klein on August 03 2012 4.19am