Album Reviews

What the Hell is an Idler Wheel?


So what did I think when I listened to this one?

First off, don’t listen to the skeptics or the folks who listened to this album one time and somehow had an epiphany in just a few minutes that this album sucks and is not what they wanted Fiona Apple to do for them. This record will not instantly satisfy you. It truly ages like a fine wine. For some she is an acquired taste. Her voice is crystal clear on the production. It feels like she is pouring out her vocals while sitting in my living room. Her voice and piano alone could carry an album. On this record, it is essentially those two elements with some obscure jazz drumming and random noises, but it works beautifully.

This is not an over-produced “cookie-cutter” record to cater to the silly and simple-minded music listeners out there. This is a work of “art” that drips like lava from Fiona’s heart. It’s disappointing to hear from the supposed “fans” who do not have the patience to give a record more than one spin.  No….instead they’ll jump to snap judgement…and then begin to try to rain on my parade, someone who actually wanted to pick this one up because I am brave enough to take a gamble like this. But it was soooooo worth it! Fiona is a raw talent and not your typical polished studio musician.

After my first listen (while doing the dishes) or two (working on paper work at my desk), I knew this was completely different from previous releases, going back to the “Criminal” and “Shadowboxer” days from the 90’s. After giving it three spins today, it really hit me that this is Fiona vomiting her emotions out like never before. She is really letting loose and her voice sounds better than ever.

The writing and creativity is excellent. I’m not going to go into a song by song breakdown like everybody likes to do. That’s saved as a special treat for the “real fans” to experience on their own. I’m here to say that this is some of the most glowing and emotional work I have heard from this beautiful yet violent and passionate musician…but it takes a little time and “patience” to learn. And once you do, it is an amazing album where she really lets her inner self right out there. Quite an intimate record. She has truly grown by leaps and bounds and this record is a huge step forward.

The complete title is called, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

She’s a whimsical young lady and I am glad she takes her time recording new material. Afterall, it’s been 7 years since her last one. And yet, we patiently waited for her best record ever and perhaps one of the best releases of 2012. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this appear in next years Grammy’s.

In my opinion, it’s a masterpiece that resonates and will be talked about for a long time. Give it at least two listens, you just might agree with me?

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