I recently got Fiona Apple’s new album The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do.
And I really, really enjoy it. I love the sound and the style of the album.
Fiona’s voice is amazing. She has stressed tones and gritty yelling, and it’s strong and scared sounding. It’s very easy to tell how she feels about what she’s singing but it’s still so intricate and elegant.
“Daredevil” is a perfect example of all those descriptors. It’s kind of all of them wrapped up in one.
And I love the way she writes things, her choice of words. The use of “chaperone” in “Daredevil” is jarring in a way but works so well.
Everything is very relatable. There isn’t one song that I feel is too farfetched or silly. I can feel her independence as a woman, and her inner frolicking. The songs are mostly about love, and how her loves have influenced her, but she ties it all back to her, a strong, knowing, stable, yearning, capable, complicated person. And still the opposites of those things are shown too. Which I think makes a great, real, artist.
Of the 10 songs, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But I think my personal favorites are “Every Single Night”, “Left Alone” and “Hot Knife”. I also find “Valentine” and “Jonathan” stuck in my head a lot. Really, though, I love every song. And all together it’s just one perfect story and gets more and more interesting with every listen and makes you feel so much.
On the other hand, where an album is a story and should be tied together somehow, the songs sound pretty similar to each other. Granted she put elements into each song to give them personality and independence and maybe after more time passes I’ll be able to distinguish them apart better, but for now there’s just something there that is too similar. Maybe she meant to do that and it’s part of the air of the album. But I don’t think it takes too much away from it all.
Her lyrics are provocative and poetic and bare. Simple words are woven in with words of depth. The melodies are tense and playful and match perfectly with her forceful, vulnerable, and sometimes distraught voice.
The piano in “Werewolf” and chanting-esque parts of “Every Single Night” and “Periphery” add playful and fun aspects. The staccato verses and monotone, raw shouting in “Regret” creates a rough, gritty, genuine air.
And plus, the title of the whole album is genius and says a lot and I’m a big fan of not naming your album after one of the songs.
Every song has something to offer and has distinct parts that make them hard to choose from and make them all meaningful and raw.
I think that if any album could sum up me or most of my life, this would be the album to do so.
“I like watching you live.”
“How can I ask anyone to love me when all I do is begged to be left alone?”
“We can still support each other, all we gotta do is avoid each other.”
“All that loving must have been lacking something, if I got bored trying to figure you out. You let me down. I don’t even like you anymore at all.”
“And there – you got me – that’s how you got me, you taught me to be mean.”
xoxo – katy
- “The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and the Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do” (mymusicalmayhem.wordpress.com)
- “Werewolf” by Fiona Apple (artistsbeitmidrash2013.wordpress.com)
- Music Video – Fiona Apple “Every Single Night” (thescenestar.typepad.com)