Likes: Valentine, Left Alone
Overall: Great writing, boring music, harsh vocal.
After 7 years, Fiona Apple has returned with “The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do.” For those familiar with Apple’s work, extensive, literary album titles are not unusual. What is unusual, however, is the musical and vocal production. The lyrical content is still very strong, alluring and poetic, as Apple gives us more self-reflective and self-critical material than ever before, taking responsibility for her pitfalls, particularly in relationships. Unfortunately, her profound epiphanies are not supported with the dramatic and melodic musical arrangements heard on her previous albums. The production is dull, without the slightest decoration. Apple’s vocals sound a little worn and harsher than normal. I never thought I’d see the day I didn’t thoroughly enjoy a Fiona Apple record. The wearing vocal and boring production took away from the brilliant writing and kept “Idler Wheel” from being worth the wait.