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Fiona Apple

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

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After a seven-year absence, the easy path would be to make an album that sounds familiar, to take up where Extraordinary Machine left off. But easy is not Fiona Apple’s style. So when you hear her latest be patient---it’s a gorgeous and challenging return, but insists listeners suspend expectations. Stripped of the luscious production that cushioned her acerbic rage on previous efforts, these songs hinge on an austere piano and percussion canvas with Apple’s voice stretched to shouts and growls more than ever (especially on “Regret”) while still cradling the tender lyricality and vibrato that distinguish her as a force of nature.

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