Friday, July 27, 2012

NOW PLAYING: 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"

...It is a bit of a challenging listen-but in a good way.
Fiona Apple was heralded as brilliant at the drop. She has battled with record companies and God only knows what else and has just kept growing and creating.  I haven't even heard the whole thing yet-(I will by the time this goes to press) but I have to say this: Everything I have heard so far points to this being one of the most adventurous and unique recordings by any artist that has so closely flirted with massive commercial success as Apple has.
The level of honesty is...well, to be frank, bordering on uncomfortable and disturbing. But as I write this I am listening to a song from Louis XIV's and 'Down' by Mad Season. Both bands displayed unapologetic reflections of themselves and their lifestyles...
Without getting too blatantly political about, in the cases of of Louis XIV and Mad Season, both bands were performing about their lives from a very masculine-oriented viewpoint.
Apple's new record, while definitely expressing universal thoughts and feelings, seems to me to be a very brutal look into a feminine mind...and is as least a raw as anything Lane Staley ever wrote.
The thing about 'The Idler Wheel...' is that all of that visceral honesty is wrapped inside some utterly stunning and mind-bending musicianship and song-writing. Where Louis XIV and Mad Season's releases were very firmly hung on a punk coat-rack, Apple's newest draws as much from Jazz and the Avant-garde as anything else but falls squarely (IMHO) into the realm of Indie Rock.
There comes a point where artists take what has before been too harsh and dissonant to easily slip into the ear and the brain and twist it even further back onto itself until it becomes-I hesitate to use the word 'catchy'-but it fits.
So far, all I have heard from this takes something seemingly hard and indelicate in many ways and turns it into something that even a moderately adventurous music fan can digest and expand their mind and tastes with.
That to me is the mark of great art.

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