Have You Heard The New…Fiona Apple?
I’m a big fan of Fiona Apple‘s work, especially the Jon Brion version of Extraordinary Machine, which I’d consider a little masterpiece. The official version of that album though, not so much. Apple and Brion were a perfect team: she provided him with great songs to wrap his intricate, fantastical sounds around, and he gave her music just the bump it needed to reach great art, without which it sounded like a weird semi-mainstream singer/songwriter chick inspiring to art. Why they abandoned their version to the internet I cannot fathom, unless it was a clash of personalities kind of thing. But then they were back to performing together and he apparently produced a song for her that was released in 2010, though it’s not clear if it was a new song or just an old unreleased track on Wikipedia.
So now Apple’s back with album number four, The Idler Wheel… which is set to drop June 19th. It does not appear as though it was produced by Jon Brion and that kind of sums up my feelings on it. First track “Every Single Night” is ok at best. It’s minimal, indulges in her more overtly jazz-vocal tendencies and it’s best moments are the weird ones where she’s like, “heyyy ey ey ey…” It fully lacks the momentum and grandiosity of her best work (with Brion).
As an indicator of what to expect off The Idler Wheel… I gotta say it’s not getting me excited. I think it’s going to be a lot like the official version of Extraordinary Machine – boring, and just in need of that vital push that Brion always provided.