Review: Fiona Apple "Insert Long Ass Album Title Here"
Oh...shit. Where to start. First of all, since we gave this album a 3.3 you can probably tell that we thought the "apple" fell kinda rotten from the tree. But the good news is Ms. Fiona's album (whose album title is too annoyingly long for me to repeat) is a nice backdrop for me to rant a little on esoteric indie music. So....will you keep an open mind for a moment and let me proceed? OK...Thanks.
First, this album sounds like it was recorded on a potato. Which is fine...if you are Mr. Potato Head. But my hunch is you are not Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head. And while there's something refreshing about the weird state of simplicity in the production...the lack of crafted songs here just isn't a match.
Secondly, this album is exactly the type of highly elevated piece of snobbery I always feel gets hyped to earn your "indie badge" for the week...so that you are "in the moment"...that you're "in the know"...and hey....Pitchfork gave this album a 9.0 so I better fucking NEED to love it.
But then 2 weeks go buy and you think "what the fuck was I wasting my time on."
Can I try to be a mind reader? Just guessing another thought that might cross your mind on some indie albums is..."hey...this music is actually pretty indigestible...but....oh...i'm not...I mean....I can't say that out loud...because Pitchfork gave it a 9.0." Case in point one of the several songs that qualify my accusation:
Fiona Apple - "Periphery" (This is a fine song if you find reading James Joyce entertaining). It's not like this is a bad song...for me...it's just too esoteric.
Fiona Apple wants to make important music on this album...and sometimes an important album from a listener perspective takes time to absorb...but in this case, it's not like you're investing in a Joanna Newsom, Sia or Joni Mitchell...where each consecutive listen uncovers another layer of song DNA. Nope. At best, this is amateur + pretentious songwriting.
What's next...oh yeah. This album is called "The Idler Wheel is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Chords will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do."
I'm not making this shit up! Really? That's just fucking annoying.
More notes to Fiona...when it comes to song craft and production...it's easy to be complex and esoteric. What's REALLY hard is crafting a great song in what I'd call complex simplicity. Something that's going to actually last beyond the indie hipster expiration date of...3 months. Tick tock. Tick tock.
And if you doubt me then...when's the last time you listened to Titus Andronicus. On purpose. I rest my case.
So I guess BitCandy is going to be the outcast here. You can 100% send me your hate mail in the comments at the bottom of this review. And I know you're thinking "How dare you diss this album?" Well even Fiona says in her new song "Periphery:" "I don't appreciate people who don't appreciate." So there. The vote is in. We will not be getting any invites to la Maison du Apple for tea and biscuits.
If you totally LOVE this album I'm sorry that you've been tricked. And If you do actually love this album...then it's time for you to shave off your little pussy indie mustache (that goes for you too, girls), play some Pacman, have a whiskey sour and come back to reality ... where being this esoteric actually isn't cool. It's fucking annoying (Bjork, please take a note here).
The saving grace of this album is that I won't have to listen to it ever again...no matter what Pitchfork demands of me to think is balls out awesome.
No instead give me some classic Sia. Give me Leonard Cohen. Give me Joanna Newsom. Give me early Bright Eyes. Give me Elliot Smith. Not this.
This rant being said...there are 2 standout (really good) songs that kept me from giving this album a 1.0 rating:
Fiona Apple - "Every Single Night"
Fiona Apple - "Hot Knife" (Beyonce, please come over, put a blazing beat up and cover this song like only you can).
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