Words by James McBride
Fiona Apple’s latest release, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, is a delirious tour de force. Seven years in the making, Idler Wheel takes us on a unapologetic, winding tour of the labyrinthine corridors of the reclusive artist’s mind. The first single and opening track, Every Single Night, sets the album’s thematic tone: “Every single night’s a fight/ with my brain.” Despite being filled with such confessions (“How can I ask anyone to love me/ when all I do is beg to be left alone?” she sings in Left Alone) she manages to convey a hard-won wisdom rather than self-pity. And the rollicking finale, Hot Knife, bursts with sheer sexuality and intricate musicality.