The Idler Wheel… is an innately private record, as Apple’s tend to be, but she has a way of drawing listeners in as she pushes them away, luring them, siren-like, into the maelstrom of her own reflection.
Apple has quite cleverly developed musically in just the right way, creating something utterly distinct and different to her earlier work whilst still retaining all the characteristics that won fans over to begin with.
The Idler Wheel's spareness does lend it an insular loneliness, one that's divorced from the outside world while also being intimately in-tune with its basic realities.
The Idler Wheel succeeds in creating a singular world more daring than any of Apple’s previous records and one of the most daring pop records in recent history.
The sparse, even unprompted production only makes it richer, resulting in a fascinating unanimity of piano and voice that turns more involving with every clink, clatter, and clap.
Few vocalists can erase the distance between performer and listener as shrewdly as Apple can, and that toggle gives The Idler Wheel its strange power.
Since there’s so little to grab onto, The Idler Wheel might be better understood as an emotional statement rather than a musical one.
The tension created by the lyrics and music is wonderful and uneasy, ensuring that ‘The Idler…’ is endlessly fascinating and unlike anything else you’re likely to hear this year.
The Idler Wheel… is her most adult work yet, a record that’s underpinned by the fundamental grown-up characteristic of embracing one’s own ridiculous, stubborn dysfunction because, Hell, what other option is there?
Whipping Cords seems to require far too many listens to really reach that ‘viola!’ moment—sure to result in exhausted listeners who try desperately to love the record as much as they think they should
Lyrics are what really shine in this album. Great instrumentation as well. One of the best for 2012.
Best tracks: Every Single Night, Daredevil, Hot Knife
Sincerely, this is one of the best albums I've ever listened. The powerful and confessional lyrics, the sharp and precise instrumentation — everything has a beautiful and raw taste. The Idler Wheel touches me personally, it makes me think, feel and realize many things in my life. Fiona Apple is truly gifted, she shares her inner person with the listener, in a way that her statements means a lot concerning our own experiences. I simply don't know what to expect from her next ... read more
It's not just the wit or the lyrical style, it is not just the melodies whose chord just hit that uneasy note, it is another triumphal introspection.
I can't word things nearly as eloquently as Fiona, but if I could, this could almost be my diary put to music. Few albums speak to me like this. Few albums are this perfect either. The butter-and-honey piano, the bourbon-soaked strings, the razor-sharp lyrics: it all hits like a ton of bricks, as if your subconscious is barraging you with personal revelations and pouring peroxide over your wounds at the same time. It's hard to describe very well, but one word comes to mind: perfect.
" Give me, give me, give me what you got
In your mind, in the middle of the night " Fiona Apple
|# 5 -||A.V. Club|
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|# 10 -||Exclaim!|
|# 17 -||FILTER|
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|# 3 -||Pazz and Jop|
|# 3 -||Pitchfork|
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|# 16 -||SPIN|
|# 1 -||Spinner|
|# 1 -||Stereogum|
|# 38 -||The Guardian|
|# 44 -||Tiny Mix Tapes|
|# 8 -||Under the Radar|
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|# 2 -||Entertainment Weekly|
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|# 1 -||TIME|