Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters
Apr 17, 2020
98
After listening to this album three times through, and having loved everything Fiona Apple has done over her long career, the only thing to really say about this album is it's magnificent. The manic and unbridled energy intertwined with the beauty and elegance is something completely removed from any of her previous works. Sure, it tailors itself on the minimalistic and often subdued The Idler Wheel far more than her early work of the 90s and 2000s through its strange yet effective percussion and piano balladry, but everything occurring here is different from not only her back catalog but from really any other album one has ever heard.

Apple is beyond me in terms of pure quality, and after eight years of effort and silence she returns here with unarguably some of her best work of her career. With albums like her magnificent debut record Tidal that immediately showed an energetic and motivated artist to her most recent Idler Wheel which showed the pure creativity in time signatures, piano playing, and odd percussive elements, Fetch the Bolt Cutters is among one of the most impressive discographies of any artist.

It's hard to say this album lived up to the hype, given just how quickly we were graced with it after its announce and minimal time to really mentally prepare for such an essential release. It just kind of reared itself and then exploded. In a mere week it became one of the most anticipated albums of the year, and if it is the only album we hear from Apple in the entire decade it will still be enough to simmer on for years to come.

Opener I Want You to Love Me seems like a simple introduction that models itself after its past, but builds to an end where she utilizes insane vocal noises that immediately set the tone of something new. Shameika is a pounding affair with the catchy line "Shameika said I have potential" repeated throughout in the calmest way considering the surrounding wall of sound throughout the rest of the track. Tracks like Relay are experimental and genuinely all over the place in the best possible way - ever moving and never ceasing to build in different directions. Even the closer of the album On I Go unveils a motivated and manic side of Apple listeners have never experienced, closing the record on yet another ever moving song.

The overall product is just grand. It's lively, it's unique, and it's beyond me how Apple could push herself to make something competing with her best work; again, the kind of work that no artist could release even once in a lifetime. Fiona Apple has morphed into one of my absolute favorite artists ever since I discovered her, and Fetch the Bolt Cutters is a masterclass artist once again delivering like no other could. It isn't just praiseworthy, it's the kind of stuff music fans will be studying and gushing over for years to come.

Favorite track: I Want You to Love Me
7 Comments
Apr 17, 2020
Great review man! I totally agree, this album is mind blowing. She is elegant, original, brave and clever. What else could you ask? Just a simple curiosity question: Why not a 100? what's the difference between 98 and a 100?
Apr 17, 2020
A totally reasonable question. I rate my albums on a ten-item ten point scale and so there is some math behind the difference between a 98 and a 100. One item on my scale is standout tracks, which I gave a 8/10 rather than a 10/10 because majority wise the tracks are incredible but fit best within the confines of the whole album rather than being able to stick out as their own entities. A 8/10 is still a high score on this scale, of course, and is a mild argument against the album. But a 98 is obviously still stating that every other item on the scale is exceptional (lyricism, instrumentation, variation in sounds, etc.)
Apr 17, 2020
Granted, if I ever revisit albums multiple times I also revisit the score I previously gave it to see if it's worth revising. If I linger on this album (which I will) the score is bound to change slightly. I also typically have only given albums a revised score of 100 after a long time of experience with the album to really allow the album to soak in. So who knows, this album could be a 100 by the end of the year if it continues to impact me like it did already.
Apr 17, 2020
You’ve got a rad scoring system, I appreciate it
Apr 17, 2020
Thanks! I really appreciate that. I realized it was needed so my scores didn't feel so subjective.
Apr 18, 2020
Great! Try
to follow a systematic approach is never gonna be a problem. Thank's for your answer man!
Apr 18, 2020
Of course, thank you for asking!
Liked By
More Reviews by MasterCrackfox
Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel
99
Mar 27, 2020
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
83
Jul 11, 2019
Fiona Apple - When the Pawn
84
Jul 9, 2019
Fiona Apple - Tidal
90
Jul 9, 2019
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