A work of art may often be termed abstract,depending on its style and its degree of independence from visual references in the world. The same term,however,is frugally used in case of musical compositions. Nonetheless,it can be applied to Fiona Apples album,The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do. Apples fourth studio album (with its absurdly long,23-word title) is a melange of abstract compositions,meaningful lyrics and her contralto voice.
Known for her honest and wildly eccentric music,Apple does not disappoint her fans with this latest offering. But The Idler Wheel… is not an easy album it can also be challenging. It requires a certain amount of thought and some eccentricity,because in this album Apple is all rawboned emotion. The album begins with her hit single Every Single Night,a moody composition. Daredevil,the next number is a mash-up of the romantic and the eccentric. The track Jonathan,supposedly a note to her former beau,writer Jonathan Ames,is a piano ballad that tends to drag. Left Alone is a jazz-based but slightly whacky number and Hot Knife is bluesy with double entendre lyrics,both highly recommended. Werewolf is one of our favourite tracks,as it has more order in it,pleasing for the traditional listener.
It is a brilliant,eccentric and highly energetic piece of work,prone to misunderstanding,but perfect for those times when the only antidote to lifes insurmountable problems seems to be something more complicated than them.