College Times

Fiona Apple's latest a mixed bag

By Enio Chiola, Pop Matters

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2012

 

Fiona Apple

The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw...

(Clean Slate/Epic)

Grade: C

It's hard to make a way into a record that works so hard to keep you out. Apple's records have always required a handful of listens in order to become engulfed in her thick molasses-like wondrousness. However, The Idler Wheel seems to require far too many listens to really reach that 'viola!' moment – is sure to result in exhausted listeners who try desperately to love the record as much as they think they should, or as much as critics are telling them they should. There simply isn't enough variation on the record to grasp on to those tracks that leave the listener unsettled. And while half the album is quite inspired, the other half is just too bizarre and atypical to warm up to. It's a shame, really.

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