- Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (Epic Records) Rating: 9 (out of 10)
Like a contemporary John Lennon or Frida Kahlo, Fiona Apple uses artistic expression as cathartic experience.
There seems to be very little filtering or editing involved in the process after an initial burst of creativity. Whether it's a primal scream, four-line poem or epic canvas the finished object remains relatively raw and unadulterated even after it's been "worked" on.
Where her last album, 2005's Extraordinary Machine, had two producers involved in the mix; this time around Apple has simplified the process completely. The Idler Wheel... strips down production to essentials focusing mainly on piano and voice.
Apple previewed a few of the tracks when she performed at Austin's South by Southwest in March with the full album released on June 19. The CD is available in two different versions with a deluxe set packaged as an actual notebook featuring artwork created by Apple.
Currently on tour, Apple performs her latest tunes at the Orpheum on July 24.