By Josh Bell
Fiona Apple is not the kind of person to follow anyone else’s lead. After she achieved major success with her debut album, Tidal, in 1996, thanks to hit singles including “Shadowboxer,” “Sleep to Dream” and “Criminal” (still her most well-known song), she denounced the celebrity world on the MTV Video Music Awards and took her music in a more experimental direction. Apple’s 1999 second album, known as When the Pawn…, set the Guinness World Record for longest album title, and she continued to follow her muse with gaps of six and seven years, respectively, between her next album releases.
Apple may have left hit singles behind, but as a singer and songwriter she continues tzo push boundaries and receive critical acclaim, doing it all on her own terms. Her latest release, known as The Idler Wheel…, is another epically titled, musically challenging and critically lauded album, proving that becoming a pop star as a teenager can be a path to artistic fulfillment and musical evolution instead of mass-marketed blandness. Apple is unpredictable, intense and sometimes erratic, but that’s all part of what makes her fascinating, musically diverse and wholly unique.