apples & oranges*

Posted by on Thursday, June 21, 2012

*This post has nothing to do with oranges and everything to do with one apple in particular.

FIONA. That girl is crazy. I haven't stopped listening to her album in a week. Well, I didn't listen to it today. I listened to THURSDAY! all day long. Promise to not get upset when I say that I have never listened to Fiona Apple before. Maybe I'm too young? Whatever the reason, it's in the past now. This is the future, and the future is Fiona Apple.

The album begins with "Every Single Night," which I love for its sparseness and beauty. I get real-life chills over the way she shouts "brain." It's like a brain stampede. She's like a combination of Bjork and Billie Holiday but very her. My favorite songs on the album are "Valentine," "Every Single Night," "Periphery," and "Hot Knife."

Oh, brother. "Hot Knife" is surely one of the most perfect songs I have heard in my years on this planet. It's the most wild, angelic end to an album. It's got a rhythm that comes from her and not a machine. It is still difficult to fathom how she came up with it on her own. It sounds like a collaboration with someone else but on her own. I will leave you all (or y'all, as they say in this place) with this song and let your ears be happy.

(Buy the album.)

Edit (READ): I wanted to know about “Hot Knife,” the album’s last track. They both smiled. Though, like all her songs, it had come in a moment of total dissociation, its roots were probably in a Bach concert she’d seen in New York, and the Supremes song “Where Did Our Love Go?,” the place where two lines of music “crack together,” which had always given her “huge satisfaction.” Charley — whose genius as a producer, it seemed, was to fade away — had given her the mallets to softly strike the rhythm on the timpani. He’d said, “You need to say something on the piano,” so she made a waving, malevolent line in the background. And then there were the voices: hers and, later, in an incredible melodic round, her sister Maude’s. There was no looping or Auto-Tune; for hours they’d stood at the same microphone, weaving their voices in what she called “the most intimate moment of our lives together.”

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