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Scoppa on Fiona

DON’T FILE UNDER “EASY LISTENING”: The reviews of Apple’s latest, on Clean Slate/Epic, have been uniformly positive, including this one, in the July issue of Uncut, from our own Bud Scoppa: “Apple boils down her high-strung sensibility to its tortured essence on her first album in seven years, inviting the listener to examine the gnarls of her scarred psyche. Stark and unremittingly intense, The Idler Wheel… features little more than Apple’s husky, close-miked contralto, her stabbing piano chords and jittery percussion. A sense of foreboding lurks beneath the lilting surface of opener “Every Single Night”, giving way to hemorrhaging anxiety. “Daredevil”, “Left Alone” and “Regret”, the riskiest pieces, seem too raw to be called performances, yet it’s Apple’s refinement as a writer and singer that makes this harrowing psychodrama so gripping; indeed, no modern-day vocalist fuses technique and idiosyncrasy so deftly.” (6/21a)

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