Fiona Apple
When the Pawn...


4.5
superb

Review

by Jeremy Fisette USER (33 Reviews)
June 2nd, 2007 | 24 replies | 12,824 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist


2 of 4 thought this review was well written

Fiona Apple's debut "Tidal" was less than amazing. It failed to wow me. Its songs are all very nicely done, and some are some of her best, but when you listen to the album as a whole, you feel weighted under a giant grey block. It has a thick sameness.

But now, a few years later (I think she was 22 when this was released), Apple has come into full form. It was a little surprising when that 18 year old was so mature, but now she's evened herself out. And this is quite a remarkable album from someone who IS only 22.

The album kicks off with one of its best song, On The Bound. The instrumentation is magnificent, and Apple's vocals carry well throughout. She had this seductive, low voice like she always has had, but here for some reason it sounds grander. In a good way. In the chorus, she yells "You're all I need!" and you believe her. She says it with such intensity and emotion, you just want to scream back. Sometimes, I feel like she's singing to the listening. The fans. But, that may be far fetched.

The album's next 5 songs are all great, with special attention to "Limp" and "Paper Bag." "Limp" has a rattling percussion (note: the instrumental break) that really draws you in. And with lines like, "It won't be long ti you'll be lyin' limp in your own hand," how can you not be blown away. "Paper Bag" also has a nice beat, with some rather good lyrics. Here, as on many songs (including stand-out "On The Bound") she has a lot of lines where she almost runs out of air. This can be a turn off sometimes, but not here. It works here.

I do not like "Love Ridden" as much as the others. In fact, it is probably my least favorite. It seems empty. It seems unfinished. It contains beautiful piano work, and some nice vocals, but it just doesn't really seem to go anywhere.

Moving on... to "A Mistake." This is either the best or the worst song for people. It is one of my favorites, though. I like the beat and the music and the lyrics are very good. At times, this song can be a bit too teenagery for her, like a kid wanting to rebel ("Do I wanna do good? Of course. But do I really wanna feel I'm forced? Hell no.") But at the same time, I like that she is kind of rebelling against the music industry. ("Why can't a make a mistake?")

"Fast As You Can," the other fast-percussion track here, is also another stand-out. The video is superb, with her lips being just slightly out of sync throughout the entire clip. This really make you think of the title's name, and how she's going too fats for her own quickness. I do think she could have cut the long instrumental outro, and ended it abruptly like on "Limp," but it works as it is.

"The Way Things Are" isn't really a track that jumps out at me, it kind of runs along with a quirky melody. But "Get Gone" and "I Know" are fantastic, and wonderfully placed. "Get Gone" is a very angry song, and one of the only songs in Apple's catalog with some very foul language. Some may be turned off by this, and think it's useless. But I like it. Angst. But not teenage-angst. Anger. But not teenage-anger. Good anger. Release. And then calmed back down for the intimate piano-driven closer "I Know." The only problem I have with this song is that it sounds like she says "I'll know." It throws me off a bit, but her ultra-fast, sometimes shaky vibrato saves the day, especially in the priceless last line ("It's okay... you don't need to say it...)

Overall, When The Pawn... is a magnificent album, and an unreal step forward from Tidal. It is better than it's successor, Extraordinary Machine. I think this is her best ever, and it is totally recommended. I hope she improves even more for her 4th release.


HIGHLIGHTS:
On The Bound
Limp
Fast as You can
Get Gone
I know

LOWLIGHTS:
Love Ridden



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pupucower (4)
“HOW in the world does somebody make an album like this?” no effing way! But Apple continues to ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Slaapkamers
June 2nd 2007



596 Comments


this is her best album

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2007



17912 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

use [ ] instead of < > for bolding

PaperCities
June 2nd 2007



199 Comments


Pretty good review, amazing album.

JohnXDoesn't
June 2nd 2007



1247 Comments


i like your review. fix up the bold stuff through your profile edit review feature. i like this album. i like all her stuff. tidal is my favorite. not because its her first and she was so young and blah blah blah, just because it is.This Message Edited On 06.02.07

Bfhurricane
June 2nd 2007



6194 Comments


Nice review. Fiona Apple used to sing at bars around my house around the time she released her solo album, kinda cool to see her making it big.

Slaapkamers
June 2nd 2007



596 Comments


I remember one night, I bought her a drink. She didn't have money to stay at a hotel, so I let her sleep on my couch.

That was before she made it big.

Bfhurricane
June 2nd 2007



6194 Comments


I cant tell if youre joking or if youre serious...

PaperCities
June 2nd 2007



199 Comments


I wonder.

pupucower
June 6th 2007



12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn. I was gonna write a review for this one.
Anyway, I don't quite agree with you categorizing "Love Ridden" as the lowlight of this album. The piano arrangement here is flawless, with Fiona's strong vocals shining through (as usual). The lines in the chorus is classic.

When the Pawn... is her most solid album to date.

MeowMeow
June 26th 2007



662 Comments


Excellent album.

pjameleven
February 18th 2008



1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is one of my favorite albums of all time, very well done. But I whole heartedly disagree with your opinion of "Love Ridden" I think it is one of the strongest tracks on the album. A very personal song, with strong lyrics and a beautiful piano arrangement. Just my 2 cents.

tinpanalley78
January 8th 2009



9 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I guess I missed something with this album. It seems to be everyone's favorite and yet no matter how much I try to like it, songs like Paper Bag, Limp, and Get Gone keep sounding plain awful to me.

However, I do think that "I know" is her very best song ever.

CelestialDust
October 1st 2009



3155 Comments


that sound in the beginning of "the way things are" reminds me of where i end and you begin

luschlotz
December 9th 2010



993 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I simply adore this album, it is my favourite female singer album ever, almost every song draws me near them, excepting perhaps the way things are.

Great review

Gago
September 21st 2011



2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Perfect album

luschlotz
September 21st 2011



993 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Im so close on 5ing this

luschlotz
October 31st 2011



993 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

its official

DoubtGin
December 3rd 2011



6685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is so amazing

and she's hot

hamid95
June 17th 2012



76 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This was soooo much more fun and exciting than Tidal. Next: Extraordinary machine!

Chrisjon89
June 17th 2012



2962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

new album is excellent too!

Digging: Elizabeth Rose - Elizabeth Rose



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