Review Summary: “HOW in the world does somebody make an album like this?” no effing way! But Apple continues to show how solid an artist she is. Yes, she stopped making those videos that got your attention in the first place, and she stopped being that full-of-hatred
When the Pawn… first made news as the record-breaking title of her sophomore effort. The 90-word title was just too much for the crowd to bear. It is still remembered as ‘that crazy girl’s second album’, which is sad, really. Those who fail to appreciate this album should really try. People still remember her as the girl with lots of anger, even with the release of Extraordinary Machine, which was to be her third album in 2005.
Despite the initial controversy over her somewhat “raunchy” video in 1996 (hey, it was the 90’s, the kids haven’t heard of Paris Hilton yet.) and the many vents of anger at uh hurm, award shows acceptance speeches, you’ve gotta admit. Fiona’s one hell of a girl. What sets her apart from all them female composers is her age. To listen to an 18-year-old sing with a voice so mature and polished is just so disturbing, yet enjoyable. Her debut album was what some people called ‘boring’ and ‘going nowhere’ to which I solemnly agree at times. Aside from a few jewels, that album was nothing to shout about, except maybe hollering the beginning of a fantastic catalogue Apple was about to get started on.
Fiona gives her all in every album, probably explaining the gaps in between release. When the Pawn... has some ups and downs, though.
I don’t really dig the opening track ‘On the Bound’ It just seems kinda hollow, like maybe there’s something more and it gets too repetitive. Still, a good intro nevertheless, leavimg you expecting something better. However, ‘To Your Love’ isn’t much of a saver to begin with. But at least, it is capable of not making one feel like pressing the skip button, just sit through it, maybe. Again, it gets too repetitive here.
Ah. Then ‘Limp’ gives a fresh perspective. It’s like the fun’s just getting started. While the first two songs gives us a taste of average, lackluster lyrics, the coming tracks are just brilliant. ‘You wanna make me sick, you wanna lick my wounds, doncha baby?’
‘Love Ridden’ is much mellow, much beautiful, definitely up there with all here best, though a little under-appreciated. This songs reminisces of some 40’s soul, with Apple’s breathy and careless vocals that reaches out to the listener’s heart, almost literally.
‘Paper Bag’ is another gem. The drum loops featured all over the album are featured throughout but this song just make me wanna thank the the stars for Jon Brion, who produced this album and incorporated chamberlain, too. ‘Mistake’ is average, at its best, but ‘Fast as You Can’ made me stop and wonder: “HOW in the world does somebody make a song like this?!” no effing way! But Apple continues to show how solid an artist she is. She deserves a lot more appreciation and respect than those clueless airheads who rely on gimmicks.
‘The Way Things Are’ just doesn’t really get to me. While it does make me sit up and listen, it doesn’t beg to differ from the aforementioned repetitive tracks. It is slightly better than ‘To Your Love’ and even gives a little jazzy feel to it.
‘Get Gone’ is awesome. It will leave you in shock and awe, Period.
The last track, covered even by Elvis Costello, is so hopelessly soothing and melancholic I really just wanna slap Fiona for producing such a song. Love it. ‘I Know’ is about a premonition of a break-up bound to happen and how true it is.
In a nutshell, this album is great, with a few hit and misses. But the gems here just make up for all the misses.