Fiona Apple
Fetch The Bolt Cutters


5.0
classic

Review

by John "John Hanson" Hanson USER (2 Reviews)
April 17th, 2020 | 1267 replies


Release Date: 04/17/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of those pieces of art that words cant quite do justice, Fiona Apple has crafted an instant classic.

Fairly late into the newest album by Fiona Apple, the song "For Her" begins with a deep sigh. What follows that sigh seems to be a lighthearted, tongue twisting and bombastic dress down of an abusive man and his increasingly deplorable actions towards the women in his life. In spite of the lyrical content, the song sounds like it could be the backing track for an old iPod commercial. What at first seems breezy and breakneck quickly circles back to that deep sigh, as Apple exhales and refrains "Good morning, good morning/You raped me in the same bed your daughter was born in" as the song devolves into a blissful denouement as if Apple is trying to fully expel all the vitriol left within her from this evil that was done to her. "For Her" is the condensed and most pure distillation of what she has accomplished with Fetch the Bolt Cutters, an album at once immensely sharp and intensely heart breaking.

Fetch the Bolt Cutters is an evolution of Fiona's previous efforts in the realm of percussive and expansive jazz influenced pop. Considering the audience of Sputnik, an interesting comparison might be to Scott Walker's The Drift: both are albums of dizzying variety in both their use of unique instrumentation and progressive qualities that, rather than being used to dizzy the listener into a musical stupor, instead serve to contextualize the emotions and tone of their records. "Relay" relies on a plethora of different house hold objects being used to create the multiple underlying rhythms the song jumps between as Apple snarls "I resent you presenting your life like a fuckiing propaganda brochure," as she simultaneously tries to push against the "endless race" put on her by her own need to transfer negative feelings from one relationship to another.

The album largely hinges on your receptiveness to Fiona Apple as a woman who, despite harboring an immense amount of pain and regret, still wonders at the world and sees the comedy in ~it all~. She is a storyteller first and foremost, and while Fetch the Bolt Cutters is certainly the most sonically interesting and fascinating piece of music she's put her name on, her classic take on the singer songwriter as poet and narrator is the heart and soul of the record. On album highlight "Newspaper", Apple recounts a sordid tale of a past lover and his new lover, and her own story in relation to their budding romance. She wavers between her own meta narrative of imposing herself onto this new ingenue, supposing they are kindred spirits and that he has caused them to forever lack the ability to connect with each other, to a jealous and almost pitiable sneer of "you're wearing time like a flowery crown...And I'm alone on that summit now, trying not to let my light out" that builds and builds until eventually Apple's voice can barely even keep itself together. It’s a beautiful and harrowing tale that still finds time to frame the root cause of this anguish: an abusive man trying to take away the narrative from two women who otherwise might have been friends.

Then again, Apple still has that light that keeps her from devolving exclusively into melodrama and resentment. "Shameika" is a bouncy ode to a woman from her youth who, despite the complimentary yet condescending words of the men to her around the time, was the hot knife that stuck with her throughout the years with the simple statement that Apple "had potential". The title track of the album is a sad but sideways grinning look at her dealings with her adolescent interpersonal relationships. After running through how the bullying affected her, she candidly sings "I grew up in the shoes they told me I could fill," which metaphorically grows up into the next song "Under the Table" spending its ennui digging into Apple's legendary temperament as someone who is easily fed up with the bullshit of everyday life, the hook of the song literally being "I won't shut up.”

Fetch the Bolt Cutters begins with Fiona Apple being trapped in her own head and complicated past, and progresses towards the unlocking and freeing of some of her most deep seated neurosis and the reckoning that comes with that. A frank, occasionally disturbing, and heart wrenchingly honest discussion of interpersonal relationships within the framework of being in often powerless positions, Apple has crafted the best album of her career. It is dense and emotionally fraught, and requires you to have faith in Apple and her band through the quirkier and more over the top moments, but investing in what they've created here is well worth following until Apple finally finishes the manifesto of Fetch the Bolt Cutters with "On I go, not toward or away/Up until now it was day, next day/Up until now in a rush to prove/But now I only move to move.” Fiona Apple has no desire to be the instrument of our collective anguish and emotional reconciliation, but goddamn if she isn't a master at making music that is perfect for it.


user ratings (415)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
hxciluvatarhxc
April 17th 2020


448 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

chances this stays up are zero but hey maybe whoever is approving reviews is feeling generous tonight/this morning!

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2020


19772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's out in my region so i don't see the problem.



never heard this girl so I skimmed through it and felt nothing.

Digging: The Move - Shazam

Aids
April 17th 2020


24461 Comments


you've never heard Fiona Apple before? what?

hxciluvatarhxc
April 17th 2020


448 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

it's out in every region now!



also looking through your musical tastes i see no reason why this would be your thing ha!

hxciluvatarhxc
April 17th 2020


448 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

damn already at only a 50% ratio on this review rip this accounts approval rating

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2020


25831 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Yeah I Spotify'd this earlier today. Gonna relisten and read in the soon

Digging: Susumu Yokota - Symbol

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2020


19772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Aids, Iluvatar? Wait, in which year am I?

hxciluvatarhxc
April 17th 2020


448 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

just need to get a few more oldheads posting here and theyve GOTTA let this review stay up folks!

Ryus
April 17th 2020


18615 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great album. not sure if it’ll overtake the idler wheel for me yet but its a possibility

Aids
April 17th 2020


24461 Comments


maybe don't post a review after listening to it once an hour ago

hxciluvatarhxc
April 17th 2020


448 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

As an addendum, there was so much to talk about with this album that I literally didn't feel I could cover without either going out of my depth (in regards to Fiona a female voice, I really hope that is an interesting female voice on sputnik that will cover this at some point) or that, to my knowledge, would not matter/vibe with how sputnik consumes content. There is so much to this record but I just wanted to get some thoughts out about it after a day and about eight hours of straight listening to the record.

botulist
April 17th 2020


461 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

that review summary is hella clunky.

Digging: Freddie Hubbard & ?lhan M?maro?lu - Sing Me A Song Of Songmy

hxciluvatarhxc
April 17th 2020


448 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

man adrian really digging at me gonna need to reconsider my stance here

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2020


25831 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

"going out of my depth (in regards to Fiona a female voice...) or that, to my knowledge, would not matter/vibe with how sputnik consumes content"

these are one and the same for the most part, my dude

Jasdevi087
April 17th 2020


6136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bolt cutters are on their way hang tight

hxciluvatarhxc
April 17th 2020


448 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

the first would be covered by the second Johnny but, i felt the first was an important thing to post note specifically!

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2020


25831 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

^shrewd and fair

Jasdevi087
April 17th 2020


6136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"(in regards to Fiona a female voice, I really hope that is an interesting female voice on sputnik that will cover this at some point)"



inb4 calligyjack or someone comes in to say there are no interesting female voices or gyro says something like there are no "real females" on sputnik

WatchItExplode
April 17th 2020


8135 Comments


Definitely not "John Hanson" Hanson. Guy is doin janitorial at the clam shack last I heard.

AmericanFlagAsh
April 17th 2020


9737 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Bitchhhhhh this is fucking amazing omg

Digging: Perfume Genius - Set My Heart On Fire Immediately



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