To think that The Idler Wheel… is an album of universal appeal is the farthest thing from the truth. It’s challenging, it’s certainly not made with intentions of climbing commercial radio playlists but if you’re curious it’s worth your ears. Why? The reason being it’s a great example of an album being a reflection of self. Something tells you as a listener that the frantic pace and manic piano of a song like “Left Alone” is a direct emission from a painful soul. When it comes to writing a song about your ex, “Jonathan” is as direct as it gets. And yet from those uncomfortable moments, The Idler Wheel… finds beauty when Apple is able to harness her emotions. “Anything We Want” may be the best example of just that and even hints at optimism.
The result of making an album is probably not the same for Fiona Apple as it is for most artists. Listening to The Idler Wheel… you get a sense that these songs had to come out, or else implode. That may or not be true. But that’s what fans seem to love. It’s poetic, but it’s not always “pretty.” It’s honest, but it’s not always easy to swallow. It’s an emotional connection that Apple seems to strike and does so yet again on The Idler Wheel.