35 min

Did Fiona Apple Just Release a Perfect Album‪?‬ Switched on Pop

    • Music Commentary

Since 1996, Fiona Apple has only ever had one hit, “Criminal.” Nonetheless, every album she’s released has been nominated for a Grammy. Her newest work, Fetch The Bolt Cutters, has received near universal acclaim. Apple’s songs are simultaneously idiosyncratic and relatable, tackling unusual themes for pop songs: middle school bullies, uncomfortable dinner conversation, toxic masculinity and female friendship. Apple accompanies her idiosyncratic lyrics with homemade percussion and only minimal piano. The final product is on the borderline between crafted composition and impromptu improvisation. It is this duality which makes the work relatable and timeless. Her two song suite “I Want You To Love Me” and “Shameika” have connections to Beethoven, Yeats, and Patti Smith, which we break down in the first half. And listeners call in during the second half to share what moved them about the album. 
Songs Discussed

Fiona Apple - Fast As You Can, Criminal, Under The Table, I Want You To Want Me, Shameika, Fetch The Bolt Cutters, Ladies, Heavy Balloon 

Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata

Patti Smith - Gloria: In Excelsis Deo

Van Morrison - Gloria


Support explainer journalism — all things pop included — by making a contribution to Vox today: Visit bit.ly/givepodcasts.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Since 1996, Fiona Apple has only ever had one hit, “Criminal.” Nonetheless, every album she’s released has been nominated for a Grammy. Her newest work, Fetch The Bolt Cutters, has received near universal acclaim. Apple’s songs are simultaneously idiosyncratic and relatable, tackling unusual themes for pop songs: middle school bullies, uncomfortable dinner conversation, toxic masculinity and female friendship. Apple accompanies her idiosyncratic lyrics with homemade percussion and only minimal piano. The final product is on the borderline between crafted composition and impromptu improvisation. It is this duality which makes the work relatable and timeless. Her two song suite “I Want You To Love Me” and “Shameika” have connections to Beethoven, Yeats, and Patti Smith, which we break down in the first half. And listeners call in during the second half to share what moved them about the album. 
Songs Discussed

Fiona Apple - Fast As You Can, Criminal, Under The Table, I Want You To Want Me, Shameika, Fetch The Bolt Cutters, Ladies, Heavy Balloon 

Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata

Patti Smith - Gloria: In Excelsis Deo

Van Morrison - Gloria


Support explainer journalism — all things pop included — by making a contribution to Vox today: Visit bit.ly/givepodcasts.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

35 min

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