When The Pawn...
Jam! · Nov '99
by John Sakamoto
ENHANCED: Yes (link to website only)
NO. OF DISCS: 1
RELEASE DATE(S): Nov. 9, 1999
PRODUCER(S): Jon Brion
NOTES: Matt Chamberlain (Tori Amos, Pearl Jam) drums on eight tracks. Producer Brion plays virtually everything else. The 90-word title is actually a poem.
Given the speed with which Apple became an object of derision in the wake of the wounded-doe of an album that was "Tidal", it wouldn't be surprising if this follow-up consisted entirely of sullen diatribes against the media. Instead, "When The Pawn..." makes a remarkable stylistic leap and manages to effect a stance that is both grown-up and emotionally open. "So be it, I'm your crowbar/If that's what I am so far/Until you get out of this mess ..." Apple may have toughened up some in the past three years, but she still can't help but lead with her heart.
RATING: 3.5 (out of five)
SIMILARITIES: Tanita Tikaram, Imani Coppola
BEST TRACK(S): I Know, A Mistake
WORST TRACK(S): To Your Love
THE BOTTOM LINE: This is that rarest of sophomore albums: one that should impress acolytes and sceptics alike