Fiona Apple - When The Pawn
TIME OUT (London)   
March 8 - 15h, 2000

by Lynsey Irvine

It's been four years since Fiona Apple's sad but gorgeous debut, 'Tidal'. A genuine insight into a troubled 18-year-old's mind, it wasn't easy listening, with it's age-old themes of alienation, self-loathing and suicidal dreams. So it's back on the couch with 'When The Pawn...', an abbreviated version of an 80-word title for an album that's covered in weirdy pictures of Fiona demurely inserting lit matches into her mouth. Erm, so more of the same, then?

This album isn't as raw as 'Tidal' and on first listen seems a little too polished. But after a few plays, a couple of tracks shine through, 'Fast As You Can', an attempt to break out of a destructive relationship, being the most notable.

Apple seems to have softened as she's got older. If you need a comparison, then imagine Alanis Morissette (No!! - Sally) without the wailing. Similarly distressed, Apple's emotions are made more powerful in the way she oozes feelings, her distinctive voice (which occasionally sounds a little like gargling) dipping and soaring over everything from jaunty jazz-blues piano riffs to cinematic strings. It's an insightful album, like a peep in her personal diary, and it makes for compelling listening.  

thank you to sallytbyml for typing it!