WHEN THE PAWN HITS...
Fiona Apple (Clean Slate/Epic)
New York Post    Nov  '99

by Dan Aquilante

Fiona Apple's sophomore disc - "When the Pawn Hits..." - is a real advance over her hit debut, "Tidal," with a unique blues-rock sound. Although this 10-song collection doesn't have a standout single like "Shadowboxer" from "Tidal," it does have the seething "Limp," a breakup song in which Apple curses the boy in question with impotence. The stomach-churning anger in her voice is stunning and focused. 

Other notable songs include "Paper Bag," a far more pleasant number than "Limp," on which orchestral horns sweeten the tune without making it sappy. The appealing final track "I Know" - a love song sung from the perspective of the "other woman" - actually has a glimmer of optimism to it on a disc without much of that quality. 

"When the Pawn Hits ..." is a rare, no-risk, dud-free disc by a young artist who has finally come into her own.