Seven years after the released of her third album, singer-songwriter Fiona Apple, one of the great female musician's of the 90s (along with Tori Amos), is back with her fourth studio album aptly titled as The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do.
I was in my puberty when Fiona Apple's dark debut album "Tidal" debuted in the music scene. My musical choices those years veered off from the seriousness of the alternative genre -- just like any other ordinary teenager -- who enjoyed pop music 97% of the time. Because I was born on the 80s and raised in the 90s, the music available to us depends on the playlist imposed by the radio stations and MTV, the internet is not accessible to anyone's perusal, no Napster, no iTunes -- just plain old cassette tapes and CD's. But the 90s prove to be the decade for 'women in rock music'. There are no other era in the history of modern music that could boast a list of talented musician/singer/songwriter women (except the 70s, of course) when pitted against the 90s.
Although pop music dominated my record collection during those years, my comparable angst-driven self secretly pays attention to the sound of alternative music -- fronted by women singer-songwriter -- such as Fiona Apple. Who could forget her "go with yourself" speech at the MTV Video Music Awards, her post-grunge waif look and smoky eyes, her brooding lyrics, and those pounding piano keys played along with her powerful contralto. Fiona Apple doesn't do music just for the sake of doing it. Some of her contemporaries might have give in to selling-out, but Apple never wavered her own convictions when it comes to her art. In fact, she is one of the rare few who doesn't yield into the "strike while the iron is hot," saying. She takes her time to write her songs wherein, the purpose of it would serve her best. Through the years, her careful meditation and bravery to expose herself (via her music) lead us away from our comfort zone, and yet, it takes us to a beautiful place of powerful (and random) liberation.