Album of the Week: Fiona Apple, 'Fetch the Bolt Cutters'

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Fiona Apple, 'Fetch the Bolt Cutters'
Fiona Apple, 'Fetch the Bolt Cutters' (Epic)
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David Byrne wrote in his book, How Music Works, that "music resonates in so many parts of the brain that we can't conceive of it being an isolated thing. It's whom you were with, how old you were, and what was happening that day".

Listening to the new Fiona Apple record, Fetch The Bolt Cutters, feels personal. It made me reflect on my own life and past loves and regrets. It may be the first album Apple has released since 2012, but like Pavlov's dogs I felt immediately pulled by a certain urge. Her visceral and raw sound made me want to tear out my guts and search thru them to get to the heart. An insatiable desire to hold a pulsating organ in my bare hands, and divine the secrets in the bloody mess like tea leaves. It's not a comfortable feeling.

Recorded mainly at Apple's home, at her own pace and need, Fetch the Bolt Cutters doesn't sound like anything else that has been released lately. There's no shine, there's no hiding. The songs unfold and flower in darkness and light. She pounds on the walls, screams, whispers, and invite the neighbor's dog to record some vocals.

This an album about the ways we hurt each other when we love, but it's also about the people who come before us and after us. Songs asking the next woman to keep the dress in the closet, to not worry about comparison. That longing to know what someone else has that you didn't, and wanting to save them from ending up like you. Love is a complicated mess and even Apple's attempt at a love song end up in outer space and somehow ends up heavy despite the lack of gravity.

Each listen burrows deeper, the beats hitting harder, the roars suddenly insist on being joined. It's not an easy album. And it may not be an entirely pleasant listen. But it is real and human. Pandora and Schrodinger both have a box that probably shouldn't be opened-you could be left with a dead cat or unspecified evils. But there are some people that can't help but want to fetch the bolt cutters, and deal with "whatever happens".

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