When The Pawn…

And how would you like your emotion? Raw? Naked? [I]Intense[/I]? Brrr...

And how would you like your emotion? Raw? Naked? [I]Intense[/I]? Brrr. It’s a chilly domain in which the multimillion-selling ice queens of self-indulgent [I]Ally McBeal[/I]-themed cosmetic angst operate, but you have to hand it to the kooky crew of Tori, Alanis and the troubled Ms Apple – they know their market. Although probably not quite as well as their market knows them.

For these ladies, and LA-based 24-year-old Apple is no exception, leave no emotional stone unturned in their cathartic quest for neo-hippy feminist-lite ‘meaning’ in their, like, totally crazy lives. And for her second album of Amos-aping MTV-branded Lilith Fair fodder, the barmiest, prettiest pretender to Tori‘s throne of corporate crackpot chic deals unashamedly in that tired and trusted heavyweight heart-tugging currency: relationships.

So it’s been a frantic four years for Fiona since her debut, ‘Tidal’, poured its bruised musings over a generation of sensitive saps, half of which appear to have been spent writing this record’s staggering 75-word-long title (it’s poetry, dontcha know), the other half spent playing with the dark might of glossy trip-hop. And surging power ballads. And opaque Plath-U-like platitudes bereft of mirth. Still, that’s Fiona Apple. Fruit by name, fruitcake by nature.

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