When The Pawn... - Fiona Apple
When The Pawn... Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 71 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: The full title of this sophomore effort from the 22-year-old singer-songwriter runs a whopping 90 words: When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He'll Win the Whole Thing 'Fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and if You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and if You Fall It Won't Matter, 'Cuz You'll Know That You're Right. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Apple's piano trundles, the strings loom, the beats clop; everything, including her throaty voice, has alluring dark circles under it. With their hints of cabaret, tango, and doomed chanteuses, the melodies slither rather than pummel you.
  2. Pawn is immediately grabbing, and instead of fading upon further plays, it reveals more with each listen, whether it's a lyrical turn of phrase or an unexpected twist in the arrangement.
  3. When the Pawn Hits ... is so good that the next album could have a 900-word title and I wouldn't even scratch my goatee.
  4. On Pawn she chooses to rock, but in her own unique swinging way. Her songs are not ballads, but epics of rock, classical and postmodern music.
  5. has the talent, not to mention the fame and fortune, to seclude herself from the big bad world ahead of her. But Fiona II makes you hope that she'll find a way to use her talent as a connection to the world instead. Because she's an artist who deserves a shot at growing up.
  6. Forget the brattiness and occasional lunacy that succeeded Tidal's ascent to hit status. This is the work of an adult artist, and onethat's going to be sticking around.
  7. 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.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 29
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 29
  3. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. sM
    Nov 21, 2005
    A work of art. My favorite solo female album. Passionate, eccentric, artistic, original....amazing.
  2. MiKE
    Apr 4, 2005
    This album is flawless, just amazing! Every track is just perfect. Cant wait till Fiona Apple releases her new CD!
  3. Mar 16, 2012
    This album was Fiona coming into her real power. Utilizing heavy and interesting rhythms while using the lower register of the piano brings a dark and, at the same time, funky feel to her music. Her ballads shine even greater than they did on her first album as they move gently and make it difficult to shake the feeling of shear heartbreak. I have not heard a female artist with lyrical craft nearly as great as Ms. Apple's. Not only is this album a 10 out of 10, it ranks to be in my top 20 favorite albums of all time. Expand
  4. GeorgeP
    Apr 13, 2006
    A very good album. Very strong vocally with interesting musical arrangements and a good balance of slow and more upbeat songs.
  5. Mike
    Mar 6, 2007
    Fiona Apples best album to date! Much better then Extra ordinary machine, which I found to be a disappointment.
  6. ViLa
    May 10, 2009
    10/10 because it is an album that can be listened to over and over again. Such well written lyrics + melodies to go with them, each song being different and unique. Definitely her best album, and the best album for female artists ever! For she embraces what it feels like to be sensitive, angry, loved, betrayed and misunderstood. This album appealed to me personally, it's reassuring that I'm not the only one who goes through this stage. GO Fiona, you rock. Expand
  7. SamD
    Mar 20, 2006
    It is a really, really, really good album, but it's still a little short of great...

See all 29 User Reviews