When The Pawn... - Fiona Apple

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic 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. For any Upper West Side showbiz kid, musical comedy is mother's milk, more "natural" than the rude attack of rock or the polite confessional of folk ... With crucial help from Jon Brion, she's got the Richard Rodgers/Kurt Weill part down, and will surely tackle the Dorothy Fields/Lorenz Hart part later.
  3. 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.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 70 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 29
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 29
  3. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. 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. Full Review »
  2. Sep 22, 2013
    This album hits a variety of notes literally and metaphorically The media should take notes from this masterpiece every song is outstanding in its own right. Ranging from Fiona`s piano playing to her amazing voice down to the outright brilliant lyrics not only one of the best single female albums but one of the greatest single albums of all time. 10/10 Full Review »
  3. Nov 29, 2012
    A very good work. Her voice, her lyrics and the piano make 'When The Pawn...' to a wonderful work. But I can't pick out an excellent song, or at least something that could work alone as a single. Anyway, this album is totally worth hearing and a great experience! Full Review »