The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do Image
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89

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 337 Ratings

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  • Summary: The singer-songwriter began recording her fourth studio album in secret in 2008 or 2009.
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  • Record Label: Epic
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Jun 19, 2012
    100
    It's essential 2012 listening for anyone interested in popular music as art.
  2. Jun 19, 2012
    92
    The result is an album that was absolutely worth the seven-year wait, not to mention the mountain of hype atop which Apple has sat since her big comeback at SXSW in March.
  3. Jun 22, 2012
    90
    Another singular album from a truly idiosyncratic voice, Apple has once again invited us into her lushly conflicted inner monologue.
  4. Jun 25, 2012
    87
    In The Idler Wheel's ten phenomenal songs, Fiona Apple seems to lay everything out on the table.
  5. Dec 20, 2012
    80
    It's an album that demands something of the listener, but rewards it in spades.
  6. Mojo
    Jun 25, 2012
    80
    It's a hyper-vivid and intensely musical affair that takes us deep inside Apple's skittish, fretful mind. [Jul 2012, p.82]
  7. Jun 19, 2012
    60
    Half of the album is magnificent, and stylistically contradistinct, while the other half exists in some offbeat and off-putting terrain that will either elude its listeners, or alienate them.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 62
  2. Negative: 3 out of 62
  1. Jun 20, 2012
    10
    "The Idler Wheel..." is a fantastic album, and is probably one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. The most ecletic album of hers,"The Idler Wheel..." is a fantastic album, and is probably one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. The most ecletic album of hers, incorporates her soulful voice with the haunting piano chords and those mystical painful lyrics. With every fiber of her being, Apple spews out glorifying remedies needed to mend a broken heart or help you fall in love. After the "Extraordinary Machine" made me believe she wasn't angry anymore and her troubled phase was over, this brought me back to being a mega fan. Please listen to this album. I highly recommend it. Expand
  2. Jun 19, 2012
    10
    I say with zero hesitation or exaggeration that this record is a masterpiece. Sometimes when I'm listening to the Idler Wheel I need to get upI say with zero hesitation or exaggeration that this record is a masterpiece. Sometimes when I'm listening to the Idler Wheel I need to get up and punch the air and jump on top of things. I mean, it's an incredibly strong emotional and physical reaction. She has punched me in the gut and I'm still winded. Expand
  3. Feb 6, 2013
    10
    I grew up around the spectacular talent that is Fiona Apple. Her first album came out two years prior to my birth, so from practically day oneI grew up around the spectacular talent that is Fiona Apple. Her first album came out two years prior to my birth, so from practically day one I've been with her. And I love it. I love her insanity, I love her attitude, I love the sadness and the anger and the feeling that she has. The greatest part of this album is that it's all there and on display for anyone. I very honestly believe the only way you can't like this album is if you haven't experienced real, true to the heart pain, or if you don't like to enter someone's mind as deeply as you do with this album. Apple leads us on a dark, deep, terrifying journey through her inner thoughts and it's something you'll never forget. My Favorite Songs {in order}:

    - Werewolf: I don't like to say this, but 'Werewolf' is essentially perfect. It's sad and looming, but her voice is so strong and pained. It's very, very Fiona and very, very wonderful. From the first time I heard it, I fell in love and haven't stopped listening to it since.

    - Every Single Night: This song is all about strength and going from just a step above whispering to full force. The lyrics are not only hypnotic, but stunningly beautiful and as poetic as you can get.

    - Anything We Want: I adore this song because of it's simplicity. It's Fiona and a little bit of background exactly how I love her. Daredevil: This song is strong and powerful. It has energy and she really goes all out with her insturments in a great, understated way.

    - Hot Knife: There isn't much to say about this song except that it's wonderfully sexy, and is far from anything in any genre. It really takes on it's own sound.

    - Left Alone: The lyrics are perfect. Absolutely riveting. Not to mention the overall sound of it all it's just wonderful. Everything goes together just as it should.

    - Valentine Johnathan Regret: These three songs are all of the same sad, generally deep and painful sound. Fiona cries her heart out to get the sound and it shows that emotion is much, much better raw in music.

    - Periphery: Even though this is listed as last, it's still one of very favorite songs of all time. It's strong and gets stuck in your head like you wouldn't believe.

    All in all, I personally believe this album will be one of my favorites from the day I bought it to the day I die. It's timless, beautful, striking and painful at times. It's not meant to be smooth and pretty, it's meant to be an emotional ride and damn, that's exactly what it is.
    Expand
  4. Jun 19, 2012
    10
    "The Idler Wheel" shows what music is in a purely artistic manner. Not written to contain a top 40 hit, or buy another car or house... but to"The Idler Wheel" shows what music is in a purely artistic manner. Not written to contain a top 40 hit, or buy another car or house... but to convey an emotional response from the listener. The raw nature of the songs somehow seems to leave less to mask what it is being expressed in each song. It's not something I would consider "accessible" to the pop community, but any musician or really any true artist should be able to appreciate what this album is and what it brings to the table. Expand
  5. Oct 10, 2012
    10
    Fiona can do no wrong. Every song on this album is absolutely breathtaking. Her emotion, her songwriting, everything is perfectly captured inFiona can do no wrong. Every song on this album is absolutely breathtaking. Her emotion, her songwriting, everything is perfectly captured in these songs. The thing that makes this record stand apart from the rest of her work is how stripped-down and focused each song is. This is truly Fiona's masterpiece. Expand
  6. Aug 6, 2014
    9
    Arguably her best album since Tidal, The Idler Wheel takes what was so good about that one and bumps the knob up on the intensity and honestyArguably her best album since Tidal, The Idler Wheel takes what was so good about that one and bumps the knob up on the intensity and honesty factor while letting Miss Apple get more loose and unleashed. This album aches, swells, undulates, and roils you with all its boiling emotion; this burn feels good. Expand
  7. Aug 1, 2022
    0
    I don’t mind the new Fiona Apple album, but it’s going to inspire a **** of bad music. What other good albums have left a legacy of rubbishI don’t mind the new Fiona Apple album, but it’s going to inspire a **** of bad music. What other good albums have left a legacy of rubbish imitators? Expand

See all 62 User Reviews

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