When The Pawn... Image
Metascore
79

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

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 132 Ratings

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  • 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 toThe 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

Top Track

Paper Bag
I was staring at the sky Just looking for a star To pray on or wish on Or something like that I was having a sweet fix Of a daydream of a boy Whose... See the rest of the song lyrics
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. Her musical ideas and lyrics have caught up with the ability of her voice. The songs are well varied, and transition smoothly from one to the other.
  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. 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.
  6. Apple's arty predisposition and prodigious gifts allow this 22-year-old to wax poetic and make it rock because her delivery is so dexterous and forceful.
  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: 35 out of 36
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 36
  3. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. AustinA
    Jul 15, 2005
    10
    In her sullen world of lyrical genius, she achieves an amazing feat with this stellar album.
  2. john'kows
    Dec 24, 2002
    10
    I just wanted to take a minute to give my thanks to Fiona.Just for being her and doing what she's doing.I know she won't read this I just wanted to take a minute to give my thanks to Fiona.Just for being her and doing what she's doing.I know she won't read this and that just makes me totally frusterated.I just think she should know how much people appreciate her.She probably has some clue because of the number of albums people have bought.But it's not just her music.Don't get me wrong her songs kick ass.But it's her as a human being that inspires me and keepes me listening for what she has to say next.I don't know,I just hope she neve loses her realness and never loses her connection with her audience. When I first saw the video for shadowboxer, I sat staring motionless at the screen., she is this epitomy of beauty in my eyes, and plus this was the best song I had heard in a long time.Fiona sang the lyrics with such conviction,you couldnt help but feel every word she was saying Expand
  3. Mar 16, 2012
    10
    This album was Fiona coming into her real power. Utilizing heavy and interesting rhythms while using the lower register of the piano brings aThis 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. RobPep
    Mar 20, 2006
    10
    You may not see it straight the way, but you will end up realising that this is sheer complete genius....... and if you dont your wrong!
  5. ViLa
    May 10, 2009
    10
    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 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
  6. Jun 12, 2020
    10
    For me this album is the best of it (before tidal).
    Fiona Apple was supposed to be an artist recognized by the general public, but most people
    For me this album is the best of it (before tidal).
    Fiona Apple was supposed to be an artist recognized by the general public, but most people don't have good taste.
    Expand
  7. Jun 9, 2020
    1
    Subpar work from a tremendous artist.Nostalgia from coming from her first album made it one the fan favourites in its own right though theSubpar work from a tremendous artist.Nostalgia from coming from her first album made it one the fan favourites in its own right though the writing is ok I can’t say much about the production of this album. Expand

See all 36 User Reviews