What sets Fiona Apple’s heralded return “The Idler Wheel…” apart from all other 2012 comebacks? Apple is absolutely fearless. She’s splattered all over this music, an unpredictable eruption of unsettling convulsions. Her voice contorts in shocking, wildly powerful directions, shifting abruptly from docile coos to quivering heaves of aggression. Good luck breathing when Apple blurts out, quite uncouthly, “Seek me out! Look at! Look at! Look at! Look at me! I’m all the fishes in the sea!”
Yet never once do the meticulously crafted foundations start to shake. Apple strikes a near impossible balance throughout the album, losing her mind in perfect time. Most musicians can’t pull this off, but Apple is an acrobat. She is McKayla Maroney — implausibly twisted, impossibly graceful. And unlike Ms. Not Impressed, she never flubs the stick.
Thus, Apple’s appearance with Blake Mills this Sunday at the Palace is the must-see concert of the fall.
No police dogs allowed.