So I listened to Fetch The Bolt Cutters twice in a row the moment it hit Spotify at midnight. I’ve listened once since then so these thoughts are pretty raw.
It’s worth noting that I first got in to Fiona Apple with 2012’s The Idler Wheel, an epic, ferocious tight set of songs. And even then it didn’t quite catch on until a few months later. That record has since climbed the ladder to being one of my favourite records of the 2010s.
I went in level headed. This has been an eight year wait and The Idler Wheel is the best album of 2012, so expectations were so high I was sure to be nothing but disappointed.
First track in, “I Want You To Love Me” is a wonderful intro and perfectly Apple-esq enough after an eight year wait. Piano, Apple’s voice, authentic lyrics. She’s back. This track and every other is louder and much bigger in scope than the last record, but Apple hasn’t changed her sound. Everything is just bigger and better, her voice is doing wild things, she’s banging on drums with dog bones (seriously), And there are rhythms everywhere!
Right now, the more rhythmic tracks (“Relay,” “Ladies,” and “For Her”) are my favourite. That just comes down to taste. I’m more in to rhythms than ballads. The galloping drums on “Relay” and “For Her” send me wild. It’s the same reason “Hot Knife” is, like, the greatest song of all time, probably.
Actually there’s loads of rhythms. “On I Go” has some insanely apocalyptic percussion. And as it draws to a close, Apple’s singing becomes mad possessed almost, making for such a cathartic ending to
The record has some great mantra-like repetitive phrases, “Fetch the bolt cutters…” Ladies, ladies, ladies, ladies…” I don’t think Apple’s ever done that before, but it sounds great. And the title track is so antagonistic, it sounds like finally getting the courage to stand up to a bully, or being beaten down so much you’re ready to rampage.
For hardcore Apple fans, this is perfect. For people who have no idea who Apple is, FtBC is a great introduction. It has some of her best tracks on it and I can’t wait to live in this album. Is it a 10? Well after three listens I’m gunna say no. But ask me again in three years, we’ll see.